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Research Core Facilities at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


The University of Colorado School of Medicine is fully equipped with specialized instrumentation and core facilities required to conduct contemporary biomedical investigations. Core facilities (detailed below) include:
 
 
Advanced Light Microscopy Core
The Advanced Light Microscopy Core provides advanced light microscopy services including 2-photon, SHG (second harmonics generation), lifetime imaging (FLIM) modalities, CARS (Coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy), fluorescence correlation techniques (FCS, RICS), high resolution laser scanning confocal and fast spinning disk confocal with FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) and FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) capabilities, TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) as well as super-resolution imaging (i.e. STED - stimulated emission depletion, PALM - photoactivated localization microscopy, STORM – stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy). (see https://lightmicroscopy.ucdenver.edu/microscopes.php for the full list of instruments). Individuals who want to use the light microscopy facility should contact Radu Moldovan.
 
Updated September 2015 
 
Behavior and In Vivo Neurophysiology Core​
 
Animal Behavior Core: Neuroscience research often depends on animal models – mostly rodents. Being able to objectively quantify variations in the behavioral phenotype of those models is a cornerstone of the Neuroscience endeavor. The Animal Behavior Core provides investigators with access to high-quality behavioral testing equipment for mice and rats as well as consultation in all steps (from planning to publishing) of behavioral studies. In addition, the Animal Behavior Core provides:
  • Experimental strategy development: test selection, protocol design, and power analysis for proper selection of animal numbers.
  • Behavioral testing: on-site training, pilot testing, and coordination with the animal facility.
  • Behavioral data analysis: tracking software, statistical analysis, presentation of results.
  • New task development: the Animal Behavior Core staff is available to help develop or institute other behavioral tasks tailored to meet the needs of a specific project.
 
The EEG core facility provides continuous rodent behavioral (video) and neurophysiological/EEG monitoring services (including cerebral electrical patterns during waking and sleep) to researchers. This type of monitoring will permit investigators to more thoroughly phenotype the rodents they use in their research and specifically address issues of whether they have abnormalities of neurophysiological functioning such as interictal epileptiform discharges, sleep disturbances and seizures. This can be important for the characterization of translational models of nervous system disorders, including stroke, epilepsy, head trauma, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, genetic and developmental disorders. The EEG Core, located in the RC1 Laboratory Animal Facility, has dedicated procedure room for stereotaxy and space for video-EEG monitoring. The core has the capability to video-EEG monitor 32 rats and 20 mice simultaneously using Stellate (Natus Medical Incorporated, San Carlos, CA) Pinnacle (Pinnacle Technology Inc., Lawrence, KS) and Triangle (Triangle BioSystems International, Durham, NC) equipment. The core is equipped with inhalation anesthesia systems, and digital, motorized, computer controlled stereotactic apparatus for electrode placement and cerebral injections in rat and mouse brain. The EEG core users will have free access to Review Stations located on the 3rd floor of the School of Pharmacy to review and analyze data. The review computers are loaded with Stellate, Pinnacle and Lab Chart software.
 
Updated February 2019
 
Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility
The goal of the UCD Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility is to provide investigators with the capabilities to identify, characterize and quantify biomolecules present in tissues, cells and biological fluids. The Facility houses both Proteomics and Metabolomics Cores, which aims to assist members with solving difficult or previously intractable problems in biomedical research. Methods for biomolecule isolation, separation, quantification, identification and bioinformatics analysis, together with expert guidance in study design, are integrated into expertise offered by the Facility. The Facility has access to diverse analytical technologies thereby allowing investigators to adopt multiple strategies and to independently verify their findings. The Facility also provides training in proteomic and metabolomic analysis and experimental design.
 
Updated September 2015 
 
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource (BBSR)
The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resources is situated within the University of Colorado Cancer Center and provides quantitative and information science support for the planning, design, analysis and presentation of basic science, clinical, and epidemiological investigations. The services are provided at a greatly reduced rate for Cancer Center members and include:
  • Consultation on study design (clinical and basic science, including gene expression arrays and proteomics experiments)
  • Consultation on sample size and power
  • Development of data collection, storage, and quality control procedures (basic science and clinical studies, protocol review and monitoring)
  • Data analysis, including genomic and proteomic data
  • Collaboration on manuscript and oral presentation preparation, and grant proposal development.
 
Updated October 2015 
 
Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
The following cores are supported by the NIH/NCATS Colorado CTSA grant:
 
  • Biorepository Core Facility, Scott Lucia, MD
  • CCTSI CTRC Inflammation & Immunology (NJH), Lisa Maier, MD
  • CCTSI CTRC Nutrition, Janine Higgins, PhD
  • CCTSI CTRC Research Nursing & Facilities (NJH), Donald Leung, MD, PhD
  • Colorado Biostatistics Consortium, John Neal
  • Computational Biology Core, Robert Hodges, PhD
  • Gene Expression, Microarray & PCR (UCCC), Mark Geraci, MD
  • Gene-Targeting/Viral Vector Core, Mark Dell'Acqua, PhD
  • Light Microscopy, Bill Betz, PhD
  • Mass Spectrometry Facility (NJH), Nichole Reidorph, PhD
  • Medicinal Chemistry Core Facility, Michael F. Wempe, PhD
  • Metabolomics Core (NMR), Natalie Serkova, PhD
  • Pharmacology (UCCC), Daniel L. Gustafson, PhD
  • Small Animal Imaging Core (UCCC), Natalie Serkova, PhD
  • Transgenic and Gene Targeting Core, Peter Koch, PhD
  • UCH-CTRC Core Laboratory (CCTSI), Bryan Haugen, MD
 
Updated September 2015
 
Colorado Translational Research Imaging Center (C-TRIC)
C-TRIC is a comprehensive research imaging center on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Established in 2010 from SIRC funds and the support of the CU departments, the goal of C-TRIC is to create for the campus a collaborative, research imaging environment by bringing together researchers from different disciplines with imaging scientists, and providing the organizational structure and a state-of-the art imaging facility that maximizes creative translational discovery.
 
Our areas of service include:
  • Human imaging
  • Animal imaging
  • Optical imaging
  • Radio-chemistry
  • Quantitative image analysis
  • Imaging informatics
  • Imaging education
 
Last updated November 2013
 
Cytogenetics Service
The Cytogenetics Service is part of the Cancer Center Molecular Pathology Shared Resource.
 
Services offered:
  • Specimen preparation for interphase and metaphase cytogenetic analyses including cell culture and harvesting and tailored slide dropping for G-banding, spectral karyotyping (SKY), interphase FISH and metaphase FISH analyses.
  • Processing, analyses, interpretation and reporting for karyotyping using approved nomenclature including classical G- banding in human and rodent specimens (mouse, rat, hamster) and SKY in human and mouse specimens.
  • Development and analytical validation of custom DNA FISH probes for human and mouse species, including probe design, DNA cloning, DNA labeling in multiple formats, characterization of the variability of the patterns in normal and abnormal specimens (reportable range), definition of scoring system, identification of optimal cut-offs for specimen classification, determination of accuracy and reproducibility.
  • Preparation of panels of DNA FISH probe for FFPE sections including optimization of label schema for laboratory-developed reagents and combination of laboratory-developed and commercially available reagents in multiple formats, such as 2 targets/2 colors, 3 targets/3 colors, 4-targets/4-colors, 6-targets/2-colors.
  • Preparation of positive and negative external controls for FISH assays using commercially available and laboratory-developed probes.
  • Performance and analyses of FISH assays in a variety of biological specimens including Carnoy’s fixed cell suspensions, FFPE of tissue sections, and cell blocks from cytology and aspirate specimens. Assays in arrayed tissue (TMAs) are also offered.
  • Design and performance of experiments in small to large research projects to investigate genomic anomalies such as gene fusions, gene amplifications and homozygous or hemizygous genomic losses in tumor cohorts.
  • Acquisition of high resolution microscope images and preparation of high-quality figures illustrating representative results.
  • Comprehensive organization of result data from research projects in summary tables and coordination with Biostatistics Shared Resource for data presentation in a user-friendly format for analyses.
  • Archival of experimental records and microscope images for an extended period of time (7 years or more upon specific request).
  • Consulting services for experimental design for grant proposals or funded projects, technical interpretation of literature data, comparison among cytogenetic data from specimens tested elsewhere or between published and ongoing studies.
  • Consulting services for preparation of documents for regulatory agencies such as FDA including production of detailed standard operation procedures and technical summaries of assay performance characteristics.
 
Location: Anschutz Medical Campus, RC1 South, room L18-8401A
Director: Marileila Varella Garcia, PhD
Contact: email: marileila.garcia@ucdenver.edu; phone: 303-724-3147
 
Updated September 2015
 
Flow Cytometry Shared Resource Facility (FCSR)
Using flow cytometric analysis, high-speed cell sorting,  and multiplexed fluorescent microsphere assays, the Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FCSR) can perform a wide range of assays supporting cancer research, including cell cycle, cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell viability, cell signaling, stem cell detection, fluorescent protein analysis and cell phenotyping. These assays are crucial to understand how cancer derails normal cellular processes to cause disease.
 
FCSR has two sites, one at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and one at National Jewish Health. The FCSR also serves as the Flow Cytometry Core for the Gates Stem Cell Center and the CU Skin Diseases Research Cores. We provide a consultation to help those CU Cancer Center members with little flow cytometry or immunology background to design appropriate experiments.
 
Last Updated November 2013
 
Genomics and Microarray Core
This shared resource is an advanced, state-of-the-art DNA and protein microarray and next generation (NextGen) DNA sequencing, and single cell genomics technology center providing crucial research support for investigators interested in using:
 
Next Generation Sequencing:
  • Illumina HiSeq 2000/2500 sequencing
  • Illumina MiSeq sequencing
  • LifeTech IonPGM,sequencing
 
DNA Microarray
  • llumina BeadArrays
  • Agilent Microarrays
  • Affymetrix GeneChips® Microarray or Plate Arrays
 
Proteomics:
  • Somalogic SOMAscan
  • Single Cell Genomics:
  • Fluidigm C1, Juno, Biomark HD and Access Array
 
Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality DNA microarray, NextGen DNA sequencing, Proteomics, and Single Cell Genomics laboratory instruction, service, and consultation to the research and clinical community affiliated with UCDenver and other research institutions in the region.
 
Updated September 2015

Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource (HIMSR)
The Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource (HIMSR) facilitates clinical and translational studies that aim to dissect mechanisms of immunopathogenesis and identify novel disease-specific biomarkers with diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The HIMSR is currently under development (Fall 2016) and will provide standardized, state-of-the-art peripheral blood and tissue sample processing, and immune monitoring assays at the genomic, proteomic, and cellular level.  The assays offered include immunephenotype and function characterization by flow cytometry and mass cytometry, multicolor fluorescence tissue imaging, multiplex cytokine analysis, DNA/RNA sequencing, TCR/BCR sequencing, and cellular function assays (in vitro killing, proliferation, intracellular cytokines, etc). The HIMSR partners with the research community to discuss appropriate research endpoints and assays, to test and develop new technologies for immune monitoring, and support the integration of data from these immune monitoring assays with clinical data, including archiving, data mining, bioinformatics and statistical analysis. For questions or to inquire about current services offered, please contact Kim Jordan.

Updated November 2016
 
NMR Structural Biology Shared Resource Facility
NMR Core facilities provide access to state of the art instrumentation to researchers the Anschutz Medical Campus and its affiliated institutions for the study of the structure and function of biologically important molecules implicated in the development and progression of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, aging, and infectious disease organisms. The NMR core was established in 1996 with funds provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Cancer Institute. Ongoing support for the NMR facility is provided by the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the School of Medicine. The NMR facility is located in Room L18-1300 on the first floor of RC-1 South at the CU Anschutz and is directed by Dr. David Jones. Operation and administration of the 800 and 900 MHz NMR spectrometers is presently handled through a consortium of the CU Anschutz School of Medicine, UC Boulder and the University of Utah.
 
Spectrometers at CU Anschutz
  • Varian INOVA 500 MHz
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe - sensitivity of 850:1 (ETB)
  • Varian INOVA 600 MHz
  • 5mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N cold probe - sensitivity > 4000:1 (ETB)
  • Varian 900 MHz Direct Drive NMR system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N cold probe with Z-axis gradient
 
Spectrometers at UC Boulder
  • Varian 800 MHz Direct Drive NMR system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N cold probe
 
Also available are Luminex Multiplex Bead Assays, ViCell Cell Counter, Victor Multilabel Counter and Cytospin microscope slide centrifuge.
 
Last Updated November 2013
 
Peptide and Protein Chemistry Core Facility
The Peptide and Protein Chemistry Core Facility at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus provides state-of-the-art instrumentation for solid-phase peptide synthesis using Boc- and Fmoc-chemistry, peptide purification by reversed-phase HPLC and peptide identification by mass spectrometry (LC-MS) services for academic and industrial clients. Core Facility personnel will help users select and design the appropriate peptide sequences for their applications including how and where to incorporate fluorescent and biotin labeled probes, incorporation of modified and isotopic labeled amino acids and covalent constraints to stabilize the peptide conformation, etc. The Core also provides instruction for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for the use of HPLC and LC-MS approaches. The Core Facility provides HPLC-purified synthetic peptides at purities greater than 95% at the milligram to gram scale. Quotations are provided for each peptide project and cost reductions are given for ordering large numbers of peptides. Directed by Dr. Lajos Gera, the Core is equipped with state of-the-art instrumentation including:
 
  • AAPPTec Focus XC-4RV and CEM Liberty Microwave automated Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesizers for Boc- and Fmoc-chemistry
  • Agilent 1100 and 1200 HPLC analytical systems
  • Beckman System Gold preparative HPLC system (10 ml/min max)
  • Sharp Semi-prep Gradient Purification System (5 to 50 ml/min)
  • Agilent 1100 LC/Electrospray MS system
  • HF Cleavage apparatus for Boc-chemistry
 
Updated October 2015
 
Protein Production/MoAB/Tissue Culture Core
This shared resource core of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, offers generation of custom hybridomas services, in vitro production and purification of monoclonal antibodies from existing hybridisms; custom baculovirus services (construction of recombinant virus, amplification and titering of recombinant baculovirus stocks), production of large quantities of protein (including monoclonal antibodies) from either transfected mammalian cells or insect cells.  The Shared Resource offers a cell line repository that includes >200 authenticated cancer cell lines that are free of mycoplasma.  In addition there is an on-site culture media/serum supply center that offers tested fetal calf serum at substantially reduced prices.  In 2015 an IncuCyte Imagining platform was added which can quantitate cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell migration, and invasion of cells in real time using 96 well plates as wekk as other formats.
 
Updated September 2015
 
Structural Biology Core
The Structural Biology Core provides University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers access to instrumentation and expertise in the use of X-ray Crystallography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. The NRM Core provides services related to:
  • Structure Determination of Large Macromolecules (Proteins/Nucleic Acids)
  • Crystallization Screening
  • Preliminary Crystal Screening and Data Collection
  • Solution structural analysis of small molecules
 
X-ray Instrumentation

 
  • The home source is composed of a Rigaku Micromax 007 high frequency microfocus X-ray generator, a VariMax high flux optic with adjustable divergence, an AFC11 4-axis goniometer, a Pilatus 200K 2D area detector, and an Oxford Cobra cryo-system. HKL-3000R is used for data collection and processing and is run on a Linux CentOS Dell Precision Workstation.

 
  • Rigaku/MSC Crystallization Robotics include: Alchemist liquid handling robot for optimization screen production, Phoenix drop setting robot, and 2 Desktop Minstrel imaging units and a plate hotel that are all networked and integrated with Crystal trak software.
 
NMR Instrumentation
  • Varian INOVA 500 MHz system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe with Z-axis gradient with sensitivity of 850:1 (ETB)
  • 3 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe with Z-axis gradient with ETB sensitivity of 850:1
  • Varian INOVA 600 MHz system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe with Z-axis gradient
  • 5mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N cryogenically cooled probe with Z-axis gradients.
  • Varian INOVA 800 MHz system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe with Z-axis gradient
  • Varian 900 MHz Direct Drive NMR system
  • 5 mm triple resonance 1H/13C/15N probe with Z-axis gradient
 
The Structural Biology Core is located on the first floor of the south building of the RC-1 complex at UC AMC. The 500, 600 MHz and 900 MHz NMR spectrometers are located in Room 1300 (4500 sq ft), which has a separate wet lab for sample preparation and computer room for data processing located inside room 1300. The 800 MHz NMR spectrometer is located at UC Boulder, a 40 minute drive from the Anschutz Medical Campus. The X-ray instrumentation is located in room 1301 (1600 sq ft), which houses the X-ray generators used for data collection and X-ray control computers. The crystallization lab is located in room 1201 (800 sq ft) and has 3 walk-in crystallization rooms, which can be set to 3 different temperatures (i.e., 4, 15 and 30 °C). UCD and National Jewish Hospital have 2/3 of a one tenth share of the Molecular Biology Consortium beamline at the Advanced Light Source, beam line 4.2.2., Berkley CA.
 
Last Updated November 2013
 
Transgenic and Gene Targeting Core
The Transgenic and Gene Targeting Core is a full-service facility designed to assist you in generating genetically engineered mouse models for biomedical research. Our services include gene targeting in embryonic stem cells, the generation of ES cell-derived knockout and knockin mice, transgenic mice (conventional and BAC transgenic mice) and the cryo-preservation of mouse lines.
 
The latter service is of particular importance for investigators that have long-term projects with non-commercial mouse lines. Changes in the genetic make-up of your mouse lines that occur spontaneously over time (gene drift) and disease outbreaks can significantly affect the outcome of your research. It is therefore advisable to preserve your mouse lines, providing you with a backup of your valuable research tools. We currently offer both embryo cryopreservation as well as sperm cryopreservation for this purpose.
 
Last Updated November 2013 
 
Xray Crystallography Structural Biology Shared Resource
The X-ray crystallography facility was set up in 1999. The facility is fully equipped for biomolecular crystallization, crystal screening, data collection, data processing, structure-determination and model building. It currently has a a Rigaku Micromax 007 high frequency microfocus X-ray generator, a VariMax high flux optic with adjustable divergence, an AFC11 4-axis goniometer, a Pilatus 200K 2D area detector, and an Oxford Cobra cryo-system. HKL-3000R is used for data collection and processing and is run on a Linux CentOS Dell Precision Workstation. The facility is located in RC1 South Building Rm 1301. It is directed by Dr. Mair Churchill (Department of Pharmacology), and is managed by Dr. John Hardin (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics).
 
Last Updated November 2013