Shared Resources

The research labs and cores provided by the MCW Cancer Center are not otherwise available to an individual researcher because of cost, complexity or lack of space. The Medical College of Wisconsin and cancer center have a variety of shared resources that serve a multidisciplinary user base. Although some of the research resources are under the administrative control of a department or research center, they are available for use by all cancer center members.

To learn more, click on the name of the resource, or visit the Cores and Campus Shared Resources directory.

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  Biomedical Imaging Shared Resource (BISR)

The Biomedical Imaging Shared Resource (BISR) advances Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center research by providing expertise and state-of-the-art technology. Specifically, the shared resource features imaging technologies and methods that assist investigators as they assess cancer growth, metabolism and response to therapy, greatly increasing the translational potential of cancer center research.


Amit Joshi, PhD | Co-Director | (414) 955-7588

Peter LaViolette, PhD | Co-Director | (414) 955-7490

Biomedical Imaging Shared Resource (BISR)Location and Hours of Operation
BISR services are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Depending on staff availability and user training/experience, off-hour access to scanners is available in support of experiments requiring unique schedules. Specific locations of key equipment are listed below.

The BISR provides the following services:

  • Data acquisition (e.g., novel pulse sequence development/verification, phantom construction, routine acquisition)
  • Postprocessing, data analysis, archiving and mining
  • Protocol design
  • Modality selection, as per imaging goals
  • Assistance in defining imaging goals (e.g., biomarker validation, drug response, pharmacokinetics, etc.)

In addition, the directors offer mentoring and educational opportunities in the way of seminars, retreats and formal machine training sessions. These services provide investigators with the opportunity to leverage their imaging studies as they seek extramural funding.

Key Equipment
The BISR has small-animal and human imaging systems dedicated for research purposes.

GE Healthcare Discovery MR950 7T Human MRI | Located in the Center for Imaging Research (CIR) The GE 7T MR950 system is a 90-cm bore, investigational human research MRI system.

GE Healthcare Discovery MR750 3T MR System | Located in the Froedtert & Medical College Pavilion The GE 3T MR750 system is a 60-cm bore, clinically certified MRI system that is dedicated to research.

Bruker BioSpec 94/30 USR 9.4T Preclinical MRI System | Located in the CIR The Bruker BioSpec in vivo spectroscopy imaging system has an actively shielded 9.4T magnet with a 31-cm warm bore.

Triumph Micro SPECT-CT | Located in the CIR Triumph micro SPECT/CT (X-SPECT) offers superior imaging capabilities for use in small-animal in vivo studies.

PerkinElmer IVIS-100 Bioluminescence Imaging System | Located in the Biomedical Resource Center The IVIS system allows in vivo bioluminescence imaging in mice and rats with an enzymatic bioluminescence expressing tag (e.g., luciferase).

NIR and Short-Wave Infrared Imaging (SWIR) | Located in the Translational and Biomedical Research Center The BISR has access to specialized sensitive intensified CCD (ICCD) camera-based instrumentation sensitive from visible (400 nm) to short-wave infrared (IR) (1900 nm) wavelengths.

Philips/Elekta Combined MR-Linac (Linear Accelerator) | Will be located in the Department of Radiation Oncology This machine, which will be installed in late 2016, can simultaneously irradiate tumors and collect MR images for optimized targeting and treatment response monitoring.

For more information about this equipment, please see the Center for Imaging Research website.

  Biostatistics Shared Resource (BSSR)

The Biostatistics Shared Resource works collaboratively with cancer research investigators in providing analyses, computational methods, models and algorithms. In this way, it helps researchers from concept development to the publication of results and design of subsequent research.

The resource’s involvement substantially contributes to advancing research and spans numerous cancer center project areas, including basic, translational and community-engaged research.


Purushottam Laud, PhD | Director | (414) 955-8781

Biostatistics Shared ResourceLocation and Hours of Operation

Cancer center drop-in site. Staff biostatisticians assist cancer center members 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays in Clinical Trials Office Room 3236 (enter through 3233).

Health Research Center, MCW campus. The shared resource is located in the Health Research Center. Every cancer center member has access to the shared resource online and via telephone and email.


Biostatisticians specializing in cancer research provide the following:

  • Study designs for clinical trials, survey sampling, laboratory experiments, observational studies
  • Formulation of statistical hypotheses
  • Recommendations and planning of statistical methodology
  • Protocol development
  • Randomization
  • Data monitoring
  • Modeling, analysis and interpretation
  • Manuscript preparation


The BSSR has a network of servers and workstations in a secure Linux operating system environment that are equipped with a variety of statistical software. This system is used extensively for data preparation and analysis by BSSR members. In particular, the system contains servers for parallel CPU computing and massively parallel GPU computing. Software includes compilers for C/C++/Fortran, as well as the statistical platforms R and SAS. There are seven Linux CPU servers with a capacity to run 272 processes in parallel simultaneously and one Linux server capable of running processes on 7000 GPU cores simultaneously. The system is designed with automatic nightly backup of all files. Data safety is also enhanced by using redundancy via a RAID system and security is ensured via Linux password protection and encryption.


For more information, please visit the Biostatistics Consulting Service website.

  Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FLOW)

The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center Flow Cytometry (FLOW) facility offers state-of-the art technology with a wide range of instrumentation at two sites — the Medical College of Wisconsin and Blood Research Institute. The directors at each site have more than 40 years’ combined experience. This ensures a high degree of quality control and efficiency. The shared resource consistently provides onsite, cost-effective, comprehensive analytic flow cytometry and high-speed cell sorting services and expertise.


Calvin Williams, MD, PhD | Director of the MCW Facility | (414) 955-5793 

William Cashdollar, PhD | Director of the BRI Facility | (414) 937-3847


Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FLOW)Location and Hours of Operation

The Medical College of Wisconsin FLOW facility is on the fifth floor of the MACC Fund Research Center. The other FLOW site is at the Blood Research Institute on the second floor. 

FLOW hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Off-hour scheduling may be arranged with the FLOW staff. ID card access is available at both sites for off-hour use.


In addition to instrumentation, training and cell-sorting services, FLOW provides consultation to investigators regarding experiment design and protocol development. The directors and staff at both sites offer assistance in regard to antibody and fluorochrome selections, based on targets of interest and appropriate compensation controls when needed. In addition, they provide software support for data analysis.


LSRII The Medical College of Wisconsin site has one LSRII and the Blood Research Institute operation has two LSRII analytical flow cytometers. All instruments have similar laser configurations.

FACSCalibur The Medical College of Wisconsin site has a two-laser (488nm, 615 nm), four-color, six-parameter, bench-top analyzer used primarily for evaluating surface and intracellular antigen expression, apoptosis detection, bead-based cytokine detection and cell-cycle analysis.

BD Accuri C6 This is a two-laser (488nm, 640 nm) personal flow cytometer located at the Blood Research Institute. It is the newest generation of the BD Accuri platform. The BD Accuri C6 supports a wide array of applications including immunology, as well as cell and cancer biology. Users are charged to collect data on the BD Accuri.

FACSAria II Special Order Systems (SOS) FLOW has three FACSAria II cell sorting systems, two at the Medical College of Wisconsin and one at the Blood Research Institute.

  Pathology Research BioCore (PRB)

The Pathology Research BioCore (PRB) Shared Resource at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is a valuable resource for all aspects of experimental pathology for MCWCC members conducting basic, translational, clinical and population science research on human cancer. The PRB supports multiple aspects of cancer research by 1) utilizing universal consenting for all MCWCC patients making tissues easily available for subsequent analysis, 2) offering its members competitive pricing on services including centralized banking and distribution of cancer tissues and blood, and 3) providing sophisticated tissue-arraying services and comprehensive histological and molecular analysis of cancer.


Saul Suster, MD | Tissue Bank Director | (414) 805-6968

Craig MacKinnon, MD, PhD | Medical & Molecular Pathology Director | (414) 805-1526

Mary Rau | Tissue Bank Manager | (414) 805-9569


Pathology Research BioCore (PRB)Location and Hours of Operation

The PRB is open M-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in the Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratory building.

Services and Equipment

The PRB analytics laboratory is a 5,000-square-foot, CLIA- and CAP-accredited facility. The current staffing of the PRB analytics laboratory includes nine full-time employees. Equipment includes three automated DAKO immunohistochemistry strainers (one Autostainer Plus, one Link48, and one Omnis), four high-capacity sequencing machines (two Ion Torrent PGMs and two Illumina miniSeqs), a Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech Panoramic 250 Flash bright field and fluorescence scanner, digital image analysis systems (Definiens Tissue Studio and Developer and DAKO ACIS III), Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech TMA Grandmaster high throughput automated tissue arrayer, a Veridiam VTA-110C basic tissue arrayer, a fluorescence microscope, several dedicated servers for data analysis, and storage capacity of nearly 1.5 Petabytes for big sequencing and image data files.

The PRB strives to provide the following services to MCW Cancer Center members:

Procure and distribute biospecimens from consented patients and de-identified annotated data to investigators through a streamlined, simple and compliant process. This includes viable tissue for patient-derived xenograft (PDX) modeling in vivo and 3D organoid cultures or cell line generation in vitro and fresh frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for molecular studies. In addition, the specimen database securely and effectively links clinical annotations with specimens.

Provide access to specialized analytical technologies, services and expertise in order to enhance scientific interaction and productivity. This includes nucleic acid sequencing and analyses, quantitative immunohistochemistry and histology image analyses and associated technical consultation.

Promote, design, perform, manage and interpret cancer-related research projects utilizing human cancer specimens at MCW that ensures stability, cost-effectiveness and quality control. This includes advanced tissue array generation services and tissue extraction services (nucleic acids and protein). Sample normalization and preparation for genotyping and expression studies are also provided.

  Redox and Bioenergetics Shared Resource (RBSR)

The RBSR provides specialized instrumentation and techniques dedicated to investigate cancer cell metabolism and redox signaling for cancer center members. The RBSR is also an environment for education and training in research on oxy-radicals and redox bioenergetics. RBSR staff has expertise in designing and interpreting experiments in several cancer models, including breast, lung, pancreas, prostate, and skin. The RBSR offers services and instrumentation to assess many aspects of redox signaling and metabolic function in cancer cells. 


Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD | Resource Director | (414) 955-4059

Charles Myers, PhD | Redox Biology Lead | (414) 955-8593

Jacek Zielonka, PhD | Research Scientist | (414) 955-4789

Steve Komas | Research Technologist | (414) 955-4059


Redox and Bioenergetics Shared Resource (RBSR)

Location and Hours of Operation

The RBSR is located on the 2nd floor of the MACC Fund Research Center (MFRC). Standard hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Off-hour access to equipment is available in support of experiments requiring unique schedules. To schedule an appointment for experiment design services and to use the RBSR equipment, please contact Steve Komas at (414) 955-4789.


Services and Equipment

A wide range of experimental applications of extracellular flux, metabolomics and redox signaling studies may be performed with the instruments and expertise in the RBSR. The RBSR facility supports cancer investigators by examining mitochondrial function, glycolytic function, fatty acid oxidation, glucose metabolism, glutamine metabolism and metabolic phenotypes in cancer models. The RBSR offers enhanced and rapid detection and quantification of extra- and intra-cellular substrates and metabolites, metabolic profiling /phenotyping, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection, redox signaling, and drug/compound screening.

Services include:      Major equipment in the RBSR:

Bioenergetic flux analyses

LCMS-based analyses

HPLC analyses

HPLC-ECD analyses

Plate reader-based analyses

Compound synthesis

Data analysis/Consultation

Redox immunoblotting

  Seahorse Bioscience XF24 and XF96 Extracellular Flux Analyzers

  ESA HPLC system with electrochemical CoulArray® detector

  Shimadzu Nexera-2 UHPLC system with absorption and MS/MS detectors

  Beckman Coulter DTX 880 Multimode Plate Reader

  Agilent 1100 HPLC systems with absorption and fluorescence detectors

  Nikon Eclipse Ti Fluorescence Microscope

  Bruker EMX Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectrometer

  Perkin Elmer LS55 luminescence spectrometer