Center Awarded VA Equipment Grant for New Cell Sorter
Dr. Jonathan Moorman, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunology, and Dr. John Yao, Center member and Professor of Internal Medicine, have been awarded a 465,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the purchase of a BA FACSAria Fusion cell sorter. This complex cell sorting instrument allows researchers to separate cells into distinct populations by multiple cell types and isolate each cell type for study.
This research has significantly contributed to advancements in health care for Veterans and other Americans from every walk of life. Mountain Home is certainly fortunate to have Dr. Moorman and Dr. Yao leading the way in research for both veterans and the general community and to be a part of the Quillen College of Medicines successful program said Dan Snyder, Medical Center Director.
The new instrument is the only instrument of its type in upper East Tennessee and uses a process of staining cells and then exposing them to different wavelengths of laser light. The cellular samples are bombarded with one of eleven different types of, blue, red, ultra-violet, or yellow-green laser light. This laser light illuminates the different cell types depending on what antibodies are expressed while an optical detector identifies the cell types and sorts them into different vials.
This process allows researchers to start with a large population of many different cell types and through the completely automated process end with the entire population sorted into many different types of cells. This BA FACSAria Fusion cell sorter will allow for increased productivity through advanced automation and allow researchers to test a variety of cell-types safely including cells infected with diseases through the use of a built-in bio-safety hood.
Drs. Moorman and Yao plan on using the cell sorter to primarily study infectious diseases, including hepatitis C and HIV. They also have developed a fee schedule to allow other researchers to schedule time to run cell samples. It is hoped that continuing to acquire advanced research instruments such as the BA FACSAria Fusion cell sorter will help continue to drive advanced immunologic research at ETSU.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ranks as one of the nation's leaders in health research. Thousands of studies are conducted at VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes each year. ETSU and the Mountain Home VA Medical Center have a long history of collaboration dating back to the founding of Quillen College of Medicine in 1978. This grant award is the latest demonstration of this ongoing important relationship.