The overall goal of the Imaging and Stem Cell Biology Core is to enhance the effectiveness of the CURE: DDRCC program by providing cost effective services through centralized resources and facilities, and training and assistance for the application of morphological, imaging and stem cell biology technologies as well as promoting collaborations among CURE:DDRCC investigators with independently-funded research projects requiring these approaches.
The specific aims are 1) To provide training and expertise for the visualization of chemical messengers and proteins and characterization of phenotypical aspects of genetically engineered mice; 2) To provide training, assistance and access to state-of-the-art equipment for an array of contemporary imaging approaches that have a broad application in cell biology and neurobiology; and 3) To provide training, facilities and expertise for the preparation and isolation of human and murine intestinal stem cell, and to generate 3D in vitro culture systems that can be used to help model human epithelial and smooth muscle disorders. The Imaging and Stem Cell Biology Core services range from morphological and imaging approaches, which include immunohistochemistry, light microscopy, digital photography, image analysis, confocal microscopy, fluorescence analysis of living cells (Ca2+ imaging, photoactivatable proteins and biological biosensors tagged with fluorescent proteins), quantum dot nanotechnology, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, mouse pathology, and antibodies central bank to stem cell biology. This includes isolation and in vitro culture methods of human and murine intestinal epithelium, in vitro retroviral transduction methods, generation and use of patient-specific pluripotent stem : cell and intestinal stem cell sorting, division and differentiation methods. The core services will be instrumental for studies aimed at elucidating the tissue and cellular distribution of signaling molecules that play a role in the control of Gl functions and in the pathogenesis of Gl disorders, visualizing signaling pathways that regulate cellular functions, and the generation of intestinal glands from embryonic murine and human stem cells to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of epithelial cell disorders
The availability of state-of-the-art equipment and resources for sophisticated imaging approaches and of technologies to isolate stem cells and induce enteroendocrine differentiation in vitro, has a significant impact on the Center program by allowing investigations of cellular processes and signaling mechanisms regulating Gl functions and of the molecular basis of Gl disorders, critical for advanced diagnosis and efficient therapy.
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