Core Facilities

Core scientific facilities support innovative research at UT Southwestern Medical Center by providing highly specialized services, equipment, and staff that would otherwise be too expensive for a single laboratory or department to provide. The Center for Translational Medicine is committed to increasing awareness of core facilities to help expedite research.

Located in various departments across the campus, these facilities include:

Clinical Research Unit
Provides services and information for all clinical and translational investigators at UT Southwestern and Center for Translational Medicine Partnering Institutions. Provides assistance in research protocol IRB submissions, conduct pre-reviews of regulatory documents, and support education regarding regulatory requirements.

DNA Microarray Core
Provides access to a variety of microarray technologies including Affymetrix GeneChip system, Illumina BeadArray system, Eppendorf DualChip platform, In-house spotted microarray, and proteomic arrays. Provides whole genome gene expression and genotyping (using Affymetrix, Illumina, or other platforms), microRNA, custom DNA array printing and hybridization service, proteomic array service, sample preparation (DNA, RNA) and QC (using Aligent 2100 Biolnalyzer and NanoDrop quantification), microarray validation using Real-time PCR, and microarray data analysis using a variety of bioinformatics tools including GeneSpring and Ingenuity (IPA).

Electron Microscopy Core
This research and teaching facility provides light- and electron-microscopy services in both life and physical sciences.

Flow Cytometry Core
Equipped with two FACScans, three FACSCaliburs, a CyAn, and a LSR II for user operated data acquisition. There are five cell sorters available for use in the facility, the MoFlo, and three Arias are operated by facility staff only. 

Genomics and Microarray Core
Provides access to next generation sequencing (NGS) to investigators at UT Southwestern, at other institutions in the UT System, and at additional cost to investigators outside of the UT System. Equipped with Illumina sequencers, including both the HISEQ 2000 and Illumina GAIIx. The Core can receive flow cell ready samples (sequencing libraries that are prepared by the user) or perform sequencing library production for genomic libraries, RNA-SEQ applications, and small RNA (microRNA) applications. Data output routinely will provide de-multiplexing and alignment to the genome of choice using the Illumina ELAND DNA sequence aligner. Limited access for post sequence data analysis software is also available through the core, including both CLC bio and Genome Studio software packages.

George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Core
Supports research in the areas of kidney development and genetics, renal physiology, and chronic kidney disease that is conducted at UT Southwestern, neighboring institutions in North Texas, and the greater nephrology community in the U.S. and worldwide.

High-Throughput Screening (HTS)
The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center HTS Laboratory allows members of the Cancer Center to use the techniques of high-throughput screening (HTS) of compounds or genomic siRNA libraries. The compounds identified in such experiments can be used as research tools to understand the complex molecular relationships that cause or prevent cancer as well as possible candidates for eventual drug development. The genes identified in HTS experiments may become eventual targets for compound screens leading to novel therapeutics.

Human Genetics Clinical Laboratory/McDermott Center
Set up to support the collection and storage of blood samples from phenotypically well characterized patients being evaluated, treated, and studied at UT Southwestern. Services include isolation, aliquoting, and storage of white blood cells, serum, plasma, and genomic DNA.

Investigational Drug Services
Assist principal investigators with the pharmaceutical aspects of clinical trials. Facilitates protocol development, compliance, and data collection and provides drug counseling to participants and their families, promoting protocol adherence.

Live Cell Imaging Core
Provide affordable access to modern optical microscopy for researchers in both the clinical and the basic sciences. Offers a variety of microscope imaging modalities including laser scanning confocal, multiphoton, spinning disk confocal, wide-field deconvolution, CFP/YFP FRET, TIRF and single molecule imaging. Two workstations are available for offline image processing and analysis, including volume rendering, neuron tracing, 3D measurement, and 3D particle tracking. All the microscopes are inverted and have environmental chambers for control of temperature and CO2.

Metabolic Phenotyping Core
Offers Chemistry analysis using VITROS MicroSlide™ technology; Serum analysis via ELISAs; Magnetic Bead Mapping Technology for Cytokine Analysis; Metabolic chambers including CLAMS, TSE, and urine collection chambers; Body composition analysis via DEXA, MRI, or CT; XF-24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer; and Glucose-Insulin Clamp studies.

Mouse MRI Core
Offers state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton spectroscopy (MRS) of mice and other small animals. The facility includes a 7 Tesla horizontal-bore magnet and various physiology monitoring capabilities including ECG, respiratory gating for cardiac imaging and temperature monitoring and control throughout the imaging experiment. Provides guidance for post-processing of image data and experimental planning for longitudinal studies.

Next Generation Sequencing Core/McDermott Center
Provides genotyping, SNP detection assays, and DNA sequencing. Samples are amplified using Applied Biosystems Inc. (ABI) Big Dye Terminator 3.1 chemistry and are analyzed on ABI capillary instruments.

Protein Chemistry Technology Core
Currently offers peptide synthesis, protein sequencing, and protein/small molecule identification using mass spectrometry.

Proteomics Core
Provides UT Southwestern and external researchers with access to mass-spectrometry (MS) proteomics facilities. Modern instrumentation and data analysis software can identify and quantify hundreds or thousands of proteins from complex biological mixtures such as cell lysates or body fluids. Supports targeted proteomics, offering accurate assays for relative or absolute quantitation of known proteins of interest.

Research Software Core
Provides a single site for users to determine which software packages are available to research personnel at UT Southwestern.

Rodent Behavior Core
Assists investigators in all aspects of rodent behavioral testing including the design and execution as well as the data analysis and interpretation. Equipped to perform a broad battery of behavioral tests to thoroughly phenotype overall motor and sensory function of rats and mice as well as phenotype specific behaviors that are of interest to the investigators.

Structural Biology Core
Provides a unique platform for biochemists and molecular biologists to engage in structural biology projects by making macromolecular crystallography available as a general tool. The facility has the equipment and know-how to guide investigators through all stages of crystallographic projects from cloning, expression and purification via crystallization and structure determination, to structure analysis, presentation and publication.

Synthetic Chemistry Core
Fosters collaboration with researchers on medicinal chemistry projects to improve the potency, selectivity, stability, and toxicity profile of biologically active small molecules. Work closely with a pharmacology group on campus and the high-throughput screening facility. Provide consultation and general advice on drug discovery and development.

Transgenic Core
Generation of conventional transgenic mice and production of chimeric mice harboring select genetic mutations. Gene targeting in embryonic stem cells, expansion and preparation of targeted ES Cell clones for injection. Rederivation of conventionally housed mouse strains to SPF status.