Core Facilities

CCRTD Core Facilities at Clark Atlanta University 

The Research Infrastructure Core (RIC) within the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development (CCRTD), at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) provides state-of-the-art research support including instruments, technology, education, and training for all investigators and research staffs engaged in health-related scientific research. 

Faculty, staff, and students have a full access to instrumentation in the shared research support facilities. The majority of instrumentation is located in the core research support laboratories on the fourth floor of Thomas W. Cole Research Center for Science & Technology. A web-based core facility management system, iLab Solutions, is applied for the service and management of CCRTD Research Infrastructure Core. These facilities are supported by the Research Center of Minority Institutions (RCMI) program of National Institute of Health (NIH), the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), and CAU. They are currently available to users free of charge. Moreover, additional instruments within CCRTD member laboratories are shared by all CCRTD members. 

CCRTD Research Core Facilities employ four staff members, a Senior Research Scientist, a Facilities Coordinator, a Histology/Animal Research Scientist, and a Research Technician. They provide faculty, staff, and students with training, assistance in application development, technology support of day-to-day equipment operation, equipment maintenance, updates, purchases, and acquire basic supplies. Dr. Valerie Odero-Marah, Assistant Director for the Research Core of CCRTD oversees the operation of CCRTD Core Facilities and is in charge of equipment acquisition and application development. 

Based upon the support of NIH/NIMHD/RCMI U54 Grant 2U54MD007590-34, five functional core laboratories are recently consolidated as shown below. 

 

Cell and Molecular Biology Core Laboratories (CMBCL) (Coordinator: Dr. Jaideep Chaudhary; Location: Cole Research Science Room 4025) 

The goal of CMBCL is to centralize equipment used in cell and molecular biology applications and acquire new state-of-the-art equipment for this Core. CMBCL houses major equipment for DNA and RNA-based applications, including a BioRad CFX Connect Real-Time PCR Detection System, liquid scintillation counter, lyophilizer and freeze-dryer, cell porator, high-speed and ultra-high-speed centrifuges and ultra-sensitive balances. It also has complete facilities for cell growth, handling, storage (including cell storage cryo tanks with uninterruptable liquid nitrogen supply), two separate cell culture rooms fully equipped with eight temperature and CO2-controlled cell growth incubators, two biological safety cabinets, and BD Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer and BD FACSJazz cell sorter.  

Based upon NIH/NIMHD/RCMI U54 Grant 2U54MD007590-32, moreover, IncuCyte® S3 Live-Cell Analysis System, a live cell monitoring system, will be purchased within 2 years, which will make it possible to monitor cell proliferation for various experiments assaying cell health, as well as migration, invasion, or immune cell killing, automatically. CMBCL is an established Core laboratory that is fully functional with cutting-edge technology and instrumentation. 

 Histology and Imaging Core Laboratories (HICL) (Coordinator: Dr. Cimona V. Hinton; Location: Cole Research Science Room 4043) 

The goal of HICL is to provide quality histology and imaging services that meet the needs of each investigator including processing tissue blocks, preparing blank slides, tissue immunostaining, sample imaging, data analysis, training members of various laboratories to perform immunostaining operation of imaging systems and other histological instruments. HICL is equipped with instruments including Carl Zeiss Axio Imager.Z1 microscope with Apotome, Carl Zeiss Axiovert 200M inverted microscope, Carl Zeiss LSM 700 confocal microscope, DAKO Autostainer Link 48, Leica LMD6000 Laser microdissection microscope, and Leica Aperio VERSA 8 based upon RCMI program and Georgia Research Alliance. 

Cancer Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core Laboratories (CBBCL) (Coordinator: Dr. Nathan Bowen; Location: Location: Cole Research Science Room 4029) 

The goal of CBBCL is to provide statistical support needed in design of scientifically rigorous experiments, as well as data analysis. Dr. Fisseha Abebe (Department of Mathematical Sciences, CAU and member of CCRTD) is a consultant related to statistical experiment design and data analysis. CBBCL also leverages RCMI Research Coordination Network (RRCN), to provide additional biostatistical support. Moreover, CCRTD proposes a 5-year plan to develop the CBBCL into a multi-user Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Center capable of providing statistical support services, next-generation sequencing (NGS), data production and bioinformatics analyses. 

Drug Discovery Core Laboratory (DDCL) (Coordinator: Daqing Wu; Location: Cole Research Science Room 4023) 

The goal of DDCL is to provide various instrument and services for the development of potential drugs based upon rational drug design, organic synthesis, small molecule development, natural products isolation and characterization. DDCL is equipped with several instruments including Thermo Scientific LTQ Mass Spectrometer, Shimadzu Prominence Ultra Fast Liquid Chromatograph, Beckman DU 800 Spectrophotometer, Labconco Centrivap Concentrator with Cold Trap, Beckman High-speed tabletop ultra-centrifuge, and Amersham Biosciences AKTA FPLC System. Based upon CAU Title III funds, one of instruments related to binding affinity measurement will be purchased to analyze interaction of protein-protein, nucleic acids, small molecules, and other bio-materials soon. This team of researchers will provide expertise in drug discovery as part of CCRTD future goals to develop therapeutics. 

 Animal Core Laboratory (ACL) (Coordinator: Dr. Zhengxin Wang; Location: Cole Research Science Room Penthouse) 

Based upon Title III funds, the creation of an Animal Core Laboratory was completed on July 2018 in one floor above CCRTD at CAU and has been certified as functional by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in October 2018. It is administratively managed by the AAALAC-accredited Center for Laboratory and Animal Research (CLAR) Facility at Morehouse School of Medicine. Based upon NIH/NIMHD/RCMI U54 Grant 2U54MD007590-32, the live animal Imaging Instrument, IVIS Spectrum in vivo Imaging System (LI-COR Biosciences), has been purchased in February 2020 to image and follow cancer cell growth, invasion and metastasis. 

 Equipment List of Five Functional Core Laboratories 

 
  • Air Jacketed, self-decontaminating, with Copper Interior Carbon Dioxide Incubators (4 Nuaire IR C3) 
  • Biological Safety Cabinets (2 Labconco Purifier Logic Biological Safety Cabinets),     
  • Cell Counter (Nexcelom Cellometer Vision)  
  • Cryopreservation tanks with monitored liquid nitrogen supply (2 Thermolyne Locator Jr. Cryo Biological System Storage, Cryosafe Cryo Biological System Storage, Custom Biogenics Systems Cryosystems 6001 Storage and 2 Thermo Scientific Locator 4 Cryo Biological System Storage) 
  • Covaris Instrument/Sonicator (Covaris Inc.) 
  • Deionized Water Purification System (Barnstead B-Pure and Barnstead Nano Pure Systems) 
  • DNA Hydroshear (Digilabs) 
  • Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer (BD Biosciences) 
  • FACSJazz Cell Sorter (BD Biosciences) 
  • Refrigerators/Freezers (Sears Kenmore) 
  • Tabletop Centrifuges (1 Beckman GS-6R, and 2 Eppendorf 5702 Centrifuges) 
  • Water-baths (Fisher Scientific Isotemp 215, Fisher Scientific Isotemp 220 and VWR International Recirculator Bath) 
  • Water Jacketed Carbon Dioxide Incubators (4 Nuaire IR Autoflow Incubators) 
  • -20°C Freezers (Thermo Scientific Revco Upright Freezer , and Thermo Scientific Revco Ultima Plus Chest Freezer) 
  • -70°/80°C Freezers (1 Revco Chest Freezers,1 Harris Upright Freezer, 1 Thermo Scientific Revco Ultima Plus Chest Freezer, 1Thermo Scientific Value Plus Upright Freezer and 1 Thermo Scientific Revco UxF Freezer) 
  • Autoclaves (Steris Amsco Century SV-136H, Amsco 3023 Vacamatic Autoclave, and Tuttnauer Brinkmann 3870E Autoclave)  
  • Automated X-ray processor room (AFP Mini Medical) 
  • Balance ultra-sensitive (Mettler AE 100) 
  • Biological Imaging and gel documentation systems (BioRad Gel Doc Molecular Imager Gel Doc XR+ w/ Image Lab Analysis Software, and BioRad ChemiDoc Imaging System w/Image Lab Analysis Software) 
  • Cell electroporator (BTX Electroporation System Electro Cell Manipulator 600) 
  • Centrifuges (2 Beckman Coulter, Avanti JE w/ Rotors): 
  • Fiberlite F10BCI 
  • JA 25.50 
  • JA 20 
  • JA 17 
  • JA 14 
  • JA 10 
  • JLA 16.250 
  • JS 5.3          
  • Deionized Water Purification System (Barnstead B-Pure and Barnstead Nano Pure Systems)  
  • Freeze Dryer (Labconco FreeZone 4.5 Freeze Dry System) 
  • Incubators (Fisher Scientific Isotemp 500 Series and Fisher Scientific Isotemp 655D) 
  • Incubator Shakers (Small Capacity Barnstead/Labline  and Large Capacity Barnstead/Labline Max Q 5000)  
  • Luminometer (BMG Labtech, Lumistar Optima) 
  • Microplate Spectrophotometers (BioTek Synergy H1 Multimode Hybrid Microplate Reader, and BioTek Synergy HT Microplate Reader) 
  • Multimode Imager Typhoon 9410 
  • PCR Machines, (3 Applied Biosystems GeneAmp PCR System 9700 w/ 96 well blocks) 
  • Real-Time PCR machine (BioRad CFX Connect System),  
  • Refrigerated Circulating Waterbath (Fisher Scientific Isotemp 910) 
  • Refrigerator/Freezer (Sears Kenmore)  
  • Scintillation counter (Beckman Coulter LS6500 Multipurpose Scintillation Counter)  
  • Sonicator (Fisher Scientific 550 Sonic Dismembrator and Misonix Sonicator 3000) 
  • Spectrophotometers (Beckman DU 650, “Beckman DU 800, Spectronic Instruments Genesys 5 and 2 Thermo Scientific Nano Drop 2000C Spectrophotometer) 
  • Speed-Vac (ThermoSavant SpeedVac SPD111V) 
  • Tabletop Centrifuge (Eppendorf 5810R) 
  • Ultracentrifuge (Beckman Coulter Optima XPN-100, w/ Rotors): 
  • SW 65 
  • SW 55 TI 
  • SW 50.1 
  • SW 40 TI 
  • SW 32 TI 
  • Type70.1TI 
  • Type 65 
  • Type 45 TI 
  • Type 40 
  • UV Stratalinker (UVP CL 1000) 
 
  • Autoclave for antigen retrieval (Tuttnauer Brinkmann) 
  • Auto Stainer (Dako Autostainer Link 48) 
  • Axio Imager Z.1 microscope (Zeiss) 
  • Aperio Versa 8 Tissue Scanner (Leica) 
  • Cryostat (Thermo Scientific HM 525) 
  • Coldbox Refrigerator (Symphony) 
  • Dissection Microscope (American Optical Corporation) 
  • Embedding and slicing equipment (LKB Bromma 7800 Knifemaker, RM Glass Knifemaker) 
  • Freezer/Refrigerator (VWR International) 
  • Fume hood (Hamilton Safeaire VAV) 
  • Galaxy mini table top centrifuge (VWR International) 
  • Laser Capture Microdisection Microscope (Leica) 
  • M-3000 Compound Microscope (Baxter) 
  • Microtome HM 310 (Thermo Scientific)  
  • HM 340E Electronic Rotary Microtome (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Scout Pro Digital Balance (Ohaus) 
  • Slide mounting (Clinical Scientific Equipment Company Slide Warmer No. 26020) 
  • Slide Staining Station (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Slide Warmer (Clinical Scientific Equipment) 
  • Standard Analog Orbital Shaker (VWR International) 
  • Thelco Constant temperature incubator (Precision Scientific) 
  • Tissue Floatation Bath (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Tissue/Cell Imaging System (Leica Aperio Versa 8) 
  • Ultramicrotome with diamond knife (Sorvall Porter-Blum Ultra-Microtome MT-2) 
  • Wax Block Cooler (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Wax Block Storage 10 tray organizer (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Wax Dispenser (Thermo Scientific) 
  • Inverted Manual Microscope (Fisher Scientific) 
  • Confocal Fluorescent Microscope (Zeiss Observer Z1 Microscope with LSM 700 Confocal Imaging) 
  • Fluorescence Enabled Upright Digitized Microscope with Apotome (Zeiss Imager Z1Upright Microscope)  
  • Fluorescence-enabled inverted digitized microscope with Z-stacking and live cell imaging modules (Zeiss Axiovert 200 Inverted Microscope) 
  • -70°/80°C Freezer (Thermo Scientific Revco UxF) 
  • -20°C Freezers (Thermo Scientific Revco Upright Freezer) 
  • Isothermal Freezers (2 Custom Biogenic Systems V1500 AB Series) 
  • Liquid Nitrogen Tissue Storage (Custom Biogenics Systems Cryosystems 6001 Storage) 
 
  • Server Cluster (Penquin Entry Level Computing Cluster)  
  • Computer Workstation Dell (Dell Optiplex GX620) 
  • STATA 13 Software 
  • Ingenuity Pathway Analysis 
 
  • Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography System (FPLC) (Amersham Biosciences)  
  • High Pressure Liquid Chromatography System (HPLC) (Shimadzu UFLC) 
  • Centrivap Concentrator with Cold Trap (Labconco)  
  • High-speed tabletop ultra-centrifuge (Beckman Optima TL Ultracentifuge)  
  • Refrigerator/Freezer (Roper) 
  • LTQ XL Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (Thermo Scientific) 
 
  • -20°C Freezer (VWR MFV-20) 
  • Air Handling Units (2) w/ 2 sets of 60 Individually Ventilated Cages (Tecniplast Smart Flow) 
  • Air Handling Units (3) w/ 3 sets of 36 Individually Ventilated Cages (Tecniplast Iso Cage, The Bioexclusive System for Immunocompromised Animals) 
  • Biosafety Cabinets (3 Tecniplast Aria) 
  • Cage Washer (Tecniplast Oceanus) 
  • Carbon Dioxide Euthanization System (Next Advance Quietek) 
  • Changing Station (Tecniplast Aria) 
  • Deionized Water Purification System (Millipore) 
  • Faxitron X-ray (Faxitron) 
  • Lunar PIXImus2 X-ray Densitometer (GE Healthcare) 
  • M60 Stereo Microscopes (Leica Microsystems) 

Supplies:  

  • Purified water for biochemical and molecular biology applications. Core Facilities maintains two water purification systems and provides clean water of two grades (reagent grade and ultrapure grade) to all users  
  • Liquid nitrogen 
  • Carbon dioxide 
  • Ice, crushed  

 

Resources outside Clark Atlanta University 

Georgia Core Facilities  

Presently, eight member Universities have been supported by Georgia Research Alliance (GRA); Augusta University, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Mercer University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and University of Georgia. These eight universities that have had major support for their core facilities from GRA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2018, to come under one umbrella known as the Georgia Core Facilities. Under this MOU, Cores in all these institutions are available for the use of researchers from all the institutions at the same rates and terms offered to internal faculty users. As part of Georgia Core Facilities, CCRTD researchers at CAU have benefits to share instruments and services through facilities collaboration shown in http://www.cores.emory.edu/georgia-partners/. The list of seven other Core Facilities available to CCRTD researchers within the Georgia Core Facilities is shown below. 

  • Augusta University Core Facilities 
  • Emory Integrated Core Facilities 
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Petit Core Facilities 
  • Georgia State University Core Facilities 
  • Mercer University Core Facilities 
  • Morehouse School of Medicine Core Facilities 
  • University of Georgia Core Facilities 

 

Overall, these excellent ‘state of the art’ facilities both inside and outside Clark Atlanta University have contributed in the past to productive research that was published and will contribute to the success of CCRTD researchers in future.