Science student and faculty member receive training on biotech equipment

Student working with scientific equipment
Chadron State College student and IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) scholar Emmanuella Tchona takes part in training on a new $32,000 flow cytometer in a CSC lab Oct. 17, 2023. She has been active in cancer research for two years through INBRE. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)


CHADRON – A Chadron State College faculty member and student received training during the midterm break about how to use a new piece of scientific research equipment called a flow cytometer. The compact tabletop unit uses a laser to detect and analyze the chemical and physical characteristics of cells.

Dr. Ann Buchmann, a Biology Professor who teaches genetics and advises IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) research students, is excited about the new technology CSC faculty and students will be able to use.

INBRE scholar Emmanuella Tchona said she is grateful to have access to the flow cytometer.

“This helps me be at the frontline of undergraduate research happening nationally," Tchona said.

Buchmann said the $32,000 unit purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) is a welcome addition.

“It can show us whether the cells have different sizes or different shapes. If we use a fluorescent dye to label one type of cell with one color and label another type of cell with another color, it can show us how many different types of cells we have,” Buchmann said. “If the cell is going through a different stage in its lifespan or cell cycle, the flow cytometer will tell us which stage of the cell cycle it's in. So, if we treat the cell with drugs and we want to know whether that changes how the cell grows, this machine can tell us.”

Buchmann and her student researchers can assess whether certain drugs interfere with a cell’s ability to grow.

“One of the things we're doing is looking at cancer cells and we're seeing what stops the growth of the cancer cells. So, if we are testing drugs to see if they will stop the growth of the cancer cells, this flow cytometer will tell us whether the cells have stopped growing or not,” Buchmann said.

Buchmann said students enrolled in a wide array of labs will be able to use the cytometer for research.

“All the students pursuing a chemistry degree have to do some research so we will use this machine for chemistry research. It might also be used by students who are conducting bacterial experiments,” she said.

Buchmann said she plans to use the flow cytometer in her genetics lab which involves 30 to 40 students a year as well as the immunology and hematology courses she teaches.


-Tena L. Cook

Category: Campus News, Physical and Life Sciences