General Facility Policies

Mission Statement

The Parnassus Flow Cytometry Core exists to provide DRC members and fellow UCSF researchers valuable resources in the field of flow cytometry and operates under the following directives: (1) Provide assistance and exceptional customer service to researchers along with acquisition, setup, maintenance, and support of instrumentation. (2) Teach users the information they need to know as well as provide them with the opportunity to learn more details should they request it. (3) Monitor research and development opportunities, experiment with novel techniques, and test new equipment. (4) Consolidate and bring UCSF flow cytometry groups together and standardize practices.

Faculty Advisory Board

A group of faculty members provide guidance, feedback, and instrumentation to the Flow Core Director.  The board meets once a year to discuss any issues of importance as well as the financial status of the Core.  See here for the list of current members.

Rules & Guidelines

Services and instrumentation are available for all researchers from the DRC, UCSF, and affiliates. External clients may also be approved to use Core services. The Core is a community facility shared amongst hundreds of researchers, so please be respectful of others and follow the rules and policies below. Failure to follow these rules and guidelines will result in fines and repeat offenders will find their use of this facility to be revoked.  

Resource Availability & Scheduling

Click on Services & Instrumentation and choose the one you need for more information on its availability. Note that some labs and BSL-2 sample types have priority times on certain instruments, but if there is a machine you need to use at a specific time, and you have a justifiable scientific reason for it, we can figure out a way to accommodate you. Click on Scheduling for more information on those rules and guidelines. If an instrument is down, Core staff will attempt to notify you ASAP, and attempt to reschedule your experiment to the time you requested. This could involve using a different instrument. If you are uncomfortable running the alternative instrument, the Core will assist you and waive the Assistance fee. If the instrument is down and there are no other alternative machines to use within the Core, you will not be charged.   

Rates & Billing

Recharge rates were determined by the cost of implementing the service divided by the number of hours expected to be used. The UCSF Recharge Office approved all rates. All users will be billed on scheduled time and/or time used, whichever is greater. The MyCores system will automatically create and send an invoice to your PI or whomever your PI has delegated to receive this. 

System Changeover & Shutdown on Self-use Instruments

Follow the appropriate SOP for the instrument’s changeover or shutdown, and inform Core staff if anything is not working. The last user registered on the schedule for that day is responsible for shutting down the instrument. After every use, check the scheduler and see if there is anyone on after you. Failing to perform the System Changeover/Shutdown SOP is a Fine for Misuse of Equipment of at least one hour plus the cost per hour for the time the instrument was left on. (1) Self Analysis on LSRII/Fortessa/Calibur/CyTOF: Must follow system changeover/shutdown SOP after every use. (2) Self-Sorting on Aria: Must follow system changeover SOP if someone is sorting after you. If you are the last user of the day, you must perform the “Easy Shutdown” SOP.    

Cancellation Policy & Fines for Misuse

On all services, other than the CyTOF, you have up to 24 hours before the scheduled event to modify or cancel without charge.  The CyTOF is up to 48 hours before the scheduled event to modify or cancel without charge.  You must contact Flow Core staff at [email protected] to edit or cancel after this time and your cancellation will be charged at 25% of the full reservation total.  Cancellations are tracked and will show up on your billing invoice.  If you signed up for Self-Sorting on the Aria, and decide to cancel after the Aria Setup has already been performed, you will be billed for an hour of Self-Sorting, plus the 25% cancellation fee of the remainder of your time.  No-shows will be billed based on their scheduled time. If you no-show frequently, we will contact your PI.  If you signed up and find that you are the last person to run that day, but decide to cancel, please do the following three things: (1) Contact Flow Core staff. (2) Inform the person who was scheduled ahead of you that they are now the last user and they should go ahead and shut it down. (3) You can shut it down yourself.  If you fail to do the above 3 items, you will be held responsible, your PI contacted to inform them of what has transpired, and you will be fined for failing to perform the System Changeover/Shutdown SOP. Failing to perform the System Changeover/Shutdown SOP is a Fine for Misuse of Equipment of at least one hour plus the cost per hour for the time the instrument was left on. 

Data Management

The Flow Core is not responsible for your data on any of the instrument computers. Your data on the computer may be deleted at any time. Please backup your data after you are done running your samples. All computers are networked so you can connect to your lab’s server.  UCSF now offers free Box accounts (under MyAccess) for all UCSF employees allowing online cloud storage. Flash drives and portable hard drives are also allowed. The Core staff can assist you with any of the above methods. If you are doing some sort of time course experiment or have a justifiable scientific reason for leaving your data on the computer, please contact us and let us know as we can accommodate your needs. 

Publication Acknowledgements

Please inform us if you publish. If you need help, contact us. Send the Flow Core Director or Manager an email, so we can update your publication in our records. When you succeed, we succeed. Your publications help support our center grant which assists in keeping this Flow Cytometry Facility running. Users are reminded to acknowledge DRC Center Grant (NIH P30 DK063720). You can use either one of the following statements: “This research was supported by grants X,Y, and NIH P30 DK063720.” Or: “Flow Cytometry data was generated in the UCSF Parnassus Flow Cytometry Core which is supported by the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) grant, NIH P30 DK063720."  If you used the CyTOF2 "Charmander," please acknowledge Shared Instrument Grant 1S10OD018040-01.  If you used the Aria Fusion "Jabba the Hutt," please acknowledge Shared Instrument Grant 1S10OD021822-01.


Please follow your BUA and if necessary, add to your BUA where the Flow Core equipment being utilized is located. We can accommodate samples of up to BSL-2 classification within the Core. It is required that all users undergo the following online training if not done so already: (1) Laboratory Safety for Researchers. (2) Laser Safety. (3) Biosafety Training. (4) Bloodborne Pathogens Training. These courses can be found under the UC Learning Center website. Search for the appropriate training classes listed above.