Main Core and Shared Equipment Facilities

 

LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans has numerous core facilities that are available to our investigators.  Operationally, they can be divided into Cores that are run by the School of Medicine, and those that are administered through Departments/Centers.  Regardless of their organization, these core facilities are available to all LSUHSC faculty and staff on a fee per use basis.  These services are also available to outside institutions. 

 

Animal Care

Dr. Leslie Birke DVM , Associate Director & Clinical Veterinarian

The Division of Animal Care (DAC) supports the research activities of LSUHSC faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, residents, and students by fostering a comprehensive program of quality animal care. The DAC provides high quality laboratory animals, ensures humane care and use of all laboratory animals, provides expert technical knowledge, and provides training of all faculty and staff in accordance with related laws and guidelines of all federal and state agencies. LSUHSC and the DAC are committed to supporting continued advancements in biomedical research. Mission is to promote the health and well-being of people and animals everywhere by providing quality care of animals and support for scientists at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

The LSUHSC Dental School Annex is a 9,000 ft2 facility which features 8 animal rooms, 4 procedure rooms, a large animal OR suite, and a necropsy room, that will replace Dental School facilities lost during Hurricane Katrina. Construction is completed and a move in date is projected for July. Enhanced allergen protection will be provided with Lab Products individually ventilated cages which are connected to the building exhaust. All animals will be maintained in sterilized caging and changed using aseptic technique.

 

Bioinformatics and Genomics Core

Dr. Chindo Hicks PhD Director

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core provides support to investigators in traditional experimental planning and design, power analysis, statistical analysis, and data interpretation. Dr. Claudia Leonardi from the School of Public Health, LSUHSC, will facilitate access to an extended Louisiana State network of computational resources. In addition, Dr. Chindo Hicks, bioinformatician, and Professor of the Department of Genetics, LSUHSC, will support bioinformatics component of the Core.

 

Biospecimen Core Laboratory (BCL )

Dr. Arnold Zea PhD , Co-Director

The BCL is a part of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC) infrastructure with mission to collect high quality samples of normal and diseased human material (e.g., whole blood, cellular blood components, bone marrow, plasma, serum, urine, benign and malignant tissue) with appropriate pathological data. The material collected is available to qualified researchers at the LCRC while ensuring ethical informed consent, safety, donor anonymity, and all regulatory safeguards are in place. We will also provide access to the unique clinical samples to support translational aspects of the research programs that are crucial to investigate how molecular and cellular pathways identified in vitro or in experimental animals correlate with human disease. Since its creation in 2008, the BCL has become a vital resource for researchers from LSUHSC, Tulane, Xavier and Dillard Universities conducting cancer research. Our core provides leadership, tools and resources to investigators, to enable translational research and precision medicine for patients. More information can be found here

 

Cellular Immunology and Immune Metabolism Core (CIMC )

Dr. Dorota Wyczechowska PhD , Director

This core currently provides state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise in flow cytometry and cell sorting, and immune cell function. In addition to the BD FACSAria sorter, the core houses advanced analyzers such as BD LSRII, Auto MACS cell sorter, BioRad Bio-plex system, Elispot reader and Luminoscan. It will provide consulting services on experimental design technical assistance, trouble shooting, and data analysis. This core also will provide services to PJIs from other participating institutions to facilitate the collaborative efforts of this proposal.

 

Clinical Trials and Translational Research Core

Dr. Steve Nelson, MD, CM, FCCP, Director

The LSUHSC Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) is approximately 2,000 square feet.  This space is located in the LSUHSC Seton Building at 2025 Gravier Street, Room 652.  It includes five exam rooms, two interview rooms, two offices, medical records room, core lab, lobby, and a nurse’s station.  Any LSU investigator or their affiliates conducting an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved clinical research project may apply to use the LSU CTRC on a fee-for-service basis. The cost for using the CTRC and its services for a pharmaceutical or investigator-initiated study will vary according to the services utilized and available funding.  The CTRC will provide a cost analysis for study implementation, which is subject to review and approval prior to study initiation.  Study submission begins with the completion of the CTRC application in SPARC at sparc.lacats.org.  CTRC has the following equipment for use: KoKo Spirometry, Bod Pod (Total Body Composition), Welch Allyn Spot Vital Signs machines with pulse oximetry, Interview rooms equipped with computers for questionnaire and data input, EKG, Hemocu, Glucometer, and Indirect Calorimetry.

 

The Epidemiology Data Center (EDC )

Dr. Edward Peters, DMD, ScD , Director

The Epidemiology Data Center (EDC) provides biostatistical, epidemiological, and study design support for health-related research projects sponsored by federal agencies, industry, and other funding sources. The staff at the EDC can assist with questionnaire and data collection form design, implementation of study protocols, data management, data entry, and statistical, database programming. The EDC hosts and provides research support for an LSU Health REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) installation. This secure, web-based software was first developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University, and is currently supported by an international consortium of users. Using REDCap, the research team can design web-based surveys and engage potential respondents using a variety of notification methods, including email survey invitations and text messages. REDCap provides flexible features that can be used for a variety of research projects and provides an intuitive interface to enter data with real time validation (automated data type and range checks). The system offers easy data manipulation with audit trails, reports for monitoring and querying participant records, and an automated export mechanism to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus). For those conducting clinical trials, the EDC designs and manages data management projects using REDCap Cloud, a HIPAA compliant, web-based software ideal for early phase trials requiring FDA compliant electronic data management systems. In addition, The EDC designs high-quality scannable paper forms using OpenText Teleform v10.7 software. Once data has been verified as accurate and complete, it is exported to any standard format for data analysis purposes. The EDC also creates electronic online forms and surveys using SurveyGizmo® software. Additionally, the center can provide epidemiologic methodologic and statistical support for all phases of study design, execution and analyses. More information can be found here or email.

 

Genomics Core

Dr. Judy Crabtree PhD , Director, or Dr. Christopher Taylor PhD, Co-Director

The Genomics Core Facility is a core resource of LSU Health Sciences Center, sponsored jointly by the Cancer Center and Gene Therapy Program. The Facility is committed to providing quality service by fulfilling the needs of the research community in a consistently rapid, dependable, and economical fashion. Services include automated DNA sequencing, using state-of-the-art instrumentation (ABI PRISM 3130XL Genetic Analyzers) and the latest protocols to ensure high quality results at reasonable prices. The Facility also houses an ABI Prism 7900 HT (a high throughput real-time PCR system) and a Biomek2000 liquid handling robot. The Genomics Core Facility is located in the CSRB, room 738D. For further information, visit the webpage.

 

HIV-Clinical/Tumor Biorepository Core

Dr. Sukanthini Subbiah MD , Director

This Core was initially created to support clinical trials however; it will be expanded with this new addition of new program projects to assist Private Junior Investigators (PJIs) with patient enrollment and subsequent collection, storage, and retrieval of linked clinical data and biospecimens for laboratory analyses. Personnel servicing this Core will be positioned within assigned space at the LSUHSC HIV Outpatient (HOP) Clinic. Clinical data and biospecimens will be linked through established alpha-numeric coding procedures and routine interactions between clinic-based data managers and research associates performing patient enrollment, as well as repository technicians who receive and store biospecimens within the nearby Louisiana Cancer Research Center. The Core will also assist PJIs with creation of IRB protocols and sample shipment to collaborators off campus through interface with clinic-based regulatory personnel. Dr. Subbiah’s close ties to the HOP Clinic and his role as an active HIV clinical provider will facilitate these interactions and support for PJIs.

 

Molecular Histopathology and Analytical Microscopy Core (MHAM)

Dr. Luis Del Valle MD , Director

This core was established in response to high-demands for pathology expertise and laboratory analyses of a large number of clinical and animal tumor samples. This core is critical for Center for Translational Viral Oncology (CTVO) and is/will be heavily utilized by all investigators involved in this project. The core will assist PJIs and their mentors with histopathological evaluation of clinical materials, and will determine how different molecular pathways are altered in the context of carcinogenesis. The highly trained core staff will perform routine tissue processing for paraffin and frozen section preparation, H&E staining, immuno-histochemistry, immune-histofluorescence, in-situ hybridization, and will assist PJIs in all technical challenges and pathological evaluation of the obtained results. In addition, small animal Imaging based on optical imaging (Xenogen IVIS 200), and laser-capture micro-dissection will be available to scientists as a collaborative effort between MHAM and Morphology/Imaging Core.

 

Morphology and Imaging Core

Dr. Luis Marrero PhD , Director

The Morphology and Imaging Core (MIC) is a comprehensive histopathology and specialized imaging center. The purpose of this core laboratory is to assist investigators requiring detection, imaging, and morphometric analysis of gene and protein expression in any type of cell and tissue. The facility will provide services for sample preparation and analysis as well as training to users. One of the goals is to assure high quality, consistent reproducibility, and technical expertise to produce valid microscopy studies for presentation, publications, and grant proposals to investigators throughout the LSUHSC, Tulane, and neighboring/national academic communities. MIC is located on the 5th floor of the Clinical Sciences Research Building. Click here for more information.

 

Proteomics Core

Dr. Arthur Haas PhD , Director

The Proteomics Core Facility is a resource of LSU Health Science Center New Orleans, sponsored by the SOM. It is located on the 3 rd  floor of the CSRB. The mission of The LSUHSC Proteomics Core Facility is to support investigators in their biomedical research programs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the surrounding New Orleans area. The central focus of The LSUHSC Proteomics Core Facility is in the identification of unknown proteins, the characterization of potential post-translational modifications (phosphorylation, ubiquitination, etc.) resulting from targeted proteomic screens arising from immunoprecipitation, protein interaction studies, or similar approaches, and the implementation of quantitative proteomics analysis approaches. The LSUHSC Proteomics Core Facility houses a nano-flow 2D liquid chromatography coupled to an Electrospray Ionization Linear Ion Trap (LC-MS) instrument for sensitive analyses of samples for which protein identification is required. In addition, a newly acquired Thermo Fusion Orbitrap mass spectrometer facilitates discovery-based quantitative proteomic workflow and is also coupled to nano flow 2D liquid chromatography. The bulk of experimentation in The Core includes protein mass spectrometry for the identification of unknown protein targets. Increasingly more complex samples are being subjected to the quantitative proteomics workflow and analysis. Other applications available in The Core include studies of protein expression profiling, posttranslational modifications, and partial sequencing of novel proteins. In addition, the Core provides access to HPLC methodologies on a case-by-case basis. The staff members also consult with researchers about their particular research interests and assist with development of novel scientific protocols. For more specifics contact Dr. Haas or visit the webpage or department Contact Information.

 

Translational Genomics Core (TGC)

Dr. Jovanny Zabaleta PhD , Director

The LSUHSC, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center’s Translational Genomics Core (TGC) TGC is committed to our research community through service, training, teaching and organizing seminars to keep our community informed of recent development in specific topics concerning genomics.

To fulfill this goal, we follow these Specific Aims: 1- To provide expert training in the different genomic techniques used in the TGC to any interested researcher. Our policy is to help people understand the technologies in the TGC for a better use of them and to obtain the best results possible. To do this we invite researchers from time to time to come and work with us in the processing of their own samples. In this way they could better understand the procedures used in the TGC and would improve the way to handle their samples, improving the chances of better results. 2- To provide a high quality service to our genomic users. In order to accomplish this we are always learning about the techniques used in the TGC and keep a close contact with our providers to look for new improvements, way to reduce cost, implementation of new techniques and troubleshooting. 3- To keep our equipment up-to-date in terms of service and software update to better serve our users. To accomplish this, the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center has been instrumental in the establishment of service contracts with Illumina and Life Technologies (now Thermo Scientific), vendors of our three major instruments. These contracts are renewed annually and include visits to our Core for preventive maintenance of the equipment. In addition, both companies have remote assistance and the “Share Desktop” option, so that specialized technicians can access our equipment remotely for diagnostics, software upgrades and assistance. 4- To help in the generation of preliminary data for our scientific community. The TGC has been instrumental in helping our New Orleans scientific community generate high quality data to be included as preliminary information in grant proposals as well providing letters of support to researchers submitting grant proposals.

Located in the 9th Floor of the LCRC Building, the TGC is a core resource of LSU Health Science Center, currently sponsored by COBRE III (P30GM114732, A. Ochoa PI) and COBRE I (1P20GM121288-01, K. Reiss PI) grants. The Facility is committed to providing quality service by fulfilling the needs of the research community in a consistently rapid, dependable, and economical fashion. Services include automated DNA sequencing, using state-of-the-art instrumentation and the latest protocols to ensure high quality results at reasonable prices. The Facility houses an Illumina NextSeq500, a MiSeq (both for next generation sequencing), and an Illumina iScan for the analysis of microarray-based analyses including methylation, GWAS, microarray-based exome analysis, and several focused arrays, among others. The Core also has a 7900HT and QuantStudio 12K real-time PCR systems from ThermoScientific for gene expression validation, a Covaris DNA fragmentation instrument for the preparation of DNA for exome sequencing, a ddSingle cell isolator from Biorad, a 3’-based sequencing technology for the analysis of mRNA levels in single cell suspensions.

 

Vector Core

Dr. Alistair Ramsay PhD , Director

The Vector Core is based at LSUHSC in the MEB and facilitates research through the preparation of stocks of pre-existing vaccine delivery vectors, and the provision of facilities for vector preparation. Current core services include large-scale preparation and quality control of replication-defective poxvirus vectors, including recombinant MVA (modified vaccinia Ankara strain) vectors and FPV (fowlpox virus) vectors. Dedicated space, including biohazard hoods, incubators and centrifuges, is also available for qualified investigators to prepare and grow their recombinant adenovirus stocks under Core supervision.  The Core also maintains an inventory of plasmids and cell lines that are useful in the development of recombinant vectors.  For more information, contact Olga Nichols.  

 


 

Other Off-Campus Collaborative Core Facilities

 

LSU-BATON ROUGE

Imaging Core – LSU Baton Rouge

Dr. Xiaochu Wu PhD , Director

The SVM Microscopy Center is a suite of rooms housed on the 3rd floor of the LSU School of the Veterinary Medicine Building on the LSU Baton Rouge Campus. The entry points for the Center are rooms 3444 and 3434. The Microscopy Center welcomes visitors and users from all areas. The Microscopy Center is a cost service center. The center provides service from sample preparation to image analysis. Currently, the center has transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), laser capture microdissection (LCM), and several fluorescence microscopes. All of these instruments are fully functional for regular and advanced research. Training can be provided by the Microscopy Center. With more than 20 years of experience, we provide high quality and user-satisfied service. 

 

PENNINGTON BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER


Transgenic Core Facility at Pennington Biomedical Research Center

 Dr. Randall Mynatt PhD, Director

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center Transgenic Core Facility produces knockout and transgenic mice for LSUHSC faculty on their "in-house" fee schedule, which is a significant discount over the fees charged at other available institutions. Click here for services offered.

 

Nutrition & Obesity Research Center Core Labs 

Dr. Eric Ravussin PhD, Director

The mission of the NIH-funded Pennington/Louisiana Nutrition & Obesity Research Center (NORC) is "to facilitate and promote collaborative and multi-disciplinary interactions that will foster new research ideas and enhance the translation of basic nutritional research findings into the clinical arena and ultimately into practical application."  Our goal for this new 5-year grant cycle is to promote, initiate, implement and maintain collaborations both within Pennington Biomedical and with other Louisiana researchers interested in obesity research.  It includes sustaining a data management and storage system that allows data sharing by NORC members at Pennington and in other institutions across Louisiana.  Most importantly, it provides state-of-the-art core services available to all obesity researchers across the state.  Pennington NORC's platform includes three scientific cores:

 

XAVIER


Xavier Nanotechnology Core

Dr. Tarun Mandal PhD , Director

It is the mission of the Vaccine Delivery/Nanotechnology Core facility to support and advance vaccine research capacity by providing novel and innovative vaccine delivery formulations. The major goal of the Core, located at Xavier University, is to maintain a state-of-the-art innovative polymeric vaccine delivery research facility in order to support inter-disciplinary research. 

    Core personnel will provide leadership in planning, designing, and implementing innovative nanotechnology, and will assist investigators in conducting preformulation and formulation studies of any potential novel vaccine delivery system for preclinical and NDA studies (New Drug Application following USFDA guidelines). Nano-delivery technology can be developed and/or adapted, in collaboration with researchers, to address the special requirements of either systemic or mucosal (i.e., intranasal, pulmonary, oral, or intra-vaginal) particle-mediated delivery of peptides, proteins and/or recombinant DNA vaccines in preclinical and, ultimately, clinical studies. Targeted particle-or lipid-mediated delivery either of proteins via novel routes (e.g., transcutaneous) or of alternative recombinant vaccine vectors is already under development in the Core and this technology will also be made available to other investigators. 

    Currently, the NIH-funded nanotechnology research laboratory is equipped with R&D-scale pharmaceutical formulation equipment, with a research staff that has developed unique skills in micro-encapsulation for controlled release.