Skip CCR Main Navigation National Cancer Institute National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health
CCR - For Our Staff| Home |

Our Science – McKinnon Website

Katherine M. McKinnon

Vaccine Branch
Head, FACS Core Facility
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 41, Room B715
Bethesda, MD 20892


Katherine McKinnon has twenty-five years of laboratory experience (including twenty-three years in flow cytometry). This includes eleven years of industry experience setting up and running Core facilities at Human Genome Sciences and Celera, as well as over two years as a field-based Technical Applications Specialist for BD Biosciences. During the past twenty-three years, she has gained an extensive knowledge of flow cytometry instruments and applications including: multi-color immunophenotyping of human, non-human primate, and murine tissues and cells; cell cycle analysis; apoptosis analysis utilizing Annexin V, TUNEL, Active Caspase 3, JC1 and Apo2.7; proliferation analysis with BrdU, Ki67, and PCNA; intracellular cytokine analysis in human, non-human primate and murine cells; stem cell analysis in human and murine systems; cancer stem cell analysis; cell sorting; rare-event cell sorting; calcium flux; analysis and sorting of fluorescent proteins; quantitative flow cytometry; target validation of proteins from genomic and proteomic analysis; and bead array analysis of soluble proteins and cytokines. Katherine has experience with HIV, SIV, HTLV and both solid and hematological cancers.


The Vaccine Branch FACS Core Facility provides expertise and support for biological research projects within the CCR by:

1) Maintaining and operating state-of-the-art flow cytometry instrumentation and support technology;

2) Providing training and application support for ongoing and future research studies within the CCR;

3) Coordinating the use of this core facility for maximum efficiency;

4) Developing new techniques and applications in flow cytometry; and

5) Providing expertise and assistance to investigators in experimental design using flow cytometry technology.

The FACS Core Facility provides the BL2/BL3 containment necessary to safely sort live cells infected with retroviruses, such as HIV/SIV, and other infectious agents known or suspected in blood and tissue samples. A multicolor cell sorter is available for standard and infectious sorting and we also have a 3-laser 12-color digital high-speed cell sorter equiped with containment for use as an infectious cell sorter. In addition, the facility offers five multicolor flow cytometers and a 4-laser high-end analyzer.

The FACS Core Facility supports more than 70 CCR investigators. In addition, we are currently working on a collaboration with an investigator from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Experiments typically involve multi-parameter single-cell analysis of cells from human, non-human primate and mouse primary sources. Additional analysis is also conducted on in vitro cultured cells. Reagents for these experiments include monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies with fluorescent labels and dyes that are used for staining a variety of cellular components.

Applications supported by the facility include:

- multi-color phenotypic analysis
- cell cycle analysis
- apoptosis analysis
- proliferation analysis with BrdU and CFSE
- intracellular cytokine analysis
- rare event analysis
- calcium flux analysis

The facility supports a variety of CCR projects, including immune monitoring for HIV, SIV, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 vaccine studies on non-human primates, and monitoring the results of gene expression on cell proliferation and apoptosis.

This page was last updated on 3/31/2014.