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School of Medicine Analytical Cytometry Core (SMACC) - formerly the COM-CAF

Mission Statement

The School of Medicine Analytical Cytometry Core (SMACC) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) provides cell analysis and cell sorting services for research in the TAMHSC and TAMU community and is managed by the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology. 

The Mission of the SMACC is:

  1. To promote research and training for cell based assays at the highest level of quality and rigor
  2. To bring new developements in flow cytometric instrumentation, technique and analysis for preclinical use in the TAMHSC and TAMU research community 
  3. To support the productivity and effectiveness of research by promoting high-content data acquisition, ensuring the highest data quality and consistency, carrying out efficient cell sorting, providing reliable data management, educating and training researchers and consulting in experiment design and evaluation

Overview of Services

Services include:

  • BDFACS Aria II Cell Sorter-up to 4-way sorting, analysis, 4 lasers, 13 fluorescent parameters
  • BD LSR Fortessa X-20 Cell Analyzer - 4 lasers and 16 fluorescent parameters
  • Agilent Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer - measures indicators of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis (OCR and ECAR) in a 96-well plate format
  • gentleMACS™ Octo Dissociator with heaters -benchtop instrument for the semi-automated dissociation of tissues into single-cell suspensions or thorough homogenates 
  • Vi-Cell cell counter and viability analyzer
  • Cytek Aurora 5-Laser Flow cytometry analyzer - 5 lasers and 64 fluorescent channels
  • Curiox HT2000 Laminar Cell Washer - semi-automated laminar cell washing to remove debris, dead cells, and unbound reagents. Can be used for flow cytometry and scSeq applications.

*For Non-TAMU individuals: Before you register, you must be assigned an External PO Number. Please see form to complete under the 'Links and Resources' header below.

**For TAMU individuals: First-time users should click "Register" in upper right.  Returning users will click "Sign In"


Dr. Erin Van Schaik | SMACC Faculty Director

Robbie Moore | SMACC Manager

Location and hours of operation

Hours   Location

Staffed: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
After hours (24/7) access available to trained users


 8447 Riverside Parkway
 Medical Research and Education BLDG2, Room 3226
Bryan, Texas 77807

Laboratory Rules

  • All users must reserve time on iLab prior to using all the equipment in the SMACC, except for the Vi-Cell XR Cell Analyzer. Because the Vi-Cell takes very little time to use, it is available on an as-needed basis for all trained users.
  • All users must be trained to prior to being able to reserve time on any equipment, and prior to using the Vi-Cell XR Cell Analyzer (which does not require reservation). Therefore, equipment cannot be used until users are trained. For more information on training requirements, please refer to the Training SOP.
  • Users must clean the equipment after use. For more information on training requirements, please refer to the Maintenance SOP. Users who repeatedly fail to clean equipment will lose the ability to reserve time on this equipment.
  • Users may only go over their scheduled time if there are no other users scheduled on the equipment immediately after the end of the scheduled time. Users are responsible for checking the iLab reservation schedule to confirm that they may extend their scheduled time. Otherwise, users are expected to have the instrument cleaned and ready to go for the next user at the beginning of the next user’s scheduled time. Users who repeatedly infringe on other users’ scheduled time will lose the ability to reserve time on this instrument.
  • Users who use SMACC instruments to conduct Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) experiments must adhere to all of the following policies:
    • The SMACC (MREB 3226) must be added as a location on the user lab’s approved Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) permit.
    • The user must provide the SMACC Manager with a copy of the approved Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) permit, including all agent-specific information, for the compliance and training documentation of the SMACC.
    • Each time a user schedules an instrument for use in a BSL2 experiment, the user must indicate within the scheduling form that a BSL2 experiment will be carried out.

Billing Procedures

  • Billed time for instruments begins at the start of the reserved time. Billed time for instruments ends when the user logs off from the instrument using the Kiosk system.
    • This means that if a user reserves 1-2 PM, billed time will begin at 1 PM, even if the user begins the run later than 1 PM. If the same user logs off the instrument kiosk at 1:50 PM, billed time will be 1:00 PM to 1:50 PM.
    • If a user goes over the reserved time, which is only allowed if no one is scheduled immediately after the reserved time, billed time will begin at the beginning of the scheduled time until the time that the user logs off from the instrument kiosk, even if it extends beyond the reserved time.
  • Because the BDFACS Aria III requires setup by the SMACC Manager prior to use, all reserved time on the BDFACS Aria III will include a setup charge of 1.5 hours at the reserved usage rate.

Scheduling Procedures

  • All scheduling is done through the SMACC iLab page. All equipment except the Vi-Cell XR Cell Analyzer must have time scheduled using the iLab page prior to use.
  • Users of the BD Fortessa X-20, Cytek Aurora 5L, and BDFACS Aria III must reserve at least 30 minutes on these instruments, to ensure enough time to run samples and clean the instrument when finished.
    • Individuals wishing to reserve more than 5 contiguous hours of time during normal working hours on the BD Fortessa X-20, Cytek Aurora 5L, and BDFACS Aria III must submit a request in writing to the SMACC explaining the need for >5 hours of contiguous time.
    • Users running BSL2 samples must book additional time to allow for lengthier cleaning following use. Please consult the SMACC Manager for more information on additional time needed.
  • Users of the Curiox HT2000 Laminar Flow Cell Washer must reserve a block of four hours to use this instrument (morning block: 9 AM – 1 PM, afternoon block: 1 PM – 5PM).

Cancellation Policies

  • Reservations may be cancelled >24 hours ahead without charge.
  • Reservations cancelled 12 to 24 hours prior to scheduled time will be charged 50% of the total reservation time.
  • Reservations cancelled less than 12 hours prior to scheduled time will be charged 100% of the total reservation time.
  • No shows will be charged 100% of the total reservation time.


Links and Resources

SMACC Website


Name Role Phone Email Location
Dr. Erin Van Schaik
SMACC Faculty Director
MREB2 3226
Robbie Moore
SMACC Manager
MREB2 3226

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