• Facilities and Other Resources

Dr. Hibino’s lab has over 3000 sq feet of dedicated research space in the state-of-the-art Surgery Brain Research building at the University of Chicago. This space includes fully-equipped main laboratories of approximately 1200 sq. ft.; which have bench space for 8-10 researchers, an adjoining room that has 40 sq space for cold room, and 80 sq. ft space for dedicated small animal survival surgery room equipped with high end dissection microscope and video camera system. A dedicated tissue culture room of approximately 150 sq. ft. is available next of main lab; another 150 sq ft. room is available for 3D bioprinter. There is another dedicated 1000sq ft office spaces. The laboratory is fully equipped for molecular biology, immunology, and virology, BL2 culture, and animal studies. Adjacent to the laboratory are the following core facilities: biostatistics, digital light microscopy, DNA sequencing, human immunological monitoring, immunology application core, laser capture microdissection, MRIS imaging, protein peptide synthesis, pharmacology core, scientific visualization and analysis core, and tumor imaging response core. The Biological Sciences Division (BSD) of the University of Chicago has a strong commitment to shared research (core) facilities housing state-of-the-art technologies available to all research faculty, staff and students on campus. Each core facility is managed by a full-time professional Technical Director with oversight by a Faculty Director. The Technical Director and his/her staff oversee the day-to-day operation and also provide user training. In addition, each core facility has a Faculty Advisory Committee that meets periodically to review operations, evaluate the need for integration of new technologies, and advise the facility regarding faculty needs.

Major Core Research Facilities

Animal Resource Center:  The University of Chicago Animal Resources Center (ARC) has a PHS assurance with OLAW and is a USDA registered research facility. The animal care program has been accredited by AAALAC International since 2002. There are 6 full time veterinarians, including the Attending Veterinarian, Dr. George Langan, who support the animal care and use program at The University of Chicago. All but one of the veterinarians are board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. There are 3 veterinarians participating in our lab animal medicine residency. In addition, there are 7 veterinarian technicians who along with the veterinarians are responsible for the veterinary care for all animals at the University.

The ARC is approximately 125,000 sq ft of animal housing and procedural space in six facilities. There are facilities designed to accommodate both large and small animal species, but the majority of the facilities are dedicated to housing barrier mice, approximately 20,000 cages at any given time. Barrier mice are housed in positively pressurized individually ventilated cage racks and changed in biological safety cabinets. Caging and bedding are autoclaved prior to use and cages are provided with irradiated food and acidified water. There are specialized areas for research involving surgical, behavioral and biohazardous (ABSL 2) studies and an off campus location for ABSL3 studies.

Animal care technicians (ACT) are responsible for providing daily husbandry and observing animals for signs of illness or abnormal behavior. Each animal is observed at least once a day. The procedure for reporting and recording animals that appear to be ill or behaving in an abnormal manner varies with the species and severity of the problem. In an emergency situation (regardless of species), the ACT immediately notifies the clinical veterinarian, the husbandry supervisor and/or the veterinary technician for the facility by paging or phone call. The animal is attended to and information is entered in the medical record for USDA covered species or an AHOD (Animal Health Observation Document) is produced for rodents or exotic species.

Biostatistics: This facility is closely associated with the Department of Health Studies. The Biostatistics Laboratory provides University researchers with biostatistical, epidemiological, and health services research expertise in a collaborative setting.

Cellular & Tissue-based Processing cGMP: The mission of the Cellular and Tissue-Based Processing cGMP facility, located in Kovler Laboratory is to serve as a resource and to support investigators in meeting requirements set by the FDA for cell, gene and tissue translational therapies for Phase I and II human clinical trials. The cGMP facility provides a clean-room environment in which to transition research from the laboratory bench to clinical phase trials.

DNA Sequencing and Genotyping: The facility operates two Applied Biosystems 3730XL and one 3130XL genetic analyzers for small and high throughput users. Moderate- to high-throughput genotyping is handled by a Sequenom MassArray system. The core offers shot-gun subcloning of large genomic templates with optional downstream high-throughput sequencing, and offers a miniprepping service for moderate to high-copy plasmids. Technical consultations for DNA preparation and interpretation of results, as well as archival data storage, are provided at no charge.

Electron Microscopy: The Electron Microscopy is a joint BSD/PSD facility. Users have access to an FEI Tecnai F30 scanning/transmission electron microscope. The facility is located in ESB23 in the Center for Integrative Science. The group provides preparation and viewing services for transmission electron microscopy.

Frank W. Fitch Monoclonal Antibody Facility: This facility locates in 049 Kovler Laboratory. The Facility provides the only hollow-fiber bioreactor instrumentation to a broad user base on campus. In addition to technology, the facility provides the benefit of many years of experience in novel antibody production. The facility continues to respond to the demand for new and improved technology.

Flow Cytometry: The facility is designed to meet the wide-spread needs for specialized cytologic analysis and continues to respond to the demand for new and improved technology. The primary location, located in 037 Kovler Laboratory houses 2 high-speed cell sorters (DakoCytomation MoFlo HTS and BD FACSAria) and 3 bench top analyzers (Two BD LSR II instruments and a BD FACScan). The facility maintains 3 satellite locations with bench top instrumentation: S319 AMB: BD FACSCanto and BD FACSCalibur HTS with high throughput capability; R111 BSLC: BD FACSCanto; R409 BLSC: FACSCanto. The main facility also has ancillary fluorescence detection equipment including a BioPlex system for bead based analytic assays, an ELISpot analyzer and a fluorescence plate reader. Fluorescence microscopes complement the analytical capacity of the flow cytometers.

Functional Genomics: The Functional Genomics Facility, located in G405 AMB provides resources for investigating gene function with a focus on applying microarray and oligonucleotide technology. As a service facility, the FGF provides expertise and equipment for all phases of array-based services, ranging from sample preparation through to data analysis and management for UC investigators as well as qualified external users. Facility equipment includes a variety of Affymetrix microarray platforms, ABI Real-Time PCR technologies, Codelink arrays, Agilent DNA Microarray platform, and a variety of customized services and data analysis support.

Immunohistochemistry: The IHC Facility is located in 051 Kovler. It provides the following services for human and animal research tissues: tissue embedding, frozen and paraffin tissue sectioning, tissue staining (H&E and up to 3-color immuno-staining), in situ hybridization, development of novel antibody panels and references and expertise regarding IHC and tissue procurement.

Integrated Microscopy: The facility can accommodate live cell imaging in multiple formats. The N710 location houses 4 bright-field and fluorescence light microscopes (Axioplan, Axioskop, Axiovert 100tv, and Axiovert 200m) and a stereomicroscope. The Abbott 120/129 location houses multiple microscopes including a Leica SP2 Laser scanning microscope, an Olympus Fluoview laser scanning microscope, the Olympus IX81 live-cell microscope, a Leitz upright scope, an Axiovert 135, Leica SP5 2 photon confocal microscope and an Olympus DSU spinning disk confocal.

Small Animal Imaging: The Functional & Molecular Imaging Facility is developing multiple imaging modalities for rodents and small primates. This group of facilities include the existing MRIS and Optical Imaging labs and the developing modalities of Ultrasound, micro-PET, CT and SPECT.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Spectroscopy (MRIS): The MRIS Imaging facility houses a 9.4T magnet. The system is used for imaging of model systems to investigate mechanisms of disease and to aid in the design of methods which can later be implemented on clinical systems. In addition, the facility provides an important teaching resource, aiding graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows to develop a thorough understanding of all areas of biomedical research and provides a powerful new research tool for investigators throughout the University campus.

Optical Imaging Core Facility: The Optical Imaging Core Facility (OICF) provides quantitative fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging services for in vivo and in vitro studies of small animals and specimens using three different imaging modalities. The facility’s imaging instruments include the Xenogen IVIS 200 imaging system, the Olympus OV100 in vivo imaging system, and the VisEN Fluorescence Molecular Tomography imaging system. All three in vivo optical imaging systems allow for multiple images to be acquired from the same animal so users can track physiological changes occurring within an animal over the course of seconds to minutes and days to weeks.

Transgenic Mice/Embryonic Stem Cell Facility: The core facility provides a large number of services to University of Chicago investigators including: transgenic mouse production, ES cell technology mouse production (from ES culture, gene targeting through blastocyst injection), timed mouse pregnancies, and embryo rederivation in conjunction with the Animal Resources Center (ARC). We also provide timed pregnant females of various strains and other mouse breeding services. The facility maintains microinjection microscopes as well as surgical dissection scopes. The facility is located in the hospital complex with the animal procedure facilities located within the Animal Resource Center barrier facility.