Advanced Technology Core Laboratories

Antibody-Based Proteomics

The Antibody-Based Proteomics Core provides highly customized services for targeted proteomics platforms that are valuable as tools for both validation and protein biomarker discovery, particularly for low abundance regulatory proteins and activation states of proteins with phosphorylated antibodies.  Services provided include reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA) with over 210 antibodies for total and phosphoproteins of major cell signaling pathways, Luminex bead technology for multiplex quantitative analyses of intracellular and extracellular signaling proteins, and antibody arrays.  This core is complementary to the Mass Spectrometry Proteomics Core.  For more information, visit the Antibody-Based Proteomics web site.

Director: Shixia Huang, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8722

Bioengineering Core

The Bioengineering Core provides scientific instrumentation resources that catalyze the success of investigators by providing them with tools needed to design elegant experiments and ask truly cutting-edge research questions. Investigators from within and outside of Baylor College of Medicine are welcome. Services include customized scientific instrumentation design and manufacture, including electronics and optics. Go to the Bioengineering Core website.

Director: Fabrizio Gabbiani, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3101

Bioinformatics Research Lab

The Bioinformatics Research Laboratory Core provides data hosting and bioinformatics support for applications of massively parallel sequencing, including: transcriptomics, cistromics, epigenomics and metagenomics. The services are provided through Genboree. Go to the Bioinformatics Research Laboratory Core website.

Director: Aleksandar Milosavljevic, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8719

Cell-Based Assay Screening Service

The Cell-Based Assay Screening Services (C-BASS) core is built upon the interconnected and complementary technology platforms of RNAi-based functional genomics and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. The core houses whole-genome RNAi libraries that enable expedient investigation of gene function either individually or in large scale. For genome editing, we have available a collection of CRISPR sgRNA and Cas9 vectors for distribution and cloning services, and assist investigators in deciding on the choice of cell line(s), optimal vectors, and types of Cas9. C-BASS is able to customize CRIPSR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout and knock-in services, from target site design to generating KO/KI cell lines, based on the specific needs of individual investigators. For more information, visit the C-BASS website.

Academic Director: Trey Westbrook, Ph.D.
Core Director: Dan Liu, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8032

Core for Advanced MRI

The Core for Advanced MRI (CAMRI) provides technology and services for advanced imaging studies of the function, physiology and anatomy of humans and large animals, with a special emphasis on blood-oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI) of the human brain. The center houses three Siemens Magnetom Trio Scanners (3 tesla field strength). A full complement of product pulse sequences are available for high resolution structural imaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), fMRI, Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) and single and multi-voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Research sequences are available for specialized imaging applications. For functional studies, equipment is available for stimulation of the auditory, visual, somatosensory and gustatory modalities, for infrared eye tracking of subject eye position, and for manual and vocal response recording. Consultation with a physicist is available for pulse sequence optimization and design. Users can scan with a MR technologist, or can elect to obtain training to scan independently. Go to the Core for Advanced MRI (CAMRI) page for more information. 

Academic Director: Michael Beauchamp, Ph.D.
Technical Director: David Ress, Ph.D.
Operations Director: Krista Runge, M.S., R.T.(R)(MR)

Cytometry and Cell Sorting

The Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core provides instrumentation, services and consultation for a wide variety of flow cytometry and cell sorting needs including 24 hour and 7 day a week access to instruments. Experienced CCSC staff are also available to assist with flow cytometric experiments. The core provides six flow cytometric analyzers including a five-laser BD LSR Fortessa for analysis of up to 18 different fluorochromes, two four-laser BD LSR IIs with 16 and 14 channels, two eight-color BD FACSCanto II and a 14 color Invitrogen Attune NxT Acoustic Focusing Cytometer. High throughput systems are available for automated analysis of small volume samples from multi-well plates. Additionally, the core has an Amnis ImageStreamX image scanning cytometer that can detect up to ten separate fluorescent images per cell allowing detailed high throughput morphological analysis. The core also provides services for separation and isolation of cells with three high-speed cell sorters that can sort up to four different populations or single cells into a multi-well plate. These include two BD FACSAria IIs that can sort samples using 15-16 fluorochromes in addition to forward and side scatter and a BD FACSAria II capable of sorting samples using 14 parameters. A Silicon Biosystems DEPArray microfluidic cell sorter is also available as well as a Miltenyi AutoMACS Pro magnetic cell separator for depletion/isolation assays. The CCSC provides multiple workstations with the latest software for data analysis, training and consultation. For more information, visit the Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core website.

Academic Director: Christine Beeton, Ph.D.
Core Director: Joel Sederstrom, M.B.S.
Phone: (713) 798-3868

Drug Discovery

To determine the underlying causes of disease, investigators often must resort to identifying the subcellular signaling pathways that are dysfunctional, and, thus, responsible for causing disorders and disease. Within these pathways, usually one or more abnormal proteins (e.g., mutated, over- or under-expressed, or found at the wrong intra- or extra-cellular location) are key to the development of the disease. Identifying the proteins (i.e., targets) involved is simply the first step toward correcting a disease, disorder, or dysfunction. The next step is to determine whether the target is “druggable,” meaning whether certain chemical compounds can bind to it and favorably alter the activity of the protein. Discovering what compounds bind to the target and testing the compounds in functional assays is part of the Drug Discovery Core’s main focus. The DD possesses a state-of-the-art facility to perform screening for a wide range of cell-based phenotypic and target-based biochemical assays in high-throughput or follow-up tests. Secondary validation assays and additional assays utilizing newly synthesized analogs will also be performed in the core. As an added benefit, we offer training so that investigators may, if they choose, use the highly sophisticated instrumentation independently. The DD is committed to helping investigators identify the compounds that will further their research and that may lead to new therapeutics. Go to the Center for Drug Discovery website.

Academic Director: Martin M. Matzuk, M.D., Ph.D.

Core Directors:
Kimberly Kerlec, B.S. (713) 798-8132
Zhifeng Yu, Ph.D. (713) 798-8533

Gene Vector Core

The Gene Vector Core provides viral vector packaging and cloning/plasmid preparation service. Of the available gene delivery systems, virus-derived vectors are among the most efficacious, as they retain the native features tested in evolutionary pressure. We offer production/purification of popular viral vectors including adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, lentivirus and retrovirus at very competitive price. We work with investigators by incorporating cutting edge technologies while ensuring the high quality control. For more information, visit the Gene Vector website.

Core Director: Kazuhiro Oka, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6686

Genetically Engineered Mouse

The Genetically Engineered Mouse (GEM) Core possesses specialized expertise and adequate equipment for providing essential mouse services to all investigators at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborative investigators of other institutes. Specifically, GEM Core microinjects mouse ES cells, transgene DNA constructs, and CRISPR sgRNA/Cas9/donor DNA into mouse embryos to generate genetically engineered founder mice. GEM Core also performs cryopreservation of mouse embryos and sperm for long-term storage of mouse lines; mouse line rederivation to remove pathogen contamination, re-establish mouse colony, or help importation of mouse lines into the Baylor facilities; in vitro fertilization; and mouse colony expansion. Although GEM Core can directly accept ES cells and CRISPR sgRNA/Cas9/donor DNA samples from investigators for microinjection, there is a separate mouse ES Cell Core that provides services for genetic manipulation of ES cells and preparation of CRISPR sgRNA/Cas9 samples for investigators. The GEM Core and the ES cell Core work closely to provide the best services. For more information, visit  the Genetically Engineered Mouse website.

Academic Director: Jianming Xu, Ph.D.
Core Director: Lan Liao, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7381

Genomic and RNA Profiling

The Genomic and RNA Profiling Core (GARP) provides researchers access to state-of-the-art molecular profiling technology and services, including next generation sequencing on the Illumina platform (MiSeq desktop sequencer and HiSeq 2500) and microarrays on Agilent’s SurePrint Technology. We also offer array card-based qPCR services using TaqMan Low Density Array cards and Qiagen PCR Arrays, plate-based qPCR services for gene expression, microRNA, and genotyping, and NanoString nCounter technology. Additionally, our core can perform automated DNA size selection on the Pippin HT and sample shearing on the Covaris LE220 Ultrasonicator. This facility also serves as a source for sample quality control, experimental design and comprehensive data analysis.  Go to the Genomic Profiling website.

Academic Director: Lisa White, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7699

Human Stem Cell Core

The Human Stem Cell Core provides a wide range of products and services related to human pluripotent stem cell research, as well as hands-on training classes for basic and advanced stem cell culture techniques. The HSCC offers cost-effective solutions to generate and characterize novel induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for in vitro disease modeling, employing “zero footprint” technologies such as Sendai virus-based and episomal vector based reprogramming. The core also offers customized research support for experimental design and validation assays. Go to the Human Stem Cell Core website.

Academic Directors: Margaret Goodell, Ph.D.
Core Director: Jean J. Kim, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7471

Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology

The Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology Core provides tissue and serum related services to researchers that includes histology and immunohistochemistry and organization of the different tissue banks at Baylor College of Medicine. Histology and IHC of human and experimental animal tissues are available to all Baylor faculty on a fee-for-service basis. Services include tissue processing, embedding, sectioning and staining for routine histology (H&E, PAS, ORO, Trichrome, VVG, Giemsa), IHC and TUNEL assay for apoptosis. Also available are laser capture microdissection, archival tissue microarrays (TMA), image analysis by Inform and Vectra and consultation with pathologists. Go to the Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology website.

Academic Director: Michael Ittmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Core Director: Patricia Castro, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3705

Integrated Microscopy

The integrated microscopy core (IMC) caters to a broad range of microscopy research needs including: brightfield, epifluorescence, deconvolution, confocal, high throughput, super-resolution (structured illumination- SIM), slide scanning, live imaging and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).  The IMC also offers image analysis services, both custom and through established pipelines for basic assays (cell count, protein localization etc).  TEM sample prep and ultramicrotomy, a plate reader for absorbance and luminescence are also available.  The instruments in the IMC include: GE Healthcare OMX Blaze (SIM), GE Healthcare DV Live (deconvolution), Nikon A1-Rs (confocal), Biotek Cytation 5 (plate reader + imager), Nikon CiL (brightfield), Hitachi H-7500 and JEOL1230 (TEM), Vala Sciences IC-200 (HTM), Leica UC-7 ultramicrotome.  Training in RNA FISH and immunofluorescence protocols, assisted and unassisted use of instruments and consultations are available.  For more information, visit the Integrated Microscopy website.

Academic Director: Michael Mancini, Ph.D.
Core Director: Fabio Stossi, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6940

Mass Spectrometry Proteomics

The Mass Spectrometry Proteomics Core features state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific Orbitrap and AB Sciex 5600 instrumentation and offers comprehensive service packages for proteome-wide label free quantitative proteomic profiling of cells and tissues, isolation and identification of protein complexes via immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry, post-translational modification analysis, and routine protein identification from purified samples. The services are provided with the full support that includes project evaluation and design, biochemical purifications, mass spectrometry sequencing, and data analysis performed within the core by experienced core personnel. Go to the Mass Spectrometry Proteomics website.

Academic Director: Anna Malovannaya, Ph.D.
Core Directors: Sung Yun Jung, Ph.D.; Hon-Chiu Eastwood Leung, Ph.D.

Metabolomics Core

The core provides metabolomics technologies for discovery and validation of biomarkers of various diseases with state-of-the-art high mass spectrometry as the main technology platform. Core services include quantitative targeted assays (up to 500 metabolites) for many analyte classes in biofluids, cell lines and tissues.  Services also include measurement of flux through various metabolic pathways using 13C-isotopomer analyses and structural identification of isolated unknown molecules, unbiased lipidomics profiling and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.  For more information, visit the Metabolomics Core website.

Academic Director: Arun Sreekumar, Ph.D.
Core Director: Nagireddy Putluri, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3139

MHC Tetramer

The tetramer production core provides customized MHC/peptide tetramers for identification of antigen-specific T lymphocytes by flow cytometry. Tetramers and/or their derivatives are provided for research purposes only; their use for commercial purposes is prohibited. Go to the MHC Tetramer website.

Director: Xiaochi Lily Wang, M.S.
Phone: (713) 798-3918

Monoclonal Antibody/Recombinant Protein Expression

This core provides custom services for construction of monoclonal antibody producing B-cell hybridomas and recombinant baculoviruses for expression of proteins in insect cells. After construction of hybridomas, the core mass produces and purifies MAbs from large-scale hybridoma cultures grown either in conventional spinner vessels (up to 5.0 liters) or in hollow-fiber bioreactors. Baculovirus recombinant proteins are expressed in either conventional spinner cultures or oxygenated bioreactors. Key core equipment includes 27°C BOD incubators and Applikon 5 liter oxygenated bioreactors for large scale growth of Sf9 insect cells, hollow-fiber bioreactors (FiberCell Systems) for large scale production of hybridomas, and MAbs in vitro and FPLC systems for MAb purification. Go to the Monoclonal Antibody/Recombinant Protein Expression website.

Academic Director: Dean Edwards, Ph.D
Lab Manager: Kurt Christensen
Phone: (713) 798-2325

Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core

The Mouse ES Cell Core assists investigators with projects that involve generating mutations in the germline and somatic tissues of mice by performing homologous recombination in ES cells. Mouse ES cell services include electroporation, Rosa26 and Hprt locus targeting, clone expansion, the generation of primary mouse ES cell lines, and murine virus testing. In addition the core provides specialized expertise essential for the production of genetically engineered mice using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Core CRISPR/Cas9 consultation services include: sgRNA target site selection, selection of cytoplasmic or pronuclear injections of Cas9 mRNA or protein, and design of plasmid or oligo donor DNAs for homology directed repair. Core CRISPR/Cas9 production services include: sgRNA DNA template production, in vitro transcription of sgRNAs and Cas9, and design and implementation of founder genotyping. The Mouse ES Cell Core works closely with the Genetically Engineered Mouse (GEM) Core, which provides embryo microinjection services for our genetically manipulated ES cells and CRISPR reagents. Go to the Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core website. Go to the Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core website.

Academic Director: Jason Heaney, Ph.D.
Core Director: Isabel Lorenzo, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-3705

Mouse Metabolism

The Mouse Metabolism Core supports the application of state-of-the-art analysis of metabolic pathways and related physiological and biochemical parameters in mice and rats, as well as in isolated / cultured cells in vitro. Gene targeting and transgenesis have produced a large number of genetic mouse models for metabolism research. The MMC employs sophisticated assays and procedures to characterize genetic and nongenetic rodents in a cost-effective manner. Examples of tests offered include hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in conscious mice, a gold standard for glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity / resistance at the whole body and organ (liver, adipose and skeletal muscle) level, oxygen consumption rate and extra cellular acidification rate measurements from cells in culture plates, NMR-based magnetic resonance imaging system for body composition; simultaneous measurements of food intake, energy expenditure, heat and real time body temperature; home cage activity monitoring system. MMC directors provide consultation on selecting the appropriate tests and procedures, and the interpretation of data. Go to the Mouse Metabolism Core.

Academic Director: Benny Hung-Junn Chang, Ph.D.
Core Director: Pradip Saha, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-3185

Mouse Phenotyping

The Mouse Phenotyping Core facility contains a multitude of testing capabilities for the assessment of mouse models from embryo to adult. Access to the MPC is open to all Baylor and non-affiliated Baylor investigators. Current equipment includes: MRI, CT, ultrasound, body composition/densitometry, indirect calorimetry, telemetry, and indirect blood pressure. Workstations for image reconstruction and data analysis are also available within the core. Go to the Mouse Phenotyping Core website.

Lab Manager: Corey Reynolds, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-5040

Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy

The Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy core offers equipment, training and support for vital and intravital imaging studies in cells, tissues, embryos and live mice. Available technologies include confocal microscopy, line scanning confocal microscopy, multispectral microscopy and two-photon microscopy using microscopes designed for live cell and live animal imaging. Go to the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy website.

Academic Director: Mary Dickinson, Ph.D.
Core Director: Tegy Vadakkan, Ph.D

Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models Core

The Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models Core of Baylor College of Medicine is divided into two independent but closely interacting functional units, a PDX Development Unit created to facilitate establishment and use of PDX using immunocompromised mice as the host species, and an Advanced In Vivo Models Unit created to facilitate establishment and use of patient material grown on the chorioallantoic membrane of the chicken egg (CAM-PDX). The Advanced In Vivo Models Unit will also provide services to establish 3-D tumors from existing cancer cell lines, and creation and optimization of custom bioassays. Go to the Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models Core site.

PDX Development Unit:
Academic Director: Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Core Director: Lacey Dobrolecki, MT, MS
Phone: 713-798-1538

Advanced In Vivo Models Unit:
Academic Director: Andrew Sikora, M.D., Ph.D.
Core Director: Ravi Pathak, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Phone: 713-798-0118

Population Biosciences Biorepository

The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Population Sciences Biorepository was created to support a high-quality molecular epidemiology program in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center and to serve as a scientific resource for investigators on biospecimen collection and storage methods in their efforts to discover etiologic risk factors and deliver personalized cancer medicine. Our goal is to provide necessary risk factor and clinical data collection and a centralized, cost-effective facility for biospecimen processing and storage of biospecimens from large epidemiological and clinical studies. The PSB provides services for individually funded investigators as well as for clinical centers wishing to bank specimens prospectively from their patients for future research projects. The PSB clinical coordinators can assist you with consenting, phlebotomy, and data collection, if needed. The PSB Laboratory provides full fractionation and aliquoting for blood samples, as well as DNA extraction from whole blood, buffy coat, or saliva. Our team can consult with you to plan the data and specimen collection and storage needs for your projects. Go to the Population Biosciences Biorepository.

Director: Michael Scheurer, Ph.D.

RNA In Situ Hybridization

The RNA In Situ Hybridization core provides services and equipment to determine gene expression patterns in rodent and human tissues. We can process and section tissue (frozen or paraffin), prepare labeled RNA probes, perform high-throughput in situ hybridization, image and quantify the gene expression levels. Go to the RNA In Situ Hybridization website.

Director: Cecilia Ljungberg, Ph.D.
Phone: (832) 824-8873

Single Cell Genomics

The Single Cell Genomics Core provides comprehensive services for DNA and RNA profiling on single or a small number of cells. The core is equipped with the C1 auto cell prep, HD Biomark, and Access Array platform. Combination of these platforms allows cost-effective and high throughput DNA and RNA profiling ranging from a set of genes to the entire genome. Go to the Single Cell Genomics Core website.

Director: Rui Chen, Ph.D
Phone: (713) 798-5194

Small Animal MRI

A state-of-the-art Bruker BioSpec® 9.4T horizontal bore MRI scanner is equipped to perform a wide variety of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy studies on small animals (mice and rats) for non-invasive, high resolution longitudinal imaging for translational research. Go to Small Animal MRI.

Director: Robia G. Pautler, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3892