In the first cycle of this SDRC, the Morphology and Phenotyping Core was widely used by cutaneous investigators to understand skin function. This Core has provided fresh and frozen archival tissues, morphogenetic services, instruction and interpretation. Routine histologic (including for 3-D engineered skin) and immunohistochemical processing have been the most highly used services requested by SDRC members and Pilot and Feasibility projects to look for morphological changes and detect altered protein expression. During the past few years, the library of available antibodies for immunohistochemical and immunofiuorescent analyses has dramatically increased, and we anticipate another doubling of our antibody library for these services in the next five years. Laser capture microsdissection will play prominent role in Core services during the next cycle, as SDRC members are discovering its ability to isolate high quality RNA from specific groups of cells and/or cutaneous tissues for subsequent genetic analysis or profiling. The Core has developed many specialized services, such as customized detection of novel antibodies, combined immunohistochemistry and autoradiography to visualize different proliferating populations of cells, and new means of immunohistochemical detection. With increasing use of high throughput screening to test potential protein or gene interventions for skin disease, we anticipate increased use of the Franz cell chamber to evaluate penetration through skin. The Tissue Acquisition services provided by the Morphology and Phenotyping Core have been highly utilized by SDRC members to aid in translational aspects of their research projects. The expertise of the Director and Associate Director of the Core will continue to help investigators evaluate whether phenotypic changes seen in cutaneous structures from their engineered mice or 3-dimensional organotypic raft cultures of human epidermis differ from those of wild type mice or control epidermal cultures. We will continue to ensure that the service results, training and interpretive skills provided by the Morphology and Phenotyping Core lead to increased capabilities and cost-effectiveness for individual investigators, thus strengthening the existing collaborative ventures in cutaneous biology.
The Morphology and Phenotyping Core will continue to provide SDRC users and P&F recipients with morphological techniques and interpretive expertise to facilitate their studies. In addition this Core provides fresh and archival tissues to users to aid in the translational aspects of their research. Through these services, the Core will continue to enhance collaborations among cutaneous biologists at Northwestern.
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