Biological Response Indicators Facility Core


Core Director: Andrew Brooks, PhD
Core Co-Directors: Debra Laskin, PhD and Kenneth Reuhl, PhD

BRI-montageThis Facility Core combines the Center’s long-standing capabilities in cell and molecular analyses, flow cytometry, imaging, and histopathology, with genomic technologies. The Core provides a range of assays for analysis of biological response indicators. By providing consultation and training during the design phase of the experiments, the Core maximizes the ability of investigators to turn data into biologically meaningful results.

The Core is comprised of three units:
  • Genomic Analysis includes technologies for the quantitative assessment of genotype and gene expression. The various genomic platforms provide low, moderate and high-throughput solutions for molecular analyses for genotyping or mRNA expression profiling. For screening, DNA microarrays are employed for expression profiling, while quantitative real time PCR (in a variety of formats) is offered for targeted analyses. The combination of these technological approaches and cutting edge data analyses, integrated with the Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Computational Toxicology Core, allows Center investigators to define biological response indicators and relate these to the interactions between exposure and host factors to provide mechanistic insights into environmental disease.
  • Analytical Cytometry/Image Analysis includes laser-based flow cytometers, and a cell sorter that permits rapid and precise multi-parametric analysis of individual cells and particles from within heterogeneous samples. Laser-scanning confocal microscopy provides three-dimensional images of various structural, biochemical, and functional aspects of tissues and cell samples. A small live animal imaging system is available for analysis of in vivo impacts of exposures, interventions or treatments.
  • Histopathology provides qualitative and quantitative assessment of morphological changes for diagnosis of disease, prediction of incipient disease, and phenotypic anchoring of molecular changes to biolological responses. The unit also provides technical assistance and facilities for all facets of morphological evaluation of cells and tissues, including standard and special histochemistry, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry, autoradiography and receptor radiography, transmission electron microscopy, various forms of stereology or morphometry and laser-capture microdissection.
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