The Biorepository Core collects and organizes biospecimens from investigators across the Research Institute. With a capacity for approximately 7 million samples, the facility is designed to house all of the biospecimens available at Children's Hospital, avoiding specimen duplication, preserving precious materials, and providing broad access to data and materials. Initial sample collection focuses on DNA samples, but the facility can also safely store fluids, RNA, tissue samples, and a number of other biospecimens.
Biostatistics and Data Management
The Biostatistics and Data Management Core (BDMC) supports investigators from virtually all subspecialties of pediatric medicine and supports studies ranging from small, narrowly-defined basic science projects to large, multi-site clinical trials and observation studies. The BDMC is staffed by a director, deputy director, and data management/information technology managers, as well as approximately 15 additional staff members representing the disciplines of biostatistics, data management, information technology, and administration.
Clinical Research Support Office
The Clinical Research Support Office (CRSO) assists in the start-up, execution and completion of clinical research projects, in compliance with local and federal requirements. The office maintains a staff of well-trained study coordinators and project managers who can be assigned to support any type of clinical research studies at Children's Hospital. The CRSO Navigator is available to assist/guide investigators with any questions that arise during the design, start up, and execution of their clinical studies. The CRSO also is also available to assist investigators with budget preparation, IRB submissions, and IND and IDE applications to the Food and Drug Administration The CRSO maintains a highly trained staff with expertise on good clinical practices of clinical research, which ensures that study teams comply with all relevant regulatory requirements.
The CRSO works with faculty on industry- and investigator-initiated clinical research projects; provides full and part time nurse and no nurse study coordinators and project managers; and facilitates contact between principal investigators and sponsors or contract research organizations interested in conducting trials at the Hospital.
The Flow Cytometry Core offers access to high performance flow cytometry equipment and analysis software, individualized training for researchers interested in operating analyzers and cell sorters, as well as full service flow cytometry assays and cell sorting. The staff is available to assist investigators with the design and implementation of a variety of polychromatic flow cytometry applications. Custom flow cytometry assays for basic and clinical research studies are available upon request. The cell sorters existing in the lab can be used with a wide range of sample types, from microparticles to whole organisms (C. elegans, zebrafish).
High Throughput Sequencing
The High-Throughput Sequencing Core at Children’s Hospital and the Beijing Genomics Institute have formed a collaborative genome center called BGI@CHOP. Together, these elements for the High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) Core with increased capacity, expertise and analytical resources for conducting next-generation sequencing studies. The HTS Core provides automated library construction and high-quality, high-throughput sequencing services for whole genome, whole exome, RNA-SEQ, and ChIP-SEQ.
The Metabolomic Core provides investigators with a resource that facilitates the analysis of major metabolic pathways in humans, animals, and in vitro systems. The analytical repertoire includes the measurement – both in vivo and in vitro – of flux through major pathways of intermediary metabolism, including glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, the oxidation of fatty acids and amino acids, the urea cycle and protein synthesis and degradation; determination of in vivo metabolic rate in freely moving organisms; and determination of selected drugs and/or drug metabolites with triple-stage quadruple mass spectrometry.
NMR/Microimaging Services at Children’s Hospital feature a 400 MHz (9.4Tesla) high-resolution wide-bore spectrometer equipped with a HP computer. The system can perform most of the traditional high-resolution NMR experiments as well as microimaging of specimens and small models. The services are available not only to Children’s Hospital investigators but also to investigators affiliated with large center program or private research institutions.
Nucleic Acid PCR
The Nucleic Acid PCR Core Facility provides a centralized source for specialized services, technical expertise and reagents to support investigators’ molecular biology needs. These services include Sanger DNA sequencing, small-scale next-generation sequencing and library assistance, fluorescent fragment analysis (MLPA and microsatellite analysis), microarrays, real-time PCR, oligonucleotide ordering, and sample quality control assessment.
The Pathology Core Laboratory provides basic histopathology, research immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray, and laser capture microdissection services to researchers at Children's Hospital and within the surrounding academic community.
The core offers a full range of histopathology services including tissue processing, embedding, and cutting, for both paraffin and frozen tissue. The core also performs most standard stains as well as immunohistochemistry, antibody workup, fluorescence, in situ hybridization and TUNEL. Tissue microarrays can be constructed, and sophisticated imaging instrumentation is available for virtual microscopy and image analysis. Specialized software is available to image and analyze tissue microarrays, and to manage and store array data.
The Protein and Proteomics Core Facility at Children’s Hospital addresses the overwhelming need for the technological resources to identify, produce, and characterize new proteins. The facility provides a variety of services for investigators at CHOP, the University of Pennsylvania , and outside institutions. These services include producing and characterizing proteins, investigating protein-protein interactions, and characterizing whole proteomes. Some services are provided on a user-operated, sign-up basis, while others are performed as full-service by the dedicated facility personnel.