Services & Resources


Cores

Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Computational Biology Core Services

The Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Computational Biology Core (BBCC) serves to train and support project investigators and their teams across Louisiana. It works to enable Louisiana Biomedical Research Network project PIs and their teams to employ Louisiana cyberinfrastructure (especially high performance computing), and to provide bioinformatics services, training, and educational support.

If you would like more information about services provided by the core or talk to someone in the core about how someone can assist you please use Cores Contact link:

Cores Contact Link

Training

The core provides one on one training. If you have a question or would like to talk about your training needs, use the Cores Contact Link.

Workshops

The core conducts workshops during the year, for the latest conference and workshops see: LBRN Conference on Bioinformatics and the LBRN Workshops. Surveys are conducted prior to these workshops and during the year to best determine what topics to present and speakers to host.


If you would like more information about services provided by the cores or speak to someone in the sub-units about the services please use the following link:

Cores Contact Link

The Molecular and Cell Biology Resources Core Services

The Molecular and Cell Biology Resources Core (MCBRC) serves as the primary support unit for biomedical research in the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network and is expected to provide the bulk of training and support to PUI investigators, including managing the biweekly Works in Progress sessions. MCBR-supported research provides an essential link between important fields of biomedical sciences such as genetics, developmental biology, immunology, neurobiology, and cancer biology that impact public health.


If you would like more information about services provided by the core or talk to someone in the core about how someone can assist you please use the following link:

Cores Contact Link

Training

The core provides one on one training. If you have a question or would like to talk about your training needs, use the Cores Contact Link.

Workshops

The core conducts workshops during the year, for the latest conference and workshops see: LBRN Conference on Bioinformatics and the LBRN Workshops. Surveys are conducted prior to these workshops and during the year to best determine what topics to present and speakers to host.


Services

A variety of molecular and cell biology services will be offered through the existing well-organized facilities: 1) GeneLab provides recombinant DNA support, next generation sequencing, quantitative and digital PCR and other services; 2) the Protein Production, Purification, and Characterization Laboratory (PPPCL) provides a wide repertoire of services for protein and antibody production and protein characterization; 3) the Molecular Immunopathology Laboratory (MIPL) provides services in flow cytometry, pathology, and microscopy. Each facility has an advertised set of fees for specific services. Also, specific equipment is available to individual researchers after they receive training and certification by each core at minimum or no cost to the researchers. All three activities constitute established core laboratories operating as a consortium of cost centers with advertised services and fees.

Molecular Biology Reagent Equipment and Services

GeneLab currently provides conventional and NGS nucleic acid sequencing, recombinant DNA services, viral vector construction, quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis, and reagents and supplies needed for biotechnology experiments. GeneLab administers two freezer programs for Invitrogen, Inc., and Applied Biosystems, Inc., (now divisions of Thermofisher, Inc.) providing reduced costs (20-30% less than list prices) and immediate availability of research reagents. These reagents can be shipped to PUI laboratories. Research protocols and consultation for specific research projects are provided free of charge. GeneLab has recently implemented the internet-based software system (iLab) for scheduling equipment use and ordering reagents and services. This system has enabled practically full automation of all scheduling and accounting issues, effectively streamlining core laboratory operations and management. GeneLab provides multi-level assistance with recombinant DNA tasks and has successfully trained a number of PUI faculty and students in the effective use of these technologies free of charge, while specific projects are undertaken as fee-for-service activities.

NGS Services. Of particular interest to all LBRN investigators are GeneLab’s NGS support services in close collaboration with the BBCC and the LSU Center for Computation and Technology (CCT). GeneLab is co-supported by the MCBRC (molecular cell biology and NGS services) and by the BBCC (NGS bioinformatics services) and provides a reliable connection between NGS experiments and the analysis of the NGS data.

NGS Equipment. GeneLab is equipped with a suite of Life Technologies NGS equipment including Ion Torrent PGM, Ion Proton, and Quant Studio Flex (digital PCR validation). In addition, GeneLab has a variety of equipment to support NGS, including qPCR machines (ABI 7500 and 7900 and QuantStudio Flex systems); Fragment Analyzer from Advanced analytics to validated and quantify nucleic acid samples for NGS sample preparation; an epMotion robotic arm for high-throughput set-up and sampling; various computers and other equipment enabling quality control of nucleic acid samples and preparing nucleic acid extractions from many samples at once. GeneLab provides NGS methodologies (genomics, transcriptomics) in a strategic alliance with the BBCC. GeneLab operates Ion PGM and Ion Proton NGS equipment, which are linked to a local cluster having more than 200 terabytes of storage through dedicated high-end workstations. A visualization server supports Windows as well as Linux environments, providing memory intensive visualization tasks and tools working on both operating system (OS) environments. A computational server equipped with substantial memory (128 GB) and large number of cores (32) is networked to the Ion PGM and Ion Proton platforms for analyses requiring a large memory footprint and multi-core performance applications. These two high-end servers are backed by a network-connected expandable NAS storage system, which are directly connected to the servers and software tools integrated to the sequencing platforms, resulting in total storage space of over 120 Terabytes at this time. BBCC staff work closely with GeneLab to transfer and analyze data.

Protein Production, Purification, and Characterization Laboratory (PPPCL)

Currently, PPPCL focuses its support and development efforts in three areas: 1) protein production, purification, and characterization; 2) protein-protein interactions; 3) production of polyclonal protein-specific antibodies in mice and rabbits. PPPCL has access to other core facilities and equipment located within the Departments of Chemistry, and Biological Sciences, College of Sciences, for protein-protein interactions and protein analyses. Currently, PPPCL is fully equipped to handle a variety of protein expression, purification, and molecular biology experiments. PPPCL staff will design specific gene constructs carrying different epitope tags for detection or purification purposes. Specifically, affinity/fusion tags can be added to the N- or C-terminal portions of a protein (GST, His6, MBP, Thioredoxin-His6, GFP). Common epitope tags for detection purposes include: FLAG, V5, and HA among others. Specific proteolytic cleavages sites can be inserted to facilitate separation of the desired protein from a carrier protein.

Protein Purification and Characterization. The MCBRC primarily uses three semi-automated BioRad Profinia affinity chromatography systems for small and larger scale purification, as well as conventional gravity columns. An AKTA Explorer FPLC system can execute different chromatography protocols. Many purification options, including standard reversed phase, affinity, and ion-exchange are available. Additional advanced high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultracentrifugation equipment are available within the collaborating Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory (ABL) and the LSU Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry also located in Wilson Hall.

Peptide Synthesis and Purification. Large- and small-scale peptide synthesis utilize Protein Technologies Symphony and Tribute peptide synthesizers, both performing Fmoc synthesis and on-instrument cleavage of the peptide from the resin. Synthesis scales normally carried out in the facility are 25 μmol, 50 μmol, 100 μmol, and 250 μmol. Peptides are delivered as a lyophilized powder and include an analytical reverse-phase HPLC profile and a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrum.

Protein-Protein Interactions. The PPPCL assists researchers with conventional technologies used in proteinprotein interactions including co-immunoprecipitation, crosslinking, pull-down assays, far-western analysis, and utilization of commercial protein microarrays. State-of-the-art protein-protein interactions are investigated using primarily Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) implemented on Biacore and ForteBio SPR equipment. Additional physicochemical characterization of protein-protein interactions is available through collaborations with the LSU Department of Chemistry.

Gene-to-Protein-to-Antibody Service (GPAS). PPPCL provides a unique service that includes cloning of immunogenic portions of a targeted protein typically 100-200 amino acids long or an entire gene into bacterial and mammalian expression vectors. These proteins can be expressed as fusion proteins with the Glutathione- S-Transferase (GST), maltose-binding protein (MBP), or other epitope tags, and are purified via automated affinity chromatography. Purified proteins without the carriers or epitope tags are then used to generate monospecific antibodies in either mice or rabbits. The entire GPAS is completed in approximately three months and results in the production of up to 100 ml of rabbit or 3-5 ml of mouse.

Molecular Immunopathology Laboratory (MIPL) Services

Each MIPL-affiliated laboratory (described below) is currently set up to provide molecular immunopathology services and expertise to researchers on an individual basis. All expenses funded by the MCBRC (core funds, pilot funding) will be ordered through the internet-based iLab software, ensuring efficient scheduling and tracking of all activities and associated expenses. MCBRC will devote part of their budget to the development of specific assays that can be used by multiple researchers. These projects can be carried out only after review by the MCBRC leadership.

Pathology Services (LSU-SVM). Experienced, board-certified veterinary pathologists and pathology residents assist individual investigators in preforming necropsy procedures, gross and histopathological examinations, and interpretation of immunohistochemistry and special stains, as well as provide consultation on project design. Responsibilities include paraffin and frozen tissue processing, routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain, various special chemical stains, and advanced immunohistochemistry.

Flow Cytometry and Immunophenotyping Services (LSU-FACS). The LSU Flow Cytometry Facility (LSUFACS) is located in a 263 sq. ft. laboratory on the third floor of the LSU-SVM building. The Flow Cytometry Facility features a BD Biosciences FACScan, FACSCalibur, and FACSAria flow cytometers. The mission of LSU-FACS is to supply state-of-the-art techniques and procedures for phenotypic as well as functional analysis of animal and human cells. LSU-FACS administers, standardizes, and performs daily analytical procedures to support ongoing research projects associated with biomedical research. Furthermore, LSU-FACS can adapt or develop novel assays needed by individual investigators. Immunophenotyping, cell cycle analysis, apoptosis studies, and measurements of signal transduction are examples of applications performed routinely in this laboratory.

Multiplex/Luminex (LSU-SVM). Complementing the immunophenotyping capabilities of the flow cytometers listed above, the BioRad-BioPlex provides rapid and standardized analysis of soluble factors e.g., lymphokines, using bead based array technology.

Microscopy (LSU-SVM). This centralized laboratory located on the third floor of the LSU-SVM is a service center providing micro-imaging support for research and instruction.

For any questions regarding the labs, iLab, services and training please use this link:

Cores Contact Link