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Facilities at Cancer Research @UCC

Cancer Research Infrastructure

The cancer research infrastructure at the Western Gateway Building (WGB) is a 1600m2 purpose built translational research complex at a strategically important location for research and collaboration. Adjacent to the Centre is the Biological Services Unit [TL1] (BSU) to support preclinical research. Co-located departments in the WGB engaged in biomedical research including cancer are Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Public Health and Biochemistry.

The Centre provides laboratory space and specialised core facilities for biomedical research. A large open plan laboratory incorporates standard chemical prep facilities with ancillary rooms for waste management, microbial culture and tissue culture. Dedicated -80°C freezer rooms and liquid nitrogen storage facilitate both research and biobanking. Specialised core facilities have been incorporated into dedicated laboratory space. These include histopathology, flow cytometry, fluorescent microscopy and bioinformatics.

Open plan office space facilitates expansion of teams, new collaborations and future strategic recruitment. The Caheragh Conference Room enables collaborative meetings and video conferencing.

Histopathology Core Facility

This specialised facility enables the automated processing of tissue samples from pre-clinical models or from patients with cancer enrolled on clinical trials. Tissue specimens are usually immediately fixed in formalin to stabilize the tissue and then processed using the LOGOS J Tissue Processor. The Tissue Tec® embedding centre is then used to transfer the specimen into a wax filled cassette.  Thin microtome sections can be prepared with the Microm® microtomes.  Standard H&E staining can be performed with the Linistain® H&E stainer. A Milestone microwave is available for antigen retrieval.

Flow Cytometry Core Facility

(Funded by Musgraves)

Flow cytometry or Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) simultaneously measures and analyses multiple characteristics of single cells, with thousands of single cells analysed in seconds. Flow cytometry allows a qualitative and quantitative analysis based on phenotypic or functional properties. In Cancer Research@UCC we have a BD LSRII flow cytometer, which is one of the most flexible yet powerful bench top analysers available. It is equipped with a unique laser system with 5 lasers (355 nm UV, 405 nm violet, 488 nm blue, 561 nm yellow/green and 640 nm red), 15 fluorescent channels and 2 channels for Forward Scatter and Side Scatter.

The purpose of our facility is to provide state of the art flow cytometry equipment, training and expertise. This facility can be booked internally and externally (other departments and outside UCC) and used by trained personnel. Training is provided by Cancer Research @UCC. For an update on costs and booking of time slots contact Garrett Casey at

BCNI Biobank in Cork

The Blood Cancer Network of Ireland (BCNI) Biobank is housed here in the Western Gateway Building Cancer Research laboratories. Together with National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), over 300 blood cancer specimens are available for use in research.

Find out more about BCNI here.

Other Core Facilities

Additional essential facilities at Cancer Research @UCC include:

Two Class II containment rooms - a mammalian tissue culture suite and a microbe propagation suite.

These have been equipped with containment hoods, CO2 incubators, water baths, microscopy, cell counters and an orbital shaker for the bacteria room. 

Microscopy room

Contains upright and inverted fluorescent microscopes - with digital cameras for image capture and analysis (a dedicated space for a confocal microscope).  

Real time PCR and Gel imaging room (funded by Cycle with Ciara and Munster Rugby)

AriaMX Real-Time PCR, Andrew Pipetting Robot, Bio-Rad Gel Doc EZ Imager.

Cancer Research @UCC

4th floor, Western Gateway Building , Western Road, Cork