With eleven Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF) spanning nearly 25 locations around the University of Michigan Medical School campus, it’s no surprise that the locations of our facilities play a crucial role in the advancement of our research and projects. Part of the University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research, the BRCF is a group of centralized labs and resources that aim to provide researchers access to the latest technologies and equipment in biomedical research.
Founded in 2012, the Bioinformatics Core at the University of Michigan Medical School assists researchers with interpreting complex, high-throughput biological data, including DNA, RNA and Protein. The Core offers technical expertise in software and analysis, including developing custom software, databases, and visualization tools to meet these needs. The Bioinformatics Core serves nearly 100 labs across Campus and completed 150 projects in FY16.
Since opening the NCRC location in 2011, the Biomedical Research Store has more than tripled their stock on location. The Store stocks more than 700 items from 10 vendors at 5 locations around campus, available for immediate purchase. Since the launch of the NCRC delivery service in January 2014, the Store has made more than 1200 deliveries around the NCRC; in FY17, it made about 450 deliveries at NCRC.
The DNA Sequencing Core is one of the largest facilities in the Midwest, processing more than 310,000 samples in FY16. This Core occupies approximately 10,000 square feet of laboratory space in the NCRC, with 31 highly trained support staff. They operate a wide variety of instruments that perform DNA sequencing, genotyping, gene expression analysis, DNA quantification and quality control.
The Flow Cytometry Core at NCRC has acquired several state-of-the-art instruments in cell sorting, including the Sony SH800, which has four lasers and six detectors. Analysis at the Flow Core can be scheduled within 24 hours. For cell sorting, appointments are made within 48 hours, reducing wait time from weeks to just a day or two–and thanks to the advancements in digital acquisition, sorting is now 3-10 times faster.
The Microscopy & Image Analysis Laboratory (MIL) is accessible to trained and authorized users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MIL offers expert consultation, training and experimental design, and state-of-the-art equipment for microscopic imaging. The Microscopy Lab serviced nearly 300 grants in FY16.
“The spontaneous interactions between people using the Core Facilities, both at the customer and staff level, produce powerful synergies and processes for research,” said Cassandra Wong, Director of the Biomedical Research Core Facilities. “In no situation is this more apparent than with the Bioinformatics, Epigenomics Core, and DNA Sequencing Cores, who are at the forefront of collaboration in their fields.”