Biomolecular Core Lab
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The mission of the Biomolecular Core Laboratory (BCL) is to support research and discovery by improving access to, and stimulating the use of, emerging technologies by researchers, clinicians and students. The BCL is integrated with other core labs in the Delaware Valley through the IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) network, which enhances leveraging of regional resources.
• DNA Sequencing and Fragment Analysis Sub-Core:
This facility is the most mature core of the Center for Pediatric Research. It is heavily utilized by past and current COBRE investigators as well as researchers at Nemours, other INBRE partner institutions, and external clients. The core offers services for mutation analysis and genotyping using capillary electrophoresis (ABI 3130 XL Genetic Analyzer). Target investigators receive support in project design and mentoring in data analysis and troubleshooting. This core is also a CLIA-certified site servicing the needs of the Nemours Molecular Diagnostics investigators.
The BCL is currently developing new Next Generation Sequencing services on the Ion Torrent PGM for Microbiome research and AmpliSeq gene panel for Diagnostics use.
• Real Time PCR Sub-Core:
This core provides real-time PCR and robotic liquid handling to support allelic discrimination (SNP) and quantitative gene expression projects. This core is widely used as a platform of choice for microarray data validation. Major equipments in this core include an ABI 7900 HT Sequence Detector System and a recently upgraded Biomek 3000 robotic liquid handling system. A novel technology, Quant Studio 3D PCR, was implemented for absolute quantization of CNV in research and clinical samples. In the near future this digital PCR technology will be explored for its DX potential and as a tool to quantify of NGS libraries.
• Microarray Sub-Core:
Established in 2010 (in collaboration with the Delaware Biotechnology Institute),. it provides services for microarray-based gene expression and genotyping analysis using the latest Affymetrix GeneChip and, most recently, the new Cytogenetics (CytoScan) arrays. The core staff assists in experimental design, sample processing, data analysis and educate users in the strengths and limitations of microarray technology. The facility included the latest technology in fluidic station and autoloader, designed to further increase our capabilities.
Enhanced services are provided via collaboration with the COBRE-funded Bioinformatics Core and INBRE supported Biocomputing Center as well as shared support with other regional cores (Coriell).
• Shared Instrumentation and Mentoring Sub-Core:
The BCL also provides direct access and training opportunities for some of our core technologies including the real time PCR, microarray, BioAnalyzer, and robotic systems. In addition, bench space is available for hands-on training in molecular techniques for students and other investigators in the COBRE and the INBRE partner institutions. Mentoring opportunities included participation of the BCL staff in the NIH-funded Northeast Regional Life Sciences Core Directors meeting as meeting organizer and session panelist. In addition, the core lab provides research experience and laboratory credit course to the UD undergraduate students, Nemours Summer Interns and INBRE and MARC summer scholars from our DE-INBRE partner institutions at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Wesley College. .
• Collaborative Research Core
The BCL is also an active participant in biomedical research through its strong background in project design, experimental execution, data interpretation and reporting and grant writing support. This support is primarily available to the Nemours clinicians and junior faculty for the jump-start of their translational genetic-based research projects.