The Wadsworth Center maintains extensive scientific core facilities in support of its investigators and their collaborators. These facilities provide expertise and access to specialized equipment and services, advise investigators and help them in using the equipment, and train junior researchers in the latest technologies. Each core is headed by a scientist expert in the core’s particular instrumentation and techniques. Some also provide hands-on training for students and postdocs. It is important to contact a particular core’s director before planning an experiment or project, as each core has a slightly different mechanism of providing access and support.
Biochemistry, Immunology and Tissue Culture
- Biochemistry and Immunology | Leslie Eisele, Director
The Biochemistry Core offers access to a range of techniques for characterization of biological molecules, including chromatography, spectroscopy, light scattering and analytical centrifugation. Core staff provide initial training, primarily through one-on-one tutorial instruction, with the objective that researchers will be able to perform their own experiments and run the instrumentation independently.
The Immunology Core provides flow cytometry and cell sorting capabilities and analysis of intermolecular interactions by surface plasmon resonance.
Protein Expression | Karen Chave, Director
The Protein Expression Core provides support for Wadsworth Center investigators who need assistance in obtaining pure samples of proteins for functional and structural studies. Bacterial and insect cell expression systems are available. The core will work with investigators to optimize expression clones, vectors and purification schemes to yield required quantities of soluble, active and pure protein samples.
- Tissue Culture and Media
The Tissue Culture and Media Core provides a wide range of services for Wadsworth Center investigators for microbiological growth, identification and research. The Tissue Culture Core maintains and supplies mammalian cells for the virology departments and for researchers. It also prepares and supplies routine and custom growth media. Mycoplasma testing, elimination, cell-line verification, and cell-banking services are also offered to investigators. The Media Core supplies all routine and custom liquid and agar growth media and reagents for the growth and identification of bacterial, fungal and protozoan pathogens as well as for research.
Genetics and Genomics
- Advanced Genomic Technologies | Todd Gray, Director
The Advanced Genomic Technologies Cluster provides Sanger and/or next generation DNA and RNA sequencing to both research and public health laboratories.
- Bioinformatics | Michael Palumbo, Director, Digital Information
The Bioinformatics Core provides comprehensive data analysis on large-scale biological data, including next-generation sequencing, for public health and research programs. The Core is actively engaged in developing tools that exploit the power of whole genome sequencing as applied to public health issues such as outbreak tracking, antibiotic resistance detection and disease screening. Consulting on statistical analysis of data on a variety of public health problems and experimental design is also provided.
- Electron Microscopy | Jeffrey Ault, Director
The Electron Microscopy Core offers access to conventional transmission and scanning electron microscopes, with additional field-emission transmission cryo-instruments associated with the 3D-EM Group (see below). Specialized accessories include ultra-microtomes, a high-pressure freezing device and a cryo-substitution apparatus.
- Advanced Light Microscopy and Image Analysis | Richard Cole, Director
The Advanced Light Microscopy and Image Analysis Core includes high resolution, time-lapse video enhanced microscopy, micromanipulation and microinjection, optical tweezers and laser microsurgery. Living cells can be analyzed in vivo by fluorescence microscopy, and accurate 3D reconstructions can be generated from optical sections.
- Histopathology | Todd Gray, Director
The Histopathology Core provides high quality sectioning and staining of animal tissues to assist in the determination of structural defects and physiological abnormalities.
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance | David LeMaster, Director
The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Core provides structural analysis of proteins and DNA under physiological solution conditions. Three-dimensional structure data and molecular flexibility/rigidity information can be related to function.
- 3D Electron Microscopy Group | Rajendra Agrawal, Director
The 3D Electron Microscopy group has pioneered and advanced such techniques as correlative light - electron microscopy, cellular tomography, cryo-milling of biological specimens with focused ion beams, and time-resolved 3D imaging of macromolecular assemblies. Instrumentation includes a 300 keV cryo-electron microscope with direct electron detection and automated data collection, an energy-filtered 400 keV cryo-electron microscope and a 200 keV field emission cryo-electron microscope, as well as numerous accessories for cryo-preparation of specimens and extensive computational facilities. Three-dimensional reconstructions are generated using single-particle or tomographic methods, using various image processing software systems.