SickKids-UHN Flow Cytometry Core Facility

The SickKids-UHN Flow Cytometry Facility (FCF)

This Core is jointly operated by SickKids and the University Health Network (UHN). Our mission is to enable our clients to enhance the scope and quality of their biomedical research by providing access to state-of-the-art flow cytometry equipment together with comprehensive training and expert consultation services. Our fee-for-service offerings include:

  • Access to LSRII, Fortessa and Symphony A3 analyzers, AutoMACS magnetic separators and Aria, Symphony, and Sony cell sorters
  • Training to use the analyzers and AutoMACS
  • Operator-assisted cell sorting and analysis
  • Comprehensive consulting for experimental and antibody panel design, as well as data analysis
  • For detailed information about instrument laser and detector configurations, services, operating hours & security clearance, please consult our website 

Access to the FCF

  • Academic and corporate laboratories can register to use our services: Click HERE to register for an iLab account 
  • The Principal Investigator or Lab Director as well as each lab member wishing to access the FCF must each register
  • After receiving your password (within one business day), login to your iLab account and follow the "Access Request" instructions
  • You will need to Agree to our Terms & Conditions and provide some additional information
  • Please note that iLab functionalities work best with Chrome and Firefox
  • Please contact John Moniakis for help with iLab, or Sherry Zhao for further information about our accessing our services

Once you have Access:

  • Use the Request Services tab to request Facility Access, Training Services, Analytical or Sorting Requests, Data Analysis (including FlowJo analysis software licenses) and Consultation Services.
  • Register for our LSR Training Course if you would like training to run your own samples on our analyzers
  • Complete our online training course and schedule a free Sorting Consultation prior to booking sort appointments if you are a new client of our Core
  • Use the Schedule Equipment tab to book appointments to use our sorters, analyzers or AutoMACs once you have completed all required training

FCF Biosafety Policies & Procedures: 

  • All samples brought into FCF labs must be covered by PIs Institutional Biosafety Permit
  • Samples transported into the FCF must be in sealed primary containers (FACS tubes, screw cap tubes, etc.)
    • The sealed primary containers must be transported in a sealed secondary leak-proof container
  • All persons must wear gown and gloves (provided by FCF) to be donned on entry into FCF labs and discarded on exit
  • All samples must be filtered immediately prior to running on any instrument to minimize formation of clogs
    • Samples must be filtered using cell-strainer caps (#352235, BD Falcon), 70 µm cell strainers (#352350,BD Falcon) or nylon mesh with a pore size of 70-100 µm
  • The SickKids-UHN FCF operates in Containment Level 2 (CL2) laboratories
    • Samples designated RG1 or RG2, including cells from healthy human donors, can be run unfixed on our analyzers
    • RG2 samples requiring CL3 operations (e.g., those producing infectious retrovirus or lentivirus):
      • must be fixed with a 1.5-4% formaldehyde for a minimum of 15' at RT prior to bringing into the FCF to run on our analyzers
      • Live cells designated RG2 requiring CL3 operations can be sorted on instruments in Biosafety Cabinets
    • Analysis of RG3 samples may be allowed if pre-fixed with agents proven to be effective for inactivating the agent
      • All such cases require pre-approval by an FCF manager and the UHN or SickKids Biosafety Officer
      • COVID-19 patient samples may be run on our analyzers, but they must be fixed with 4% formaldehyde (or 10% NBF) for 1 hour at Room Temp prior to bringing into the FCF
      • Clients running COVID-19 patient samples will be required to upload confirmation from Institutional Biosafety Office that the PIs Biorisk permit was amended to include procedures for safe handling of COVID-19 biospecimens 
    • Unfixed RG3 samples, including those from COVID-19 patients, and RG4 samples are prohibited in our Facility

The FCF provides equipment and services in two locations:

Mon-Fri, 10AM-6PM

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL)

Lab Room 18-9430
686 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4

Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (PMCRT)

Lab Rooms 2-203 & 2-504
101 College Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1l7




Name Role Phone Email Location
John Moniakis
Operations Manager
Sheyun (Sherry) Zhao
Manager Cell Sorting Services
Emily Reddy
Applications Specialist and Training Manager