Shared research core facilities and resources provide for centralized support of technologies essential to modern biomedical research, offering a wide variety of instrumentation, services, and expertise.
The Department of Animal Resources and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee provides animal procurement, animal care, veterinary services and scientific and diagnostic support for animals used in testing and research at USC. Our Department also assists faculty in preparing proposals and carrying out animal-based research and teaching activities at USC.
Stem Cell Engineering
At the stem cell engineering facility, researchers at USC and beyond create tools to study basic biological processes, such as organ development; explore mechanisms underlying various devastating diseases; and generate tools to treat genetic disorders. To assist in these endeavors, the facility genetically modifies embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines. Genetically modified ES and iPS cell lines derived from disease-specific animal models and patients provide an opportunity to investigate the mechanisms of disease and to further develop new treatments for clinical therapy.
The Bioreagent and Cell Culture Core Facility supports cancer related research that requires in vitro experiments, provides reagents for cell culture and prepares Bioreagents that are produced by cells grown in the facility.
The Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) core provides researchers with a powerful method to study and purify cells for wide applications in immunology, cell biology and other fields of biology.
Flow Cytometry is a technology used to make fluorescent measurements of special fluorochromes bound to or made by various cells as they travel in single file through one or more laser lines while confined by a laminar fluid. Common applications involve immunolabeling of extracellular or intracellular proteins with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies, reactive dyes, or nucleic acid dyes. Fluorochromes are excited to emit various colors of light by the lasers. Data acquisition is achieved with specialized computer software directly interfaced with the cytometer.
The Flow Cytometry Core Facility provides the research community with state-of-the-art technology to selectively phenotype and isolate specific populations of cells. Using fluorescent probes and transgenic proteins, researchers monitor several aspects of their cell populations, including phenotype, cell viability, proliferation, cell cycle and cell activation. Additionally, cell purification by electrostatic cell sorting enables cutting-edge research on low frequency cells. This essential resource aids investigators performing research in cancer, cancer-related areas, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at USC and in the Los Angeles region.
Flow Cytometry is an essential resource for investigators performing research in cancer and cancer related areas. With the increasing number of assays being developed which utilize flow cytometry, this resource supports a diverse group of investigators. The Flow Cytometry Core Facility has been used to address questions in cellular immunology, cell biology, chemical carcinogenesis, radiology, human tumor cell cycle kinetics, mechanisms of drug action and differences between patient samples and normal donors.
The Genomics Core performs high throughput analyses of genetic (polymorphism/mutation) and epigenetic variations (DNA methylation) that underlie predisposition and progression to cancer. The Core uses the latest technology to evaluate primarily genetic variations for association studies using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs represent the most commonly occurring DNA sequence variations in the human genome and within several years these polymorphisms will be present at a density of 1 every 1-2 kb. A dense set of these markers can be used to identify genetic factors associated with complex disease traits. These analyses can be performed to investigate germline genetic changes giving rise to hereditary or familial cancer and to investigate somatic genetic changes that are hallmarks of clonal expansion in tumors.
The USC School of Pharmacy Histology Core Laboratory, located on the 4th floor of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, is ready to help you with your histology and pathology research. This school-wide core laboratory is open to any USC researcher and has everything you will need to make microscope slides from tissue samples. Tissues can be paraffin embedded, sectioned and stained in the laboratory. Sectioning can involve making microtome, vibratome and cryostat thin slices. You can also make color photographs of your microscopic images for publication. Expert advice is available concerning staining techniques and the interpretation of microscopic images.
The Cellular Imaging Core houses modern light microscopy and digital image processing equipment to support cell biology research at our facility as well as other institutions. Established in 2000 to provide state-of-the-art equipment in microscopy and digital imaging to investigators at CHLA. Core personnel perform microscopy and image analysis on research samples and also provide ongoing training and education in the use of the imaging instruments and software, provides consultation regarding experimental approach, recent literature, new methods, and assists with grant and manuscript preparation.
The Cell and Tissue Imaging Core facility operates under the direction of Dr. David Hinton and is supervised by Ernesto Barron and Anthony Rodriguez. It is located in a 2,100-square-foot, shared-use facility on the USC Health Science Campus within the Doheny Vision Research Center (DVRC) Room 214. The facility is available to all in the USC community by appointment 24 hours/day. Training and assistance in the use of the instruments and associated technical procedures is provided by appointment and in scheduled in-service training sessions.
The USC Molecular Imaging Center (USC MIC) offers accessibility to a wide variety of state-of-the-art imaging instrumentation. As an integral part of the Department of Radiology’s mission to promote Interdisciplinary research in oncology, neurology, cardiology and other disciplines, our goal is to Increase awareness and accessibility for all scientists, as well as assist investigators with imaging research projects.
The Center for Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis (CEMMA) is a core facility at the University of Southern California for imaging and microanalysis of samples from the Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. CEMMA is located in the former Human Centrifuge Building, originally used by NASA for research in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. This 5000 sq. ft. building with a solid, vibration free first floor is centrally located with respect to the science and engineering activities on the University Park Campus.
The Microscopy Core Facility provides access to powerful microscopes that enable scientists to take high-resolution pictures of stem cells. These include still images and time-lapse videos. Cells or parts of cells can be labeled with fluorescent dyes, which enable better identification of molecules and structures within cells, or to trace the fate of cells as they migrate, divide and differentiate within tissues.
The Resource Center for Medical Ultrasonic Transducer Technology, associated with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, is a multidisciplinary center devoted to research and training in medical ultrasonic transducer engineering.
Our Proteomics Facility enables researchers to answer pressing biological questions about the functions and roles of proteins in disease by combining proteomics with advanced mass spectrometry.
The new Proteomics Core Facility is located in Hoffman Medical building (HMR 511/513) at Keck School of Medicine with a satellite at the Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Core will provide high-sensitivity and high-resolution mass spectrometry for protein and peptide analysis as its primary technology. The Core is a university-wide resource and is supported by funds from the Office of Provost, Keck School of Medicine, Center for Liver and Digestive Diseases, School of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Therapeutic Design, Discovery & Development
At the therapeutic screening facility, researchers can screen a large collection of small molecules to see how they affect various biological processes. They can use these molecules as a tool for their research or identify potential drug leads for future “cures” of the disease of interest. The therapeutic screening facility is comprised of chemical libraries, specialized equipment for cell-based screening and highly trained technicians to run the facility and support investigators.
The USC School of Pharmacy Translational Research Laboratory, located on the Jane and Gale Bensussen Research Floor (fifth floor) of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, is designed to promote translational therapeutic discovery. This school-wide core laboratory is composed of two major units. The Bioinformatics/Computational Chemistry Unit is equipped with graphic workstations and modeling programs that provide for computer-based virtual screening and rational drug design applications. The Therapeutic Screening Unit houses a number of state-of-the-art specialized instruments that enable a broad range of automated and multiplexed biological analyses in a throughput manner.
Transgenic/Knockout Mouse in Vivo Models
The USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Transgenic Core Facility. The Facility was established in 1993 to provide high-quality embryo and stem cell manipulation, microinjection and related services to the USC community, as well as outside researchers. The core handles the production of transgenic mice, gene targeting and the production of knockout Mice, Construction targeting vector design, preparation of DNA for injection and In vitro fertilization, Re-derivation, as well as Cryopreservation.
Vector Design & Construction
Assists in the design and construct of retroviral or lentiviral vectors, and in the packaging of previously developed vectors for laboratory research. Provides consultation in vector design and construction, constructs and packages retro- and lentiviral vectors as high titer concentrated preparations. The core also provides services including labeling of cell lines with marker genes (e.g. luciferase, GFP), vector titer determination by qPCR, and assays for replication competent lentivirus.
The lentivial core facility provides services for production of small scale lentiviral stocks containing the gene of interest, lentiviral titrations, concentrations and transductions of cells of interest. We also construct individual lentiviral vectors including sub-cloning of the gene of interest into a pLVX-puro lentiviral vector.