Science Exchange Supplier Spotlight: University of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Physiology Core Facility

January 15, 2016 | Posted by Team in Core facilities |

The Cardiovascular Physiology Core Facility, with over 35 years of research experience, provides researchers with a resource for creating and studying animal models of disease.
While the central focus of the facility is cardiovascular research, the techniques employed are often useful to investigators in other fields. Currently, the facility is conducting studies into diabetes, bone growth, drug toxicology, and gene therapy in liver and skeletal muscle, as well as cardiovascular disease. One of the most popular services provided by the facility is evaluation of the cardiovascular phenotype of transgenic mice.

The facilities include:

Complete animal catheterization laboratory and fluoroscopy suite
Complete animal catheterization laboratory and fluoroscopy suite

Microsurgery Stations
Microsurgery Stations

• Fully-equipped small and large animal operating theaters
• State-of the art echocardiography for large and small animal models
• ECG and blood pressure monitoring via telemetry
• Exercise training and testing
• Physiologic recording equipment
• Sonomicrometry

You can learn more about this lab’s offerings on their storefront.

Science Exchange Provider Profile: Larry Dangott from the Protein Chemistry Lab

August 2, 2013 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Core facilities |

Meet Larry Dangott, the Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory at Texas A&M. Larry has been purifying proteins using chromatography and gels for over 35 years! I talked with Larry this week to learn about his extensive experience and his lab at Texas A&M.

Larry Dangott - Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory

Larry Dangott – Director of the Protein Chemistry Laboratory

When was the Protein Chemistry Lab at Texas A&M created, and why was it created?

The Protein Chemistry Laboratory (PCL) at Texas A&M University was established in 1997 in response to requests from the faculty to have a centralized facility to help faculty and students accelerate their protein research. The multiple Missions of the PCL are 1) To support and advance protein chemistry and proteomics research, 2) To provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and technical expertise and training for the application of modern technologies and 3) To help our clients to succeed. The PCL provides service to Texas A&M University System campuses, non-affiliated academic and non-profit institutions and commercial clients.

Who are the scientists that work at the Protein Chemistry Lab?

The laboratory services are provided primarily by two full-time career scientists, Virginia (Jinny) Johnson and myself, Larry Dangott. I received my B.A. degree in Biology from California State University, San José and my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from the University of Oregon where I was trained in comparative biochemistry of non-vertebrate respiratory proteins. My research interests center on gamete interactions and signaling and include the structure and function of receptors on sperm involved in the activation of sperm motility. Jinny received her B.S. degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her M.S. degree in Reproductive Physiology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has extensive experience in biotechnology support laboratories in addition to several years in clinical labs at the UT Southwestern and Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »

Science Exchange Provider Profile: Tamas Nagy from the Comparative Pathology Lab

July 24, 2013 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Core facilities |

TamasNagy

For this week’s provider profile we caught up with Dr. Tamas Nagy, the Director of the Comparative Pathology Laboratory. Read all about his unique path to veterinary pathology, and that one time he did histopathology on an amorphous material found on a commercial refrigeration line.

Read the rest of this entry »

User Insight: Improved Access to Scientific Services through Science Exchange

May 24, 2012 | Posted by Roshan in Core facilities, Research |

There are many resources you come to take for granted as an academic researcher.  Insulated from the private sector and competitive market demands, you often have access to hosts of shared resources and core facilities. Academic core facilities host such services at cost-effective rates, including sequence analysis, primer design, and peptide synthesis, proving to be immensely helpful to graduate research.

And yet, after transitioning from graduate research at Yale to postdoctoral studies at a private institution, I’ve come to truly appreciate the value such resources provide. Working in a private institution, you’re divorced from the insular academic environment of shared resources.  One may try to access an academic core facility, but will find it difficult to search for the right point-of-contact, given core operations are predicated on academic networks.

Case in point, I’ve often needed to identify a few novel but promising candidates through mass spectrometric analysis, but wasn’t able to find the right expertise either in-house or through outside vendors. Fortunately for me, using Science Exchange helped me find cost-effective providers at core facilities, and increase the efficiency of my research.

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How can core facilities better connect with the researchers who need them?

April 29, 2012 | Posted by Team in Core facilities, Research |

The following article appeared in the “Solutions” section of the 2012 ABRF Communications magazine, distributed that the 2012 ABRF conference in Orlando, FL.  

A View from the Core

When Dr. Todd Waldman MD PhD, made his ground-breaking discovery into the genetic basis for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumors, he did so through the help of core facilities. GBM is the most common and deadly form of primary brain tumor; it was infamously responsible for the death of Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009. Dr. Waldman’s molecular oncology group at Georgetown University discovered that multiple GBM cell lines have mutations in the STAG2 gene, which cause chromosomal instability during cell division. To explore the clinical relevance of his findings, Dr. Waldman turned to the Lombardi Cancer Center Histopathology and Tissue Shared Resource (HTSR). The HTSR stained multiple tissue microarrays containing primary GBM and Ewing’s carcinoma samples for STAG2, and confirmed that the protein was indeed missing in many primary tumors. These results were a critical component of the paper published by Waldman and colleagues in Science last year. (Learn more about how the HTSR helped Dr. Waldman and his colleagues here).

Projects like Dr. Waldman’s are at the heart of a core facility’s mission, namely to provide investigators with the specialized resources and expertise they need to produce the best possible scientific output. As a primary resource for human patient tissues and histopathology expertise, the core was able to give the study its translational focus, demonstrating the clinical significance of Dr. Waldman’s findings. HTSR has a highly skilled and experienced staff that handles approximately 2000 requests for services each year, providing a degree of expertise and professionalism that would be hard to match by an individual researcher attempting to build up the necessary techniques in their own lab.

And yet, core facilities often remain under-utilized. HTSR Co-Director Dr. Deborah Berry PhD realized that despite internal demand, there were times when the facility was not as busy as it could have been. In short, they had excess capacity that they could be using to fuel translational research beyond the borders of their institute.  Dr. Berry realized that researchers from other institutes could greatly benefit from the resources and expertise she and her colleagues could provide.  But, how could she reach them?

Read the rest of this entry »

New Facility Management Tools & Project Dashboard

April 26, 2012 | Posted by Team in Core facilities, Science Exchange News |

Over the past couple months, we’ve been looking for new ways to help providers manage their services on Science Exchange.  Our users have sent us some amazing suggestions, and we’re now proud to announce the launch of our biggest product update yet: Facility Management Tools.

We’ve created a host of free features, helping providers add new services, track ongoing projects, or report on past projects. Read below for more details.

Facility Management Tools

Through Science Exchange, providers can access a free Facility Management page, where they can track and monitor their services.

Providers can now add new services or instruments they would like to provide through their institution. They can also set price groups for internal, external, and for-profit requesters of those services. To use any of these features, providers can go to their Dashboard, and choose one of their facilities on the left.

To learn more about the Management features, see the tutorial at: scienceexchange.com/how_it_works#administration

Publication Tracking

We’ve also added new tools to help providers track the impact of their services in publications. From the Publications Tab on a Facility Management page, providers can now add papers that requesters have published using their services.

Project Reports

To help providers better monitor the progress of past projects, we’ve built a suite of reporting tools. Through the Reports Tab on a Facility Management page, providers can now see all revenue generated from individual projects, requesters, or price groups.

Send Us Your Feedback!

We’d love to hear what you think of the new management tools. If you have any questions or concerns, please send us an email at team@scienceexchange.com.  You can also find helpful tips in our Help Center at: scienceexchange.com/help

Guest post: C-CAMP – A new model for enabling science in India

March 13, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Core facilities |

This is a guest post by Taslimarif Saiyed, Ph.D., Director and COO of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) (full bio below). 

India has great scientists, but has not achieved maximum output as a community in science, especially in the biological sciences.  One reason has been lack of access to cutting-edge technologies to support scientific talent. A simple example: up until at least the 1980s, common technologies such as RT-PCR and confocal microscopy only arrived in India with a 10-15 year delay. Although this deplorable situation has since improved in select research settings like the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the National Institute of Immunology (NII), the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), to name only a few, many excellent scientists who are not fortunate enough to be at premier institutions have remained disadvantaged.

To address this problem, India’s Department of Biotechnology (a federal funding agency) established the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) as part of the Bangalore Bio-cluster. Our mandate is to establish cutting edge technology platforms and use them to provide services and training for researchers nationwide. In less than two years, we have been able to establish technology platforms including high-throughput screening, mass spectrometry, next generation genomics, confocal imaging, flow cytometry, a protein technology core and a transgenic fly facility.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post: Making the most of peer networking

March 8, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Core facilities |

This is a guest post by Susanna Perkins, Director of Research Cores & Operations in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at University of Massachusetts Medical School (full bio below). 

Seven years ago, I was hired by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) to centralize their core facilities management from an operations perspective.  We have 43 core facilities, one of the largest centralized institutional organizations.  Prior to centralization, each was managed from within their home department.  Funding for these facilities flows through the institution, but answering simple questions about how the money was being used was difficult when it involved a dozen different accountants and administrators.  Now that everything is under one organization, we are able to produce quarterly reports that include all the financials, usage, grant support, personnel, etc….  It presents an overview of the entire system, and is also a tool to help us manage across facilities.  For example, if one facility is exceeding revenue projections and will not require as much institutional support, we can offset a less profitable facility with the excess funds.  Centralization allows the institution to utilize our Core funding where it is needed the most – toggling the funding throughout the year as the revenue & expense trends solidify.

I came from the private sector, doing financials for a company producing computer disk drives.  My skillset was an excellent match for this position, which is essentially overseeing the operations of 43 small nonprofit companies.  Because many of the people within core facilities come from a science background, I can assist by bringing business expertise on budgeting, marketing, web sites, and other accounting activities that many science-based Core Directors are more than willing to offload.  This allows the Directors to focus their attention and resources on their technical areas of expertise.

Inevitably, in financially challenging times, my job also entails providing recommendations for the prioritization of funding for facilities.  The Vice Provost for Research makes the difficult decisions, which are weighted by more factors than just profitability numbers, but my work directly informs those decisions.

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Guest post: The rise of contractual conservatism – will it subvert sharing of scientific resources?

March 7, 2012 | Posted by Guest in Core facilities |

This is a guest post by Stephen Byers, Director of the Lombardi Shared Resources at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University (full bio below). 

As director of shared resources at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and as Director of the Translation Technologies component of the Georgetown/Howard Univerity CTSA, my goal is to provide our researchers with the highest quality experimental resources, at the best possible price.  Sometimes that means adding in a new technology to our core facilities, sometimes it means reaching out to our CTSA network partners, sometimes it means negotiating with another institution altogether.   One reason I attend the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) annual conference is to keep up with cutting edge resources and explore what it makes sense for us expand or introduce as part of our core services and when it makes sense for us to find partners.

Different core facilities develop specializations, driven both by foresight as well as serendipity.   Georgetown, for example, has invested in an outstanding Metabolomics Shared Resource Program.  We’re finding that, in many cases, high throughput analysis of metabolites in blood or urine with LC-Mass Spectrometry is as good as genomic profiling at segregating outcomes in diseases… and a whole lot cheaper.  We can generate as many as 20-30,000 metabolite data points in an hour at $60/hr for 6 samples.  The real challenge for this field, as for much of post-genomic science, is the informatics that goes into analyzing all this data.  Under the guidance of our metabolomics gurus, Al Fornace and Amrita Cheema, and Medical Informatics Director Subha Madhavan, we are improving our informatics services and finding no shortage of investigators eager to take advantage of this technology.

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We’re heading to ABRF 2012!

March 4, 2012 | Posted by Elizabeth in Core facilities, Science Exchange News |

In 10 days, my colleagues and I will pack our bags and head off to Orlando, Florida for the annual meeting of the Association for Biomolecular Resources Facilities (ABRF).   Believing, as we do, that our mission and vision aligns well with the goals of core facilities around the world, we’re excited about the opportunity to share our progress with the broader ABRF community.  In addition to our booth presence (#504), we will be participating in one of the Lunch & Demo Stage Presentations, and we are sponsoring this quarter’s ABRF newsletter, Communications, which will feature an article about Science Exchange in the section titled “Solutions.”

As we started looking through the program and thinking about what we hope to get from the meeting, we realized that the conference is a unique mix of experts with very diverse viewpoints on the practice of science in the 21st century.  We thought it would be informative – and fun! – to ask some of them to share their perspectives, insights and hopes for this year’s meeting on our blog.

Thus, we are pleased to introduce a series of guest blogs from attendees of this year’s ABRF conference that will be posted over the next two weeks.

Read the rest of this entry »

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