Since 1981, a centralized histology laboratory has provided histologic services to investigators at MDACC.
The aim of the Research Histopathology Facility (RHF) is to provide technical support and consultation, develop and apply appropriate new techniques to support evolving research needs, and maintain the consistency and high quality needed to perform these tissue-based techniques. The RHF processes fixed and frozen specimens including cell line and mouse embryo preparations for histologic analysis in routine, thin and thick sections for immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization;special staining;tissue transfer; DNAse- and RNAse-free procedures;frozen sections;sectioning of tissue microarray blocks;scalpel microdissection;and immunohistochemical staining. The RHF is available to all faculty members at MDACC, with preference given to investigators with peer-reviewed grants. The RHF occupies 740 sq ft of recently renovated laboratory space in the Department of Pathology on the North Campus and 370 sq ft in the R.E. """"""""Bob"""""""" Smith Research Building on the South Campus. Among the services provided are rapid preparation of high-quality standard histologic sections;application of special technologies as needed for selected projects, including preparation of frozen sections and tissue sections for histochemical, immunohistochemical, and in situ hybridization analysis;consultation with investigators to tailor technologies and methodologies to their special needs;and referral for consultation by organ-site subspecialty pathologists on interpretation of histopathology. Laser capture microdissection services will be added in the Fall of 2007. The RHF utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to complete its work, as during the past 2 years both laboratories have replaced their equipment to better serve their users. The RHF currently maintains a staff that includes a Shared Resource Director, a Co-Director, a Manager/Chief Technologist, 2 Senior Histology Technicians, 2 Research Histology Technicians, and 2 Histology Laboratory Assistants. During the past 5 years, the RHF was used by 287 investigators representing 18 different CCSG Programs, and use increased by 569%. Users with peer-reviewed funding accounted for 78% of service utilization and represented 53% of users. Future plans include continued improvement of the Histology Chargeback Database System, continuation of the equipment replacement cycle, expansion of the South Campus facility, and activation of laser capture microdissection services.
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