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Sorting and Analysis of Diverse Cell Populations for Novel Applications in Diet and Health and Microbiology


The Institute of Food Research needs to upgrade its flow cytometric capabilities to facilitate progress in a number of important scientific areas. This main objective of this proposal is to purchase a Beckman Coulter `nexgen fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS) and FCS500 MPL analyser. <P>
The flow cytometers will enable us to purify and analyse mammalian, bacterial, fungal, plant and fish cells in multi-colour stained samples of blood, tissues or cultures. The state-of-the-art flow cytometric capabilities will facilitate the analysis and rapid isolation of a wide range of cells in sufficient numbers for functional studies and for genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic analyses. <P>
The `nexgen instrument will be the only high-speed sorter available to the Norwich research community, and will benefit the diverse nature of research interests within IFR and the Norwich Research Park (NRP) as a whole, filling a significant gap in scientific equipment infrastructure and complementing our existing functional-genomic and metabolomic facilities (eg. The 200 thousand pounds award from REI 2004-BB/C511948, 1 `Integrated metabolomic analysis of health and nutrition-related systems. <P>
The combination of the nexgen sorter with the FCS500 MPL analyser will give us the flexibility and capacity to cope with the scale of flow cytometric needs that have developed in the NRP. The novel features and high specifications of the FACS offer exciting possibilities for scientific progress in seven main research areas, including a number of multi-disciplinary projects. These include IFR projects focused on nutrition, diet and health as well as food safety.<P>
Other NRP projects include work on oceanic microflagellates at the University of East Anglia, plus work at the John Innes Centre involving plant fragments and bacteria. As NRP researchers begin to use flow cytometry to solve their scientific questions in the future, they will have access to an effective, high-throughput and user-friendly facility. <P>
All the projects are either funded by BBSRC on full project grants, PhD studentships or via core BBSRC institute funding. The bid benefits from substantial external sponsorship, from the dedicated flow cytometric facility that is already in place at IFR, and from additional refurbishment that will be carried out upon purchase of the new instruments.

Institute of Food Research, UK
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