Advanced Technology Core Laboratories

Antibody-Based Proteomics

The Antibody-Based Proteomics Core provides highly customized services to Baylor and the Texas Medical Center community for protein profiling and affinity based proteomic platforms. Services include Luminex bead technology for multiplex quantitative analyses of intracellular and extracellular proteins and various signaling pathways; antibody and protein arrays (including reverse phase protein arrays or RPPA) as discovery and/or validation tools for protein biomarkers, and construction of monoclonal antibody producing B-cell hybridomas and recombinant baculoviruses for expression of proteins in insect cells. 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 C-BASS core makes available to the Baylor community the human and mouse shRNA library collections, through the Open Access Program from Open Biosystems. C-BASS can provide individual shRNA plasmids for use in any Baylor laboratory, or carry out an entire screening experiment using the libraries. C-BASS personnel are available to facilitate the use of these reagents and perform RNAi screens with a level of involvement that is appropriate for the specific experiment. Downstream analyses of the RNAi screen can include, in-house, high-throughput image analysis and flow cytometry. In addition, DNA oligo chip hybridization for the identification of the barcoded shRNA plasmids can be carried out at the Baylor Microarray Core Facility. Go to the Cell-Based Assay Screening Service website.

Directors: Dan Liu, Ph.D. / Trey Westbrook, 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 at Baylor College of Medicine provides training, instrumentation, technical expertise, and software for flow cytometric analyses and cell sorting. Go to the Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core website.

Directors: Joel M. Sederstrom, M.B.S. / Christine Beeton, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3868

DNA Sequencing and Gene Vector

The core provides three services: DNA sequencing, cDNA clones and Gene Vector. DNA sequencing core provides automated sequencing on Applied Biosystems Model 3130XL Genetic Analyzer. Clone library provides human and mouse cDNA clones as bacterials streaks in agar plates. Gene vector core provides viral vector packaging and cloning/plasmid preparation service. Go to the DNA Sequencing and Gene Vector website.

Academic Director: Benny Hung-Junn Chang, Ph.D.
Core Director: Kazuhiro Oka, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6686

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.

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

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

Genetically Engineered Mouse

The GEM Core provides Baylor investigators with advice and services requiring the manipulation of mouse gametes to facilitate research involving genetically engineered mice. The GEM Core provides the following services and all can be scheduled and tracked using Mouse Embryo Manipulation Services, MEMS: DNA microinjection (traditional transgene DNA constructs or BAC DNA into the one cell mouse embryo), ES cell microinjection into blastocysts, strain rederivation into a pathogen free strain, and embryo cryopreservation for safe preservation of valuable mouse strains. Go to the Genetically Engineered Mouse website.

Director: Jianming Xu, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6199

Genomic and RNA Profiling

The Genomic and RNA Profiling Core or GARP (formerly the Microarray Core Facility) provides researchers access to state-of-the-art molecular profiling technology and services. These services include microarray technology platforms (Affymetrix, Agilent, Taqman Low Density Arrays and SuperArray), Next Gen Sequencing (MiSeq Benchtop Sequencer, HiSeq 2500 and HiSeq 2000), NanoString Technology, and Luminex and Panomics bead-based multiplexing technology. This facility also serves as a source for sample quality control, experimental design and comprehensive data analysis. Go to the Genomic Profiling website.

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.

Directors: Margaret Goodell, Ph.D., Academic Director, Jean J. Kim, Ph.D., Core Director
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 BCM. Histology and IHC of human and experimental animal tissues are available to all BCM 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.

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

Integrated Microscopy

Fluorescence, confocal, deconvolution and electron microscopy services are available. Instrumentation, available in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, includes a Beckman-Coulter IC-100 (high throughput microscopy and analysis system); Zeiss AxioPlan2 Microscope with CoolSNAP HQ CCD MetaView, MetaMorph; Zeiss LSM 510 META Confocal/Spectral Imaging Microscope; Applied Precision SoftWoRx Image Restoration Microscope (deconvolution); Hitachi H-7500 Transmission Electron Microscope with Gatan 2Kx2K CCD; Silicon Graphics and PC Workstations; RMC Ultramicrotome. Go to the Integrated Microscopy website.

Director: Michael Mancini, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8952

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

This core provides metabolomics technologies for discovery and validation of biomarkers of various diseases with state-of-the-art high mass spectrometry as the main platform. Core competencies include both targeted assays (up to 500 metabolites) for many analyte classes as well as untargeted assays to evaluate the entire metabolome in biofluids, cell lines and tissues. Services also includes measurement of flux through various pathways using 13C-isotopomer analyses, and structural identification of isolated unknowns. The Biolog Phenotype Microarray system is also available to test for thousands of cellular phenotypes in a multiplex platform. Go to the Metabolomics Core website.

Directors: Arun Sreekumar, Ph.D. / Nagireddy Putluri, Ph.D./Vivekananda Shetty, Ph.D./ Feng Li, Ph.D.

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 generates genetically engineered mice needed by researchers across the United States who are in pursuit of answers and cures for human disease. Core personnel assist investigators with projects that involve generating mutations in the germ line and somatic tissues of mice by performing homologous recombination in ES cells. ES services include electroporation, ROSA targeting, Close Expansion, the generation of primary mouse ES cell lines and Murine Virus Testing. Go to the Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Core website.

Director: Jason Heaney, Ph.D. 

Mouse Metabolic Research Unit (Children's Nutrition Research Center)

The Mouse Metabolic Research Unit at the Children's Nutrition Research Center has extensive facilities for automating feeding studies and for measuring numerous metabolic parameters related to understanding energy expenditure and its various determinants (substrate oxidation, activity, body composition, etc.) in mice (as well as in pigs, although more limited). The number of mouse metabolic units available enables concurrent measurements on a relatively large number of mice. Dedicated engineer and faculty members also available to help investigators design their experiments and interpret their data. Go to the Mouse Metabolic Research Unit website.

Director: Marta Fiorotto, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7146

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.

Director: Lawrence Chan, M.D.
Co-Director: Pradip Saha, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-3185-3185

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.

Core Director: Mary Dickinson, Ph.D.
Lab Manager: Tegy Vadakkan, Ph.D

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