Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) has ~40 labs studying the molecular and cellular
underpinnings of diverse biological processes including cancer; developmental biology; immuno-oncology;
infection, inflammation; aging and related diseases. Many recent advances in health care depend upon new
insights into tissue heterogeneity at the single cell level. Flow cytometry is the gold standard for high throughput
single cell analysis, however conventional flow is limited by the number of analytes that can be run in unison.
Spectral flow cytometers recently achieved the parameter depth required for deep immune profiling with
publications showing 40+ color rivaling time-of-flight mass cytometry (CyTOF) parameter depth with ~50-fold
SBP requests support for a Cytek Aurora Spectral Flow Cytometer with 5 lasers (UV/V/B/YG/R), 64
fluorescence and 3 scattering channels, and Automatic Micro-sampling Station (AMS) to enable high-
parameter single-cell proteomic analysis for deep profiling of cell heterogeneity in tissues. We also request
support for a BioBUBBLE Class I Negative Biocontainment Enclosure for Cytek Aurora to protect
researchers running potentially infectious material. The Aurora more than doubles the number of fluorescent
parameters that can be measured at SBP and leverages existing FACS protocols and expertise. It is a bridging
technology between high-throughput low-plex conventional flow cytometers in SBP’s Core and high-plex low-
throughput genomics-based single-cell Seq technologies.
This application is supported by a coalition of 12 Major Users from SBP and nearby University of California San
Diego (UCSD) and San Diego Biomedical Research Institute (SDBRI) demonstrating the broad impact for the
region. NIH-funded researchers, together accounting for 75% of the Aurora’s available use time (AUT), need the
Aurora to advance their understanding of T cell exhaustion, anti-tumor immunity, aging, multi-system
inflammatory disease in children (MIS-C), gut mucosal immunity, melanoma, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer,
pediatric medulloblastoma, graft versus host disease, and the immune evasion tactics of Coronavirus. The
Aurora will provide unprecedented insight into tissue signatures that correlate with health and disease leading to
new mechanistic inquiries and discoveries.