The Integrative Biology Core provides training and service to the members ofthe Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDC) and their research staff in: 1) animal surgery of the gastrointestinal (Gl) tract;2) physiological measurements of Gl properties utilizing both in vivo and in vitro systems;3) the development of animal models of digestive diseases;4) cell isolation;5) whole animal imaging techniques to non-invasively detect functional and anatomical abnormalities, and to monitor the traffic and distribution of biomarkers, drugs and microorganisms. Drs. Lichtenberger and Uray at UTHSC have expertise in the field of Gl physiology and pharmacology, specializing in the in vivo and in vitro models of Gl secretion, barrier function and Gl smooth muscle function, and have developed a number of animal models in their laboratories to study pathophysiological mechanisms of digestive diseases. Dr. Smith, a Collaborator, will bring expertise in animal surgery to the Core and provide assistance and training to members ofthe Center whose research requires animal handling and/or surgery and will provide assistance in issues related to IRB approval for research on laboratory animals. Dr. Thevananther will provide a valuable serve to members of the DDC who require isolated rodent hepatocytes and Kupffer cells for culture or other in vitro studies, with Kupffer cell isolation being a new service. We have also added a new service to assist DDC members in the growth and study Gl organoids in culture. Another service offered to members of the DDC will be to provide assistance with whole animal imaging to non-invasively detect alterations in structure and function, and to monitor the movement of molecular tracers, which has been used successfully to monitor Gl motility and barrier properties. The Integrative Biology Core aims to assist the members ofthe Center in the development of the required techniques utilizing laboratory animals and tissues to accomplish their research goals. In addition to the Directors, the services of an experienced Animal Physiological &Surgical Technician will provide hands on training of members ofthe DDC in accordance to a prioritization schedule to assure the development of junior investigators. The staff of the Integrative Biology Core will also serve to facilitate interactions and collaborations between members ofthe Center.

Public Health Relevance

This Core offers training and expertise to assess physiological responses in animals or tissues. It helps develop new animal models of digestive diseases and non-invasive methods to monitor animals. Finally it provides hepatocytes and organoids to investigators.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-8)
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Baylor College of Medicine
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