The Cell and Tissue Imaging Core Facility is entering its 11th year of operation. David R. Hinton M.D., Core Director, and Ernesto Barron, Core Manager, have led this shared use facility since its inception. Its mission, as developed by the Cancer Center Executive Committee, is to provide advanced cell and tissue imaging technology, services, and scientific consultation that facilitate scientific interaction and enhance scientific productivity of Cancer Center investigators. The Core was originally developed as a partnership between the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCC) and the Doheny Eye Institute;in the past two years, the University of Southern California has joined the partnership by providing $1.5 million in Provost funds for purchase of new equipment. The 2,000 sq. ft. laboratory space for this Core is provided by the Doheny Eye Institute at no cost to the Cancer Center. Cancer Center users have priority access to the Core. All funds requested in this proposal are for costs directly related to the Cancer Center's use of the Core. The major users of this Core are Cancer Center investigators with peer-reviewed, funded projects. The Core is also open to other Cancer Center members who need its facilities to develop pilot project data. In the past year, the Core was utilized by 36 investigators from nine Cancer Center programs. The Facility is open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, with on-site technical support available 9 hrs/day (weekdays). In the past funding period, the Core has successfully implemented an online chargeback system for user fees. A wide range of sophisticated imaging equipment and services is available to Cancer Center members including laser scanning confocal/multiphoton microscopy, live cell spinning disk confocal imaging, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), digital light and fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence and bright field laser capture microdissection, thin sectioning, cryo-sectioning and embedding techniques, and computer aided graphics. In 2008, institutional funds from the USC Provost were obtained to obtain new "state of the art" instruments including a PerkinEImer Spinning Disk Confocal with live cell imaging capability, a JEOL 200kV JEM-2100 LaB6 TEM with cryo-EM capability, and a JEOL JSM- 6390V/LGS Variable Pressure SEM. In the past 18 months, we have provided extensive training on the new equipment including nine group training sessions and >100 individual training sessions. We are continuously upgrading our imaging software (Velocity, deconvolution) and advising and instructing Cancer Center investigators in novel methodologies and protocols to enhance their cell and tissue imaging capability.

Public Health Relevance

Investigators at NCCC often need to image cells and tissues as part of their cancer research. Many of the sophisticated state-of-the-art imaging instruments that best support their needs are too expensive to be purchased by individual labs and require specialized technical support. The Cell and Tissue Imaging Core Facility is a shared resource that provides the equipment, training and expertise to facilitate this cancer research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles
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