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.
Training & Support
The core provides one on one training. If you have a question or would like to talk about your training needs, you would like more information about services provided by the core, or you would like to talk to someone in the core about how someone can assist you, please use Cores Contact link:MCBR Cores Contact
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.
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
GeneLabcurrently 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.
Protein Production, Purification, and Characterization Laboratory (PPPCL)
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.
Molecular Immunopathology Laboratory (MIPL) Services
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 validate 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.