Director: David Gorenstein, PhD
Contact person: Scott Riley John.S.Riley@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3672
The CCTS directly supports some core laboratories (listed below) and has arranged the use of others at competitive rates at UTHealth http://www.uthouston.edu/research/core-labs/core-laboratories.htm and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/resources-for-professionals/scientific-resources/core-facilities-and-services/index.html and throughout Texas, through the Texas Regional CTSA Consortium (TRCC) http://www.utsystem.edu/offices/health-affairs/trcc-clinical-resources-and-facilities/. For more information or to use the laboratories, contact them directly or call or email Scott Riley John.S.Riley@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3672.
The core provides consultative expertise, mentoring, and technical support for studies involving genetic technologies, including DNA sequencing, genotyping techniques, data collection, and statistical analyses. The program is composed of four major components:
The Quantitative Genomics & Microarray Core lab provides investigators access to state-of-the-art detection technologies, automation, and expertise for a variety of scientific methodologies. The facility can perform all techniques associated with a qPCR instrument, quantitative Meso Scale ELISAs, and microarrays utilizing Illumina and Agilent arrays. The core provides a range of services that include sample preparation, instrumentation (Illumina, Light Cycler, Mesoscale, Tecan), staff consultation, and analytic software services, including Ingenuity Pathway assistance.
For more information, see the core’s web site https://med.uth.edu/ibp/quantitative-genomics-microarray-facility/
The Clinical and Translational Proteomics Service Center provides state-of-the-art instrumentation and services to all of UTHealth and the surrounding research community. This center offers both routine services for faculty who cannot purchase their own mass spectrometry instrumentation and collaborative research requiring advanced methods. The center works in a collaborative fashion between faculty, students, and staff to customize services to suit individual projects.
For more information, see the core’s web site https://www.uth.edu/imm/service-centers/clinical-translational-proteomics_copy/
The main emphasis of the core is the development and application of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, including selective tissue imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, diffusion tensor imaging to neurological disorders, central nervous system trauma, and drug addiction both in humans and animal models. Another major emphasis is the development of novel image processing techniques that are robust and automatic for handling large number of images that are typically encountered in multi-center clinical trials.
The laboratory facilities include a 7-Tesla, state-of-the-art MRI scanner dedicated to animal studies with a fully equipped animal surgical suite, a research-dedicated 3-Tesla whole body scanner, and an image processing laboratory with a high performance computing cluster and GPU processing.
For more information, see the core’s web site http://www.uth.tmc.edu/radiology/mr-research/index.html
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a technique for characterizing surfaces and can reproduce topological images under physiological-like conditions. AFM is a noninvasive technique base on bio-sensing. Scanning can be performed in air or in a liquid environment, and a range of samples, from living cells down to single molecules, can be imaged. AFM is also an attractive tool for studying the endocytosis of nanovectors and the systemic response to biological processes. An area of major interest is determining the stiffness of a sample (elastic modulus). The elasticity of the cell membrane can vary between cell types as a function of growth, differentiation, disease, or treatment. Non-cellular structures can also be imaged. The core uses a Bioscope II Scanning Probe Microscope specifically designed to address the needs of biological and medical investigations. It has unprecedented compatibility with optical microscopy. All three axes of the instrument are equipped with high-resolution capacitive sensors; this allows imaging at the nanoscale level and in liquids. The microscope requires minimal sample preparation.
For more information, see the core’s web site https://med.uth.edu/nbme/service-centers-and-core-facilities/atomic-force-microscopy-core/
Director/Contact person: Delia Danila, PhD Delia.Danila@uth.tmc.edu 713- 486-6531
The core lab has a specialized CT system for rapid high-resolution imaging of objects up to the size of large rabbits. The facility utilizes a GE eXplore Ultra Pre-Clinical CT Scanner (GE Healthcare, London, ON) for high-resolution (150-micrometer isotropic voxel size) cone-beam CT engineered for small-animal imaging (maximum 14-cm diameter field of view). The system permits up to 1-second gantry rotation times, and X-rays are produced by a variable voltage X-ray tube capable of energies from 70 to 140 kVp. This provides high-quality images with contrast to-noise, resolution, and dose performance optimized for pre-clinical imaging. This imaging modality can facilitate studies in many disciplines, including orthopedics, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, oncology, and others.
Director/Contact person: Jeffrey Chang, PhD Jeffrey.T.Chang@uth.tmc.edu 713- 500-7558
The UTHealth Bioinformatics Service Center provides expertise to process and analyze biological data. Center faculty focus on gene expression, genotyping, proteomics, metabonomics, and next-generation sequencing data and can also perform custom or other complex analyses. Additional services available include experiment design and assistance in developing grant applications and manuscripts. For more information, see the Biomedical Informatics component web site http://ccts.uth.tmc.edu/ccts-services/biomedical-informatics-component.
Co-Directors: Hongyu Wang, PhD Hong Hongyu.Wang@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3404 and
Nataliya Bulayeva, MD, PhD Nataliya.Bulayeva@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3428 or 713-500-2457
Contact person: Nataliya Bulayeva, MD, PhD Nataliya.Bulayeva@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3428 or 713-500-2457
The CLIA lab for metabolomics, proteomics, and genomics molecular clinical diagnostics can rapidly translate new biomarkers from the laboratory into CLIA-certified clinical diagnostics for trials and patient treatment. The core’s instrumentation includes Bioscale Molecular Diagnostics Proteomics Diagnostics, Shimadzu, and Perkin-Elmer mass spectrometers. For more information, see the lab’s web site http://www.uthouston.edu/imm/service-centers/molecular-diagnostic/
The Nanochemistry Service Center provides custom synthesis, labeling, and chemical coupling of DNA thioaptamers and nanoparticles. The Director and Lab Manager are both PhD chemists with years of experience in DNA synthesis, especially the more difficult monothioated and dithioated DNA. In addition, they have conjugated numerous dyes, chelators, chemical linkers, and DNA spacers onto DNA. They have conjugated such DNA aptamers to liposomes, gold nanoparticles and mesoporous silicon particles for multi-stage vectors.
For more information, see the core’s web site https://med.uth.edu/nbme/service-centers-and-core-facilities/nano-chemistry-service-center/
Director/Contact person: Zhiqiang An, PhD Zhiqiang.An@uth.tmc.edu 713-500-3011
TTI is a research consortium of investigators from UTHealth, UT MDACC, and The University of Texas at Austin that promotes translational research collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry on drug discovery and drug development. TTI provides the follow-on technology and expertise to develop and optimize promising results in therapeutics research.
For more information, see the TTI web site https://www.uth.edu/imm/centers/texas-therapeutics-institute.htm