This application is to acquire a GeoMx? Digital Spatial Profiler System (NanoString Technology) on behalf of the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) Skeletal Biology and Biomechanics Core Facility, which was originally established in 2003 by funding of BLR&D Research Enhancement Award Program and later a BLR&D Program Project. This Core had supported more than 70 VA, NIH, and DoD-funded projects in endocrinology, orthopedics surgery, neurobiology, immunology, and cardiothoracic surgery, and enabled numerous new collaborations in basic and translational research within the greater UCSF research community. The proposed acquisition of this state-of-the-art GeoMx? Digital Spatial Profiler System, which is optimized to facilitate analyses of biological specimens and outcomes, is aimed to further expand our Core capacity for translational and clinical investigation. This tool will allow investigators accessing this Core to investigate the cellular, molecular, and biochemical features of cells and tissues from animal studies and patient biopsies in a high-throughput and highly quantitative manner. Given the critical role of the molecular changes (RNA and protein expression) in biological processes throughout development and disease, this equipment would allow our investigators to facilitate existing studies and pursue unexplored area of research with an efficiency and accuracy that could not be achieved by the current instrumentation in the Core. This new instrumentation is anticipated in the short term to greatly expand the research scope of 9 active VA- funded projects and more than 9 NIH and DoD projects awarded to the participating investigators.
The goal of this application is to attain a critical new gene and protein expression profiling technology that evaluates the molecular changes in cells and tissues that occur in bone, skin, and brain diseases in order to advance our basic and translational biomedical research. Since molecular and cellular changes accompany and drive disease progression, this tool could not only greatly facilitate tralational studies using animal models, but also provide a new means in diagnosis of diseases afflicting a large population of VA patients.