The Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Core facility will be modernized and enhanced by adding new equipment and services to expand the capabilities of the facility. The MCB Core is a fully functional research core that currently provides imaging and flow cytometry services to CVM users. MCB Core facility improvements will focus on expanding the DNA sequencing, CRISPR technology, and cell sorting capabilities. Significant new financial support from Kansas State University (KSU) for new equipment acquisition and facility maintenance and sustainability has been obtained and will further expand the range of technologies available in the facility, providing cutting-edge technological support for current and future research projects. Dr. Philip R. Hardwidge, a bacterial pathogenesis expert, will serve as MCB Core director. Dr. Waithaka Mwangi, the current director of KSU CVM's flow cytometry facility and a vaccine development expert, will serve as MCB Core associate director, providing additional senior leadership. MCB Core support for bioinformatics and handling of large DNA sequencing datasets will be provided by the KSU Bioinformatics Center, under the direction of Dr. Sue Brown, Division of Biology. Expert technical support for DNA sequencing will be provided by Dr. Doug Marthaler, the current director of DNA sequencing in the KSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Implementation and refinement of cutting-edge CRISPR technology will be provided by Dr. Greg Finnigan, in the KSU Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Department. Additional technological, project-specific advice and mentoring will be provided by the COBRE mentoring team, internal and external advisory committee members, and members from the CVM and Division of Biology at KSU. A senior research associate, Mike Hays, will provide day-to-day management of the facility, and will communicate with project leaders to identify specific, evolving needs for individual projects and the Core. Mike Hays possesses significant experience in the molecular and cellular biology methodologies that will be utilized. The Core has already established the feasibility of providing advanced imaging technology, next-generation DNA sequencing and CRISPR resources to junior project leaders. These activities will be tightly integrated with the Animal Model and Pathology (AMP) Core. The AMP core will also undergo technological upgrades, including the acquisition of a laser capture microdissection instrument. Significant synergy will exist between the two cores and will allow for the first time at KSU the performance of single-cell RNA-Seq experiments. The MCB Core will directly support the Center's primary and pilot/seed projects, as well as the community of users within KSU and the regional scientific network (RSN), including faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students. The significant enhancement of the MCB Core facilities will also provide an excellent training environment for the robust Ph.D. program at KSU. Most importantly, MCB Core upgrades will improve the overall infrastructure for biomedical research at KSU.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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Kansas State University
United States
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