There are nine Cancer Center Shared Resources, some of which consist of multiple specialized Facilities. Equipped with advanced techonology and staffed by technical experts in each field, these core facilities provide powerful support for the research of Cancer Center investigators. These Shared Resources, complemented by several additional Institute cores, are accessible to all Sanford-Burnham Investigators.
The Animal Facility is an AAALAC accredited facility mostly housing mice. The Animal Facility provides full husbandry, breeding, weaning, and tail sample services. There is also a transgenic and knock-out mouse service. Facility staff can perform many procedures, including injections (SC, IP, IV), tumor measurements, blood collection, and assistance with surgeries.
The Animal Imaging and Analysis lab provides imaging tools and expertise for live animal analysis, including ultrasonic, bioluminescent, and fluorescent imaging. A variety of widely used tumor cell lines labeled with luciferase are available from the facility for xenograft tumor growth and metastasis studies. Analysis of mouse blood (CBC) and serum is also performed.
The Cell Imaging Facility provides investigator training and access to a wide range of microscope systems, including bright field, fluorescence, confocal (spinning disk, laser scanning and multi-photon), and a transmission electron microscope. Full service imaging is also available. Facility microscopes are equipped with advanced CCD camers, powerful analytical software, and in many cases, environmental chambers for live cell analysis.
The Histopathobiology Core Facility processes tissues and generates frozen or fixed sections, then performs analysis with various stains and antibodies. Expert pathology consulting is provided for standard slides and tissue microarrays. High-resolution slide scanning provides digital archiving and distribution of images, as well as quantitative image analysis. Laser capture microscopy enables isolation and molecular analysis of specific tissues or individual cells.
The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility provides infrastructure for NMR studies on proteins and peptides, small molecules, and carbohydrates in solution (400 MHz, 500 MHz, and 600 MHz instruments) or in solid state (500 MHz), and consultation on feasability, experimental set-up and data analysis.
The X-ray Crystallography Facility provides infrastructure to collect high-resolution diffraction data from native and inhibitor-bound crystals; or to test and optimize diffraction quality. Equipment is available to perform high throughput crystallization trials, including drop dispensing and robotic imaging incubators.
The Protein Production and Analysis Facility offers a variety of protein production services, including full service—from construction of expression constructs to protein purified from bacterial, insect or mammalian cells. Analytical services focus on biophysical characterization of proteins and their interactions with other proteins or small molecules.
The DNA Sequencing Facility offers full service DNA sequencing, PCR based genotyping of transgenic mice, and training on the use of shared instruments such as a cooled CCD imager, fluorescence scanner & phosphorimager, near-IR scanner, and microplate luminometer.
The Mircoarray/Q-PCR Facility allows Illumina-based microarray analysis, providing full service genome-wide mRNA expression analysis from human, mouse, or rat RNA samples. Global analysis of miRNA expression or mRNA expression from FFPE samples is also provided. Full serivce Q-PCR analysis is offered, including primer design and cDNA synthesis, in addition to advice and training on experimental design.
The Proteomics Facility provides liquid chromatography or gel-based separations of proteins and peptides, followed by mass spectrometry (MALDI, TOF/TOF, LTQ, LTQ-Orbitrap), for identification of novel proteins, characterization of post-translational modifications, and quantitative proteomic analysis of simple to complex samples.
Chemical Library Screening
The Assay Development Facility provides support in the development and optimization of robust high throughput-ready assays (384 or 1536 well), with emphasis on optimal formulation of the assays for increased sensitivity in identification of hits.
The High Throughput Screening Facility provides libraries of compounds (currently 250,000 compounds) for high throughput screens. HTS and follow-up analysis is performed to assist investigators in discovering small molecules that serve as chemical probes for understanding cancer biology or lead compounds for cancer therapy.
The High Content Screening Core Facility develops assays for high-throughput microscopy. Assistance is provided in all areas of high content image-based screens, including sample preparation, image aquisition, pilot and full-scale screens, data analysis and management, and algorithm development.
The Medicinal Chemistry and Core Synthesis Facility provides custom organic compound synthesis, compound library design and synthesis, guidance in hit to lead analysis, analytical and preparative chemistry, and medicinal chemistry consulting for all stages of drug discovery.
The Flow Cytometry Facility provides high-speed cell sorting by an expert operator for subsequent biochemical or imaging studies, xenotransplantation and establishment of stable cell lines. Analytical flow cytometry is also available as a service, or investigators can choose to receive training and use the analytical cytometers independently.
Informatics and Data Management
The Bioinformatics Facility provides Systems Biology analysis of large datasets generated in the Shared Resources or by Sanford-Burnham investigators, as well as comparison with and analysis of other available databases. Data management is supported for large projects, as in implementation of needed bioinformatic tools. Structural modeling and sequence-based similarity analysis are also supported, and training is provided in broad areas of bioinformatics.
The Cheminformatics Facility supports HTS activities performed at the Chemical Libraries and Screening facility by providing database and tools for compound registration and inventory, plate formatting and tracking, and data processing. SAR follow-up of hits through cheminformatics and molecular modeling approaches is also supported.
The Functional Genomics Facility focuses on loss-of-function RNAi screening in mammalian cells using synthetic siRNAs libraries. Available siRNA libraries include human and mouse druggable gene collection, with a modified siRNA human genome-wide library added soon. Expert assistance with assay design, assay development and implementation, execution of high throughput projects, and follow-up support including hit validation.