The Administrative Core (AC) with the approval ofthe External Advisory Committee (EAC) officially launched the Protein Core laboratory (PCL ) as an independent CEIDR Core in January 2013 to provide protein production, purification and characterization and generation of monospecific antibodies. The increasing need for protein-associated support among CEIDR scientists and the opportunity to closely collaborate with other Centralized Facilities in the LSU main campus and LSU faculty working in protein structure and function were the primary motives for launching this Core, expanding on few protein-associated functions previously offered through the Molecular Immunopathology Core (MIPC). The PCL was strategically located in the LSU main campus (Wilson Hall) immediately adjacent to the Agricultural Biotechnology laboratory that provides additional protein-associated functions including peptide synthesis and characterization for the CEIDR Protein Core laboratory. Wilson Hall is located proximal to other LSU Core Facilities offering mass spectroscopy, NMR and x-ray crystallography. The PCL provides protein production using both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems, purification and characterization of proteins, generation of monospecific antibodies in mice and rabbits, and characterization of protein-protein interactions using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and other methodologies. PCL also produces monospecific antibodies in rabbits and mice using purified protein immunogens, as well as viral vector and DNA-based immunization methods. Antibodies are concentrated and purified using standard methodologies. The laboratory seeks to continuously adapt and develop new methodologies needed by CEIDR scientists. Equipment scheduling, reagents and services are facilitated by the internet-based ilab Solutions, Inc. software providing an efficient online system for communication, ordering and evaluation ofthe Core's performance. The sen/ices provided by PCL will be of great help to all louisiana-based scientists, since there is no other similar facility in the state. Importantly, the PCL will enable collaboration between protein chemists and infectious disease researchers toward the submission of competitive NIH grant applications.
The PCL is designed to provide basic and advanced services, equipment and consultation to enable primarily CElDR-affiliated researchers to sustain their NIH-funding and launch new NIH grant applications. PCL provides access to expensive equipment and resources as well as experienced technical support that is difficult to duplicate in individual laboratories.