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Cambridge Immunology Network



In the past, within broad research area of cell physiology, specifically identifying the cellular and molecular factors affecting fertility and the mechanisms that regulate sperm function, e.g. in large animal models.

My current research interests focus primarily on development of flow cytometric technology and on operations research. However I am also interested and actively engaged in research projects on cell signalling, cryobiology and mathematical modelling.


The BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub is situated centrally on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, with two separate sites: in CIMR and at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in E6. It offers a campus-wide access to all researchers across BRC themes, and liaises closely with other core facilities that enable translational research at the University of Cambridge.

The Hub is a key element of the Cambridge BRC infrastructure; it provides vital technical and educational services that result in many major publications. A further function of the Hub is to collect and to disseminate the unique technological and scientific expertise crucial for promoting and supporting patient-based research and for translating basic biological findings into clinical practice.  The Hub is actively engaged in flow cytometry networking and regional, national and international societies.

As a central resource in the Clinical School, the Hub is run as a collaborative operation between two facilities, E6 and CIMR, providing flow and imaging service (e.g. for material from cell lines, mouse or unscreened human blood and tissue samples for phenotypic and functional analysis in clinical and non clinical environment). Facilities in CIMR are led by Reiner Schulte while the E6 laboratory is managed by Simon McCallum; both are supported by a specialist and an assistant cytometrist.

The Hub is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation: 6 sorters and 10 analysers across two sites. It also houses 3 microbiological safety cabinets for processing unscreened human samples, 4 high-throughput autosamplers, two confocal and two fluorescent microscopes. Of specific interest are (i) the high-end cell sorters Influx (in CIMR) and Aria III/Aria Fusion (in E6) which enable the researchers to isolate populations with defined characteristics by using specific biomarkers and (ii) the Fortessa analysers (4-laser instrument in  E6 and two 5-laser instruments located in CIMR). Their polychromatic laser configurations are crucial for multicolour phenotyping and support applications with a wide range of fluorochromes.

Since its establishment, the service volume in the Phenotyping Hub has more than doubled. It is now regularly used by nine Departments and two Institutes of the Clinical School, and occasionally by the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Welcome Trust/MRC Centre for Stem Cell Research and other academic organisations. Hub networking has resulted in many sponsorships and collaborations enhancing both the range and the quality of its educational and scientific support activities.

A major award from the Capital Equipment Fund, matching funding from MRC and contribution from Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory have ensured further development of this crucial resource: equipment in CIMR and E6 have recently been upgraded to replace obsolete sorters with high end machines  to enable state-of-the-art scientific support.


Key publications: 

Petrunkina AM, Harrison RA. Fluorescence technologies for evaluating male gamete (dys)function. Reprod Domest Anim. 2013 Sep;48 Suppl 1:11-24.

Petrunkina AM. Algorithm and metrics for a standardized evaluation of cell sorting service delivery. Cytometry A. 2013 Jul;83(7):602-7

Petrunkina AM, Harrison RA. Cytometric solutions in veterinary andrology: Developments, advantages, and limitations. Cytometry A. 2011 May;79(5):338-48. Review.

Petrunkina AM, Harrison RA.Mathematical analysis of mis-estimation of cell subsets in flow cytometry: viability staining revisited. J Immunol Methods. 2011 May 31;368(1-2):71-9.

Petrunkina AM, Harrison RA.Systematic misestimation of cell subpopulations by flow cytometry: a mathematical analysis. Theriogenology. 2010 Apr 15;73(7):839-47. Review.

Other publications

Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
flow cytometry