The Morphology and Metabolic Analysis Core provides a multidisciplinary approach that integrates structural and functional analysis of diabetes-related tissues. Thus, changes observed in cells or tissues at the histologic and ultrastructural levels, may be correlated to cellular bioenergetic and/or functional changes. The overall objective of the Core is to accelerate the pace, expand the scope, and improve efficiency of diabetes research. This is accomplished through the provision of state-of-the-art technology, services and expertise in the interacting methodologies of histology, electron microscopy, metabolic and functional analysis. The Core services meet the unique requirements of numerous investigators over a wide range of basic and translational research and attract new investigators into diabetes research. These specialized services are not easily replicated within individual laboratories without prohibitive costs in equipment, personnel, and training. In addition, the Core benefits from several institutional departments'financial support of personnel, equipment and space. Importantly the users also benefit from the in-depth diabetes and technical expertise of the Co-directors and staff and the time spent in consultation for experimental design and interpretation of data. In response to a DRC survey, users indicated a significant need to understand the cellular bioenergetics of a wide-range of diabetes-related tissues. To accommodate this evolving need, and to interact with the existing structural services, we have acquired two Seahorse XF Extracellular Flux Analyzers. Other major instrumentation purchased include a transmission EM with a high resolution COD camera and 3D tomography software, two multi-head microscopes for the histology and EM laboratories, a CCD Camera with Metamorph Imaging software for an existing fluorescent microscope, and additional histology equipment. During the current funding period there were 60 users, 53 of these were DRC members, and 45 used multiple services. Users listed 75 grants that were impacted by core services and 3 investigators received pilot and feasibility awards. It is anticipated that requests for core services in histology, EM and functional analysis of diabetes-related tissues will be high in the future considering the recent acquisition of new technologies. Overall, the Morphology and Metabolic Analysis Core has been successful in providing needed services and innovative technology for basic and translational diabetes researchers.

Public Health Relevance

Diabetes affects the cellular structure and metabolic function of numerous tissues. The Morphology and Metabolic Analysis Core provides innovative technology, services and expertise of the Co-directors and technical staff in the interacting methodologies of histology, electron microscopy, metabolic and functional analysis of diabetes-related tissues not available to individual laboratories. The Core provides DRC investigators with increased access to facilities, reduced costs, and collaborative opportunities to enhance the efficiency and productivity of their basic and translational research with the ultimate goal of preventing, treating, and curing diabetes mellitus.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-S)
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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