Mission: The mission of the Cell and Viral Vector Core Laboratory (CWCL) is to support high quality research and enable CCC investigators to maximize productivity and remain competitive for extramural funding. Assets: This shared resource has three main assets which make it essential to the research mission of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. First, it provides consultation on molecular, cellular and viral techniques, leveraging the expertise of the Director and senior staff. Such consultation includes assisting investigators in the design, implementation and optimization of new procedures. Second, it provides specialized services and techniques not easily reproduced in investigators' laboratories. Some recent examples include cytotoxicity assays to evaluate prospective anticancer agents, modified focus formation assays to uncover novel oncogenes, expression of recombinant proteins using retroviral vectors or tetracycline-inducible vectors, and establishment of human and murine primary cell lines from tissue explants. Third, it provides subsidized access to critical cell culture and molecular biology reagents. Usage: The laboratory is used by nearly all of the Cancer Center members whose primary focus is basic science research. Usage of the Cell and Viral Vector Core Laboratory has increased each year since 2001, and is reflected in laboratory charge-backs which increased 85% between 2006 and 2009. Over 60% of the CWCL charge-back income in 2010 came from Cancer Center members with active cancer-related funding. Specialized cell culture services and the ready availability of reagents at a significant savings enhance the ability of our investigators to efficiently conduct research and support the research efforts of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and Wake Forest University. Future directions for the laboratory will include provision of two new services, cell line authentication, and standardized production of replication-incompetent viruses for gene transfer. These services are provided in response to changes in the field, and user requests.
The CWCL serves an essential function within the Cancer Center by providing investigators with significant cell culture expertise, the means to conduct short-term experiments efficiently and in a cost-effective manner, and a distribution center which provides access to research reagents at discounted prices. The importance of this shared resource is reflected in its usage by nearly all Cancer Center members engaged in research.
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