Molecular and Cellular Immunology Core

Flow Cytometry Unit


The Flow Cytometry Unit facility provides a centralized resource for technical expertise and major equipment. The Unit supports and enhances experimental design and execution of basic and applied research that require flow cytometric cell analysis or cell sorting.

To achieve this objective, the Flow Cytometry Unit offers the following:

  • Expert consultation is provided through the core director, laboratory supervisor, and our senior technical specialists;
  • Cytometry instruments are selected for complementary functions;
  • Equipment use is accessible through dedicated technician-operators;
  • All services are provided on a recharge basis;
  • Assistance with data analysis can be customized to the needs of individual investigators and research projects.

The unit facility contains five major pieces of equipment that perform multiple functions. Current services include: multiparameter analysis (1-6 antibody combinations) on cell suspensions and cells fixed to slides, and small to large volume cell sorting. Types of cell analyses include: cell maturation phenotypes; cell proliferation and activation (cell cycle/DNA content, CFSE dye; calcium flux, CD69, Annexin-V); intra-cellular proteins (cytokines, cell cycle regulators, viral products); quantification of molecular promoters and reporter genes (GFP, beta-gal; FRET).

Live and fixed cell sorting is performed to recover cell subsets, identified with any combination of the above mentioned analysis tools. A specially equipped cell sorter is available for work with live, biohazardous cell samples (experimental protocol requires approval of the Flow Cytometry Unit Lead). We can help with the design of custom flow cytometry protocols. Contact the facility to schedule services.

NEW! The Flow Cytometry Unit of the SD CFAR Molecular and Cellular Immunology Core now hosts a gentle cell sorter, WOLF from NanoCellect, Inc. If you are struggling with mediocre next generation sequencing results or poor cell quality and viability post sorting, you might need to try gentler sorting mechanisms. At <2 psi, the WOLF’s microfluidic channel is gentler than any conventional cell sorter or flow cytometer, allowing for higher populations of healthy, sorted cells with improved cell viability. The WOLF cell sorter has been the platform of choice upstream of single cell genomics and next generation sequencing and is endorsed by 10x Genomics and QIAGEN for their workflows.


Submit a Service Request

See Flow Cytometry Unit Schedule

Flow Cytometry Unit Personnel

Nadejda Beliakova-Bethell, PhD
Flow Cytometry Unit Lead

Celsa Spina, PhD
Flow Cytometry Unit Mentor

Jennifer Dan, MD, PhD
MCI Core Leadership Trainee

Tara Rambaldo
Senior Technical Specialist

Flow Cytometry Unit Services & Instrumentation

  • Analysis - BD CANTO (RUO GREEN)
    • Lasers: Blue-488nm, Red-640nm, Violet-405nm; up to 11 colors


  • Analysis - BD CANTO (RUO ORANGE)
    • Lasers: Blue-488 nm, Red-640nm, Violet-405nm; up to 11 colors


  • Sort - ARIA II (Non-Biohazard sort or Biohazard sort with bioBUBBLE)
    • Lasers: Blue-488nm, YG-561nm, Red-640nm, Violet-405nm; up to 11 colors
    • Bulk Sorting (2 or 4-way sorting)
    • Clone sorting (1 or more cells/well)
    • Biohazardous sorting



  • Sort - Sony MA900 (Non-Biohazard or Biohazard sort) coming soon


  • Training


Rates are hourly

PI Afffiliation
Cell Anallysis
High-Speed Cell Sorting
Biohazardous Cell Sorting
Private / Commercial $125 $200 $275
VA / VMRF / UCSD $80 $115 $145
SD CFAR Member $80 $80 $130


If you are a member of SD CFAR, your project is funded by SD CFAR, or if your research project is a collaborative effort with an SD CFAR investigator, please notify lab personnel to ensure that your work is billed at the appropriate rate

Contact Information

Lab telephone: (858) 552-8585 ext. 5933
Core Director telephone: 858-552-8585 ext. 7189
FAX: (858) 552-7436
Mail code: V-151

Flow Cytometry Research Core Facility
VA San Diego Healthcare System
Rm. 6189B / MC-151
3350 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92161

Click here to map directions to VA Flow Lab

Our facility is located in room 6189B on the 6th floor, East wing of the VA San Diego Health Care System, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, connected to the UCSD School of Medicine campus via a pedestrian bridge.


At a Glance