One of the most basic needs of investigators studying skin disease is the ability to use tissue sections to analyze the pathological changes at the tissue and cellular level. This analysis requires access to specialized equipment for tissue processing and to highly trained personnel, neither of which can be afforded by most research laboratories. Furthermore, since qualitative and quantitative evaluation of skin and skin appendages requires precise and reproducible orientation of skin sections, histology services not specialized in skin generally produce skin sections of substandard quality. Therefore, the objective of the Morphology and Phenotyping Core is to provide investigators with the tools and expertise to process and analyze skin samples. The Core provides education as well as research and technical consultations to investigators. Further, the Core owns the equipment necessary to process and section skin samples, and employs histology technicians trained in handling skin samples. Thus, the Core is able to provide investigators with high-quality processing and sectioning of skin samples as well as with the preparation of basic histological stains. Whereas histological analysis of skin samples represents the first step in analyzing skin phenotypes, subsequent analyses include immunostaining for various markers of skin proliferation and differentiation. The Core possesses a wide variety of custom-made antibodies that recognize such markers and will provide investigators with immunostaining services using these antibodies. Finally, the Core will offer consultation services by dermatopathologists aimed at assisting investigators with the interpretation of skin phenotypes.
The Morphology and Phenotyping Core will enable UCAMC-SDRC members to analyze how skin structure and function are affected in various human skin diseases and in mouse models designed to mimic these disorders.
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