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Cores

 

 

Animal Core

The Pediatric Animal Core is directed by geneticist Dr. Mitchell Drumm and is managed by by Dr. Craig Hodges, an expert in the use of mouse models for human disease.  Our mission is to provide the best mouse models available by ensuring genetic quality and perfect health, while maintaining the humane care and use of the mice bred, maintained, distributed and used by Core personnel.

Additional services include teaching techniques using mice humanely, such as inducing disease states to model the human condition, substance administration, euthanasia, and blood and tissue collection, or conducting research projects.

Mice and research services are available on a first come, first serve basis to investigators within the Pediatric Department, collaborators of those investigators, as well as investigators outside the University.

For more information about our services and fees contact Dr. Craig Hodges.

 

Inflammatory Mediator Core

The Inflammatory Mediator Core laboratory performs assays of inflammatory mediators, cytokines, intracellular second messengers as well as measurement of urea and protein for normalization of results on human and murine BAL samples, culture media, blood samples, and sputum samples. 

Common assays include human cytokines IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, GM-CSF, and murine cytokines including MIP-2, KC, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6.  Also routinely measured are eicosanoids, cyclic nucleotides, and various murine growth hormones. Essentially all cytokine assays are now performed utilizing the Luminex LabMAP analyzer.  The use of the Luminex analyzer allows for the simultaneous analysis of multiple cytokines from individual samples resulting in more accurate direct comparisons of cytokine expression profiles, faster processing of assays, and a lower cost per assay. 

For information, contact Tracey Bonfield

 

Histology Core

The Histology Core operates out of the eighth floor of the Biomedical Research Building and is staffed by Sherry Cui, under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Ziats, Associate Professor of Pathology.   Consultation with Dr. Ziats is often the initial entrée into this core, as he will identify the services needed and the most appropriate means of meeting the need.  Electron microscopy is available at reduced cost for investigators working on cystic fibrosis through consultation with Dr. Ziats.  For histology, this Core will prepare frozen or fixed sections of tissue or cell culture samples, and perform routine stains on them.  Antibody staining and special stains are the responsibility of the investigator, but the Core will work with the investigator to obtain the best substrate or to perform counterstains.  Blocks will be returned to the investigator.  For investigators working on the cystic fibrosis problem, there is no charge for these services.  For investigators working on other problems, charges may be rendered depending on the complexity and number of samples.

 

Epithelial Cell Culture Core

In vitro cell culture is a vital component of modern biomedical research. The goal of the Epithelial Cell Culture Core, under the direction of Calvin Cotton, Ph.D., is to provide facilities, equipment, expertise and service to investigators to facilitate research projects related to cystic fibrosis. This is accomplished by providing shared access to ~1200 sq ft of laboratory space fully equipped with tissue culture hoods, incubators, centrifuges, microscopes, and other ancillary equipment necessary for culture of mammalian cells. In addition to periodic cleaning and routine maintenance of equipment, the Core personnel are responsible for tracking the use of the facilities and insuring that the needs of individual laboratories are met. The Core purchases and supplies disposable tissue culture supplies to investigators at substantial savings because of discounts awarded for bulk purchase. The other major function of the Core personnel is to isolate normal and CF airway epithelial cells for primary culture and distribution to Center investigators. The concentration of expertise in the hands of Core staff, rather than individual laboratories, results in higher quality preparations and equitable distribution of scarce resources. Finally, the Core provides expertise and training for new faculty, staff, students, and trainees involved in CF research.

 

Animal Imaging Core

The CF Animal Imaging Core is proposed to provide researchers with the state-of-the-art facilities and services for in vivo imaging. The Core aims to use its existing clinical and preclinical imaging research infrastructure to present efficient and cost-effective imaging services to basic scientists and clinicians for Cystic Fibrosis research. The CF Animal Imaging Core will expand on the structure that facilitates interaction across departments and across schools in the university, bringing together researchers with a shared purpose of in vivo analysis of underlying physiology of onset, progression, treatment and therapeutic assessment for disease. The advent of dedicated small animal imaging systems allows the integration of in vivo physiologic measurements with microscopic measurements of structure as well as cellular and genetic characterization of metabolic activities in animal models of CF. This approach provides a wealth of new information in elucidating the complex relationship between structure, energetics, and function in genetically manipulated animal models that have been used widely in CF research. These preclinical imaging capabilities are in addition to the clinical imaging research facilities available within Imaging Core/Department of Radiology. Therefore, the Animal Imaging Core efficiently provides the complete range of imaging services from basic preclinical research to translational imaging research to full clinical analysis in support of the CF Center at Case Western Reserve Univerity and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Although this Core has been named the Animal Imaging Core to distinguish it from the Cell Imaging Core, please note that human imaging capabilities are also available through this Core in addition to advanced imaging of mice and other animal models. The Animal Imaging Core is directed by Christopher Flask, Ph.D.

 

Biostatistics Core

Under the direction of Mark Schluchter, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the objectives of the Biostatistical Core are: 1) to provide collaborative statistical design and analysis support to CR Center investigators and projects, 2) to provide training to CF Center investigators in research methodology, epidemiology and biostatistical methods, and in the use of statistical software.

 

Clinical Studies Core

The Clinical Studies Core is designed to 1) assist investigators in accessing, selecting, and recruiting cystic fibrosis and control patients for clinical trials, and to husband the patient resources of the Center, 2) assist investigators in the planning and execution of clinical trail, 3) provide oversight and/or performance of tests and procedures, including quality control, 4) provide oversight of collection and processing of biologic specimens, including BAL fluid and cell samples, nasal lavage fluid/cells and nasal epithelial cells from scraping, sputum (induced and expectorated), exhaled breath condensate, blood, urine, and stool, 5) maintain a specimen and tissue bank of samples collected from current and former patients, 6) maintain the database for all patients ever seen at the Cleveland CF Center since its inception for purposes of patient selection for clinical trials and studies, retrospective clinical studies, and cooperation with various national databases, and 7) facilitate the translation of discoveries made by basic science investigators into clinical investigatgion where applicable, including the development of outcome measures appropriate for specific studies; and to engage basic scientists to investigate questions identified in clinical practice or clinical studies. This Core makes available our well-characterized patient population for clinical studies, and faciliates the bench to bedsie translation of ideas from our basic science labs. The core-supported clinical projects also generate hypothesis that are in turn returned to basic science labs for more detailed investigation. This is an integral component of the Translational Center.