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Research

Advanced Technology Core Labs

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Advanced Technology Core Laboratories are an essential part of the successful research enterprise of Baylor College of Medicine. Core facilities provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and technologies to support research of all faculty on a fee-for-service basis.

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Antibody-Based Proteomics

The Antibody-Based Proteomics Core provides highly customized services for targeted proteomics platforms that are valuable 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 240 antibodies for total and phosphoproteins of major cell signaling pathways, and Luminex bead technology for multiplex quantitative analyses of intracellular and extracellular signaling proteins. For more information, visit the Antibody-Based Proteomics website.

Core Director: Shixia Huang, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8722
Email: atc-abpcore@bcm.edu

Bioengineering

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. For more information visit the Bioengineering Core website.

Academic Director: Fabrizio Gabbiani, Ph.D.
Core Director: I-Chih Tan, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-9168
Email: atc-bioengineeringcore@bcm.edu

Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource

The Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource (BISR) provides investigators with state-of-the-art biostatistical, bioinformatics, and high-performance computational infrastructure support for clinical, translational and basic science research. Major services include biostatistics and analytics, experimental design, assistance with design and conduct of clinical trials, and multi-omics data analysis. For more information visit the BISR website.  

Academic Director: Susan Hilsenbeck, Ph.D.
Co-Director for Multi-Omics: Bioinformatics: Cristian Coarfa, Ph.D.
Co-Director for Cancer Bioinformatics: Chad Creighton, Ph.D.
Co-Director for General Biostatistics: Charles Minard, Ph.D.
Co-Director for Cancer Biostatistics: Tao Wang, Ph.D.
Email: sgh@bcm.edu

CAMRI-Core for Advanced MRI Imaging

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 two Siemens MRI Scanners. A Magnetom Trio and a PrismaFit (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 Core Director: Meghan Robinson, Ph.D.
Operations Director: Krista Runge, M.S., R.T. (R)(MR)
Email: camri@bcm.edu

Cell Based Assay Screening Service

The Cell-Based Assay Screening Service (C-BASS) core strives to provide cutting-edge technologies and the latest genomic tools to investigators in their cell-based studies. Our services are built upon interconnected and complementary technology platforms such as RNAi-based functional genomics and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. Services include generating knockout and knock-in cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9, providing cDNA, shRNA, and gRNA vectors individually or as custom libraries, and consultation and expert advice on genome-wide or subgenome-targeted screens. For more information, visit the C-BASS website.

Core Director: Dan Liu, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-8032
Emailc_bass@bcm.edu

CryoEM

The CryoEM Core provides state of the art services for imaging and 3-D reconstruction of individual molecules, macromolecules and, in limited situations, macromolecular structure within cells. This technique can provide structures at resolutions comparable to X-ray crystallography without the need to grow crystals, and with very small quantities of material. We are equipped with three Cryo TEMs all with current generation direct detector technology, and our services range from specimen screening to high resolution data collection and reconstruction. For more information visit the CryoEM Core Website.

Core Director: Steve Ludtke, Ph.D.
Co-Director: Zhao Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6989
Emailatc-cryoemcore@bcm.edu

Cytometry and Cell Sorting

The Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core is a state-of-the-art facility offering assisted and unassisted flow cytometric services. Instrumentation includes FACSAria cell sorters with up to 13 colors plus forward and side scatter, LSRII Analyzers with high through-put 96 well sample loading plates, VI-Cell counter, AutoMACS magnetic bead cell sorter and workstations with data analysis software. High-parameter cytometry is also available including the Fluidigm Helios Mass Cytometer with Hyperion imaging system (100+ potential channels) and a 30+ parameter BD Symphony A5 flow cytometer. The shared resource provides training on all instruments, assists with data analysis and design of experiments, and is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week for trained users. For more information.  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
Email: ccsc@bcm.edu

Gene Vector

The Gene Vector Core provides services for viral-vector packaging, plasmid cloning and plasmid preparation. The service is open to all domestic and international institutions. Of the available gene delivery systems, virally-derived vectors are among the most efficacious due to their retention of traits preserved during natural selection. We produce and purify popular viral vectors including helper-dependent adenovirus (HDAd), adeno-associated virus (AAV), lentivirus (LV) and G-deleted rabies virus (RaV). With the use of cutting edge technologies, we strive to provide high quality products at competitive prices. For more information, visit the Gene Vector website. 

Core Director: Kazuhiro Oka, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-4409
Email: genevector@bcm.edu

Genetically Engineered Rodent Models (GERM)

The Genetically Engineered Rodent Models (GERM) Core possesses specialized expertise and state-of-the-artequipment to assist investigators with projects involving the production of transgenic, targeted knockout, and targeted knock-in mouse lines. Knockoutand knock-in mouse lines can be generated using gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells withchimera production or CRISPR genome editing in mouse zygotes. For projects involving CRISPR genome editing, the GERM Core offers a genome editing designservice and a CRISPR on-and off-target mutagenesis genotyping service. The core also provides services for cryopreservation, rederivation, in vitro fertilization, and rapid expansion of mouse lines. For more information, visit the GERM website.

Academic Director: Jason Heaney, Ph.D.
Technical Director: Lan Liao, MS
Phone:713-798-1981
Email: germcore@bcm.edu

Genomic and RNA Profiling (GARP)

The Genomic and RNA Profiling Core (GARP) provides researchers access to state-of-the-art genomics profiling technology and services including Next-Generation Sequencing on Illumina platforms (iSeq 100, NextSeq 500 and NovaSeq 6000) and the Nanostring nCounter technology for targeted gene interrogation. Our library prep automation system (SMARTer Apollo) enables us to process low- and high-throughput projects with minimal batch effects. Also available are automated DNA size selection on the Pippin HT and nucleic acid shearing on the Covaris LE220. GARP serves as a source for sample quality control, experimental design and NGS expertise. For more information, visit the GARP website.

Academic Director: Lisa White, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7699
Technical Core Director: Daniel Kraushaar, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7787
Emailgarpcore@bcm.edu

Human Stem Cell

The Human Stem Cell Core (HSCC) provides a wide range of products and services related to human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) research, as well as hands-on training classes for basic and advanced stem cell culture techniques. We offer cost-effective solutions to generate and characterize new induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for in vitro disease modeling, employing non-integrating vector technologies such as Sendai virus-based and episomal vector-based reprogramming. We also offer customized research support for experimental design and validation assays, as well as genome editing of hPSCs using CRISPR/Cas9. For more information visit the Human Stem Cell Core website.

Core Director: Jean J. Kim, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7471
Emailatc-stemcellcore@bcm.edu

Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology

The Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology (HTAP) Core provides tissue and serum related services to researchers that includes histology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) and organization of the different tissue banks at BCM. Histology and IHC of human and experimental animal tissues are available 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. For more information visit the Human Tissue Acquisition and Pathology website.

Academic Director: Michael Ittmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Core Director: Patricia Castro, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6196
Emailpathologycore@bcm.edu

Integrated Microscopy

The Integrated Microscopy Core (IMC is designed to provide high quality microscopy and analytics services through availability of state-of-the-art imaging instrumentation, custom image analysis, one-on-one training by expert staff, plus free consultation for experimental setup, data acquisition and analysis. IMC covers most of the investigators’ needs in the areas of light microscopy with particular emphasis on super-resolution techniques, high throughput/high content phenotypic screening (assay development/validation), live imaging, multi-dimensional spatial analysis in tissue and cell culture samples, 3D culture models imaging and custom image analysis pipelines & data analytics. For more information, visit the Integrated Microscopy website.

Academic Director: Michael Mancini, Ph.D.
Core Director: Fabio Stossi, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-6940
Emailatc-integratedmicroscopy@bcm.edu

Macromolecular X-Ray Crystallography

The Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Core provides a centralized and cost-efficient solution to determine the atomic structures of biologically important macromolecules. Unlike other structure analysis techniques, X-ray crystallography is not limited by the size or complex nature of the macromolecule of interest. One of the major advantages of this technique is that atomic resolution structural information is obtained routinely, revealing intimate details regarding the stereochemistry of the molecular interactions underlying the biological function of the macromolecule of interest. For more information, visit the Macromolecular X-Ray Crystallography website.

Academic Director: Francis T.F. Tsai, Ph.D.
Core Director: Sukyeong Lee, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-4390 
Email: slee@bcm.edu

Mass Spectrometry Proteomics

The Mass Spectrometry Proteomics Core features state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific Orbitrap instruments (Lumos ETD Tribrid, Q-Exactive Plus, Fusion Tribrid,  Explorer 480) and offers comprehensive service packages for proteome-wide label free quantitative profiling of cells and tissues, isolation and identification of protein complexes via immunoprecipitation and other affinity methods followed by mass spectrometry, post-translational modification analysis, and routine protein identification from purified samples. Full support is provided that includes project evaluation and design, biochemical purifications, mass spectrometry sequencing, and data analysis.  Go to the Mass Spectrometry Proteomics website.

Academic Director: Anna Malovannaya, Ph.D.
Core Directors: Sung Yun Jung, Ph.D.
Emailmsproteomicscore@bcm.edu

Metabolomics

The Metabolomics Shared Resource provides various metabolomic procedures for discovery and validation of small molecular weight compound biomarkers of various diseases with state-of-the-art high mass spectrometry as the main technology platform. Services include quantitative targeted steady-state analysis of metabolites (up to 500 metabolites) for a wide range of analyte classes derived from biofluids, cell lines or tissues.  Services also include measurement of flux in cell lines and in mice through various metabolic pathways by 13C-isotopomer methods, structural identification of unknown molecules and unbiased lipidomics profiling.  For more information, visit the Metabolomics Core website.

Academic Director: Nagireddy Putluri, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3139
Email: MetabolomicsCore@bcm.edu

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
Email: atc-mhctetramercore@bcm.edu

Mouse Metabolism and Phenotyping Core

The Mouse Metabolism and Phenotyping Core (MMPC) is a comprehensive fee-for-service rodent phenotyping core that contains a multitude of testing capabilities for the assessment of rodent models from embryo to adult. The MMPC provides a variety of state-of-the-art equipment and techniques with the goal to standardize key methodologies and to expedite comprehensive research analyses on diseases related to cancer, cardiovascular dysfunction, metabolic disorders, mouse models of human disease, and drug studies. The MMPC also supports the application of advanced analysis of metabolic pathways and related physiological and biochemical parameters in mice and rats, as well as in isolated / cultured cells in vitro. Metabolic assays offered include hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in conscious mice, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, oxygen consumption rate and extra cellular acidification rate measurements from cells in culture plates, DEXA and Echo MRI, CLAMS, real time body temperature monitoring, home cage activity monitoring, MRI, CT, ultrasound, Xray, bioluminescence imaging, indirect calorimetry, telemetry, and non-invasive blood pressure measurements. Workstations for image reconstruction and data analysis are also available. Core personnel provide consultation on selecting the appropriate tests and procedures, and the interpretation of data. For more information visit the Mouse Metabolism and Phenotyping Core website.

Core Director: Christopher Ward, Ph.D.
Co-Director: Pradip Saha, Ph.D.
Email: mmpc-atc@bcm.edu

NMR & Drug Metabolism Core

The NMR and Drug Metabolism Core offers tools to support the discovery, synthesis, screening, optimization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics of small molecule ligands or lead compounds. Our 600 and 800 MHz Bruker nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers are available for unassisted use by trained users, and expert services are available to determine small molecule identity or conformation, to identify and quantify metabolites, to determine macromolecular structure or detect perturbations upon ligand binding, or to screen compound libraries against purified targets. DNA-encoded technology available through the Center for Drug Discovery allows affinity-based selection of millions of different molecules in a single tube to identify those that most tightly bind a tagged, purified protein. We investigate the metabolism, metabolic stability, and pharmacokinetics of small molecular weight compounds using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS and MS/MS). In addition to analyzing biological fluids or tissues, we assay stability in liver microsomes and perform reaction phenotyping against an array of CYP450s. Core personnel provide advice on the use of the supported methods for a wide variety of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) applications and assistance is available in project experimental design and data analysis. For more information visit the NMR and Drug Metabolism website.

Academic Director: Kevin MacKenzie, Ph.D.
Email: Kevin.MacKenzie@bcm.edu
Phone: (832) 824-8155
Co-Director: Feng Li, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-3623
Operations Director: Kim Kerlec
Phone: (713) 798-8132
Emailatc-drugmetabolismcore@bcm.edu

Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy (OiVM)

The Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy (OiVM) Core is a full service microscopy lab equipped with cutting edge 3D imaging tools including the latest generation confocal, 2-photon and super-resolution microscopes; Lightsheet, Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) and XRay µCT instruments as well as high speed, multi-spectral fluorescence imaging systems. OiVM instruments are designed for vital and intravital imaging of processes within cells, intact tissue explants, developing embryos and functioning organs within the live animal. In addition to cutting edge imaging systems, the core provides tissue clearing services utilizing CLARITY for intact organ and embryo imaging and advanced 3D rendering environments for data visualization and analysis. The OiVM core is open to all TMC institutions and offers assisted vs. unassisted use rates, bulk pricing, 24/7 independent user access, and a staff of experienced microscopists for consultation, experiment design, training and instruction on a wide variety of microscopy techniques. For more information visit the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy website.

Academic Director: Mary E. Dickinson, Ph.D.
Core Director: Jason M. Kirk
Phone: (713) 798-6486 (OIVM)
Emailoivm@bcm.edu

Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models

The Patient-Derived Xenograft and Advanced In Vivo Models (PDX-AIM) Core of Baylor College of Medicine is divided into two independent but closely interacting functional units. The PDX Development Unit was created to facilitate the establishment and use of PDXs using immunocompromised mice as the host species, with an emphasis on development of databases and computational tools to enhance PDX collection management and data display. The Advanced In Vivo Models Unit was created to facilitate establishment and use of patient material grown on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the chicken egg. The Advanced In Vivo Models Unit also employs the CAM model to establish non-tumorigenic organoids, 3-D tumors from existing cancer cell lines, and creation and optimization of custom bioassays to assess tumor neovascularization, invasion, and metastasis. For more information visit 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
Emailatc-pdxmousecore@bcm.edu

Advanced In Vivo CAM Models Unit:
Academic Director: Andrew Sikora, M.D., Ph.D.
Core Director: Hugo Villanueva, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-0118
Emailatc-pdxaimcore@bcm.edu

Population Sciences Biorepository

The Population Sciences Biorepository Shared Resource provides risk factor and clinical data collection and a centralized facility for biospecimen processing and storage from epidemiological and clinical studies. Services are available for individual investigators as well as for clinical centers that require prospective banking of patient specimens. Clinical coordinators can assist with consenting, phlebotomy, and data collection. The PSB also provides laboratory services including: full fractionation and aliquoting for blood samples; DNA extraction from whole blood, buffy coat, or saliva; and RNA extraction from whole blood. For more information visit the Population Sciences Biorepository.

Director: Michael Scheurer, Ph.D.
Co-Director: Marilsa Hardy DrPH, M.P.H.
Emailatc-psbcorelab@bcm.edu

Protein and Monoclonal Antibody Production

The Protein and Monoclonal Antibody Production Core provides investigators with high quality mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and purified recombinant proteins to facilitate their research programs. The core has experience with intact proteins, synthetic peptides, and subcellular fractions as antigens in generating MAbs that perform for a wide range of applications including, but not limited to immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, ELISA, immunocytochemistry, and IHC.  Expression and purification of recombinant proteins of interest is a parallel service that involves consultation on design and construction of expression vectors, protein overexpression in the baculovirus insect cell system, E. coli or mammalian cells, and purification of the expressed protein.  Characterization of protein products for purity and other quality controls is provided for suitability of proteins in downstream biochemical and other applications. For more information visit the Protein and Monoclonal Antibody Production website.

Senior Faculty Advisor: Dean P. Edwards, Ph.D.
Core Director: Yingmin Zhu, Ph.D.
Lab Director: Kurt Christensen
Phone: (713) 798-2325 & (713)-798-5012
Emailatc-protein-mab@bcm.edu

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. For more information visit the RNA In Situ Hybridization website.

Director: Cecilia Ljungberg, Ph.D.
Phone: (832) 824-8873
Emailatc-rnacore@bcm.edu

Single Cell Genomics

The Single Cell Genomics Core (SCGC) provides comprehensive services for RNA and chromatin profiling on single or a small number of cells. The core is equipped with the 10x Genomics Chromium Platform, the Takara icell8 platform, and the Fluidigm C1 auto cell prep platforms. The combination of these platforms allows cost-effective and high throughput genomics profiling that matches with the experiments.  Next-gen sequencing of libraries prepared by the SCGC is done as a collaboration with the Genomics and RNA Profiling Core. For more information visit the Single Cell Genomics Core website.

Academic Director: Rui Chen, Ph.D
Phone: (713) 798-5194
Technical Core Director: Yumei Li, Ph.D.
Phone: (713) 798-7565
Emailsinglecellgenomicscore@bcm.edu

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
Emailatc-samricore@bcm.edu