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Flow Cytometry Facilities

The Flow Cytometry Facilities at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, play a vital role in our work to better understand the fundamentals of cancer biology and immunology, and is helping to guide new research in biomarkers and drug discovery.

researchers in flow cytometry

Image: ICR scientists analysing and sorting cells using Sony MA900 cell sorter. Credits: ICR

Flow cytometry is a single cell technology to detect and analyse the physical and chemical characteristics of cells and particles, as part of a high throughput multiparameter system. The ICR’s flow cytometry equipment supports the research of both our internal users – at the ICR and our partner hospital The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust – and external researchers from universities, other research institutes and industry.

Our Flow Cytometry Facilities are also supported by an expert team in flow cytometry, based across both our Chelsea and Sutton sites.

Our Flow Cytometry Facilities consist of state-of-the-art instruments which support a wide range of studies in cancer-related research fields, such as immunology and inflammation biology, stem cell research, clinical trials, biomarker discovery, drug discovery and small particle studies.

Our instruments include cell analysers such as BD LSR II and BD Symphony A5 (in Chelsea and Sutton) and CytoFLEX LX (Chelsea). We are also equipped with high-end cell sorters such as BD Symphony S6 (Chelsea and Sutton) and Sony Cell Sorters SH800 (Sutton) and MA900 (Chelsea).

We provide full training and support on all our analysers and Sony Cell sorters, to which users have 24/7 access post-training. The BD Symphony S6 cell sorting is a dedicated service provided by the flow cytometry team, which will set-up, analyse and sort cells for our users for various post-sorting application. In addition, our facility also host BD Rhapsody for single cell genomics works in Chelsea where full service is provided in collaboration with our Genomics Facility.

In addition to training and cell sorting, our team supports researchers with experiment set-up and compensation, panel design, technical support and troubleshooting, applications such as immunophenotyping, cell cycle analysis, cell proliferation assay, apoptosis, phagocytosis and data analysis.  We also regularly host seminars and webinars on various aspects of flow cytometry, such as high parameter experiments, panel design, protocol development, data analysis, and new technology and platforms. 

“Using flow panels developed for the Centre for Translational Immunotherapy (CTI), we are now able to characterise both the lymphocyte and myeloid cell compartment of the tumour immune infiltrate in mice. Working with the outstanding team at the Flow Cytometry Core Facility on the FACSymphony A5 platform allows us to produce reliable and reproducible data”

Dr Erik Wennerberg
Team Leader, Radiation-enhanced Immunotherapy 

‘’We are investigating the role of phenotypic plasticity in neuroblastoma; to achieve our goals, the equipment and know-how provided by the ICR’s Flow Cytometry facility have been of extreme importance and supported us throughout our experiments.’’

Dr Cecilia Roux

Postdoctoral Training Fellow, Preclinical Modelling of Paediatric Cancer Evolution

For more information, please contact [email protected] or Hira Ale, our Facility Manager.


  • Bhagyashree Satam, Research Assistant Flow Cytometry (SO), Primarily Chelsea based
  • Sitara Ballal, Research Assistant Flow Cytometry (SO), Primarily Sutton based
  • Yuliya Semochkina, Senior Research Assistant Flow Cytometry (HSO), Primarily Chelsea based  
  • Shruti Daga, Senior Research Assistant Flow Cytometry (HSO), Primarily Sutton based
  • Hira Ale, Flow Cytometry Facility Manager, Chelsea and Sutton

Academic Lead: Dr Astero Klampatsa

Head of Core Research Facilities: Dr Tina Daviter