Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility
The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility serves as a focal point from which cancer investigators draw statistical and bioinformatics expertise for planning, management, and analysis of their studies.
The BBSF provides:
- Data analysis for cancer-related projects using contemporary statistical methodologies
- Statistical consultation on clinical study design and research proposal development including pilot projects
- High quality, centralized data management services
- Consultation and access to bioinformatics capabilities
- Statistical review of human subjects protocols as part of the Protocol Review and Monitoring System
The BBSF team also coordinates and manages statistical and bioinformatics activities to ensure investigators have ready access to study design and analytic consultation and support, along with developing methodologies for experimental design and analyses that enhance the facility’s capabilities for research support.
Comprehensive Genomics Shared Facility
The Comprehensive Genomics Shared Facility supports and maintains state-of-the-art genomic technology platforms including Next-Generation sequencing and high dimensional genotyping platforms and provides access to these resources for cancer investigators. The CGSF is also the dedicated sequencing provider to the Microbiome/Gnotobiotic Shared Facility.
The CGSF team:
- Provides comprehensive consultative services for basic research and clinical assay design and development for cancer genomics
- Gives cancer investigators access to high-throughput, state-of-the art genetic and genomic technologies to augment existing research and to open new avenues of genetic and genomic research
- Continued, expert service for standard Sanger DNA sequencing and support for various experiments run on ABI sequencers
High Resolution Imaging Shared Facility
The High Resolution Imaging Shared Facility provides access to instrumentation and technical expertise to support fundamental mechanistic studies and the development and testing of new biomarkers and treatments for cancer.
The HRISF offers:
- Multiphoton laser scanning microscopy for intravital imaging
- High-speed confocal laser scanning microscopy
- Transmission and environmental scanning electron microscopy
- Ca2+ imaging
- FRET, FRAP, and FLIM imaging
- High-throughput imaging (imaging cytometry)
- Systems for the analysis of nanoparticles and exosomes
- Digital microscopy equipment configured with deconvolution software
- Image processing programs
Microscopist, Digital Imaging Specialist, Confocal Microscopy Specialist
General Microscopy and Sample Preparation, Fluorescence, Histology, Electron Microscopy
Electron Microscopist – Transmission EM, Sample Preparation
Terje Dokland, Ph.D.
Cryo-Electron Microscopist, Cryo-EM Sample Preparation
Human Imaging Shared Facility
The Human Imaging Shared Facility provides value-added support for cancer related studies with human imaging components by providing radiology expertise for: standardized protocol review, state-of-the-art image acquisition, standardized tumor metrics quantification and response assessment, development and implementation of new analysis tools and techniques for cancer-related clinical and translational research studies.
The HISF team provides support in clinical imaging, tumor metrics, and imaging biomarker development & utilization, including:
Clinical Imaging Services
- Developing and assessing protocol
- Coordinating research activities involving imaging services
- Providing the expertise of designated board certified radiologists or medical physicists
- Providing de-identified copies of scans/images
- Coordinating pre-study services
- Participating in preparation of research budgets for radiology elements of the protocol
- Identifying protocols requiring tumor metrics services and specifically delineate the measurement criteria
- Routing all scans requiring tumor metrics to a designated reader and imaging coordinator
- Providing timely, accurate and structured tumor metrics report that adhere to specific tumor response criteria
Imaging Biomarker Development, Utilization, and Translation Trials
- Developing and implementing protocol of potential imaging biomarkers for investigator initiated studies
- Coordinating biomarker acquisition capabilities with protocol specific requirements
- Providing data processing required for biomarker quantification
- Providing de-identified copies of scans/images for off-site biomarker data analysis
Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics Shared Facility
The Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics Shared Facility provides state-of-the-art capabilities and training in mass spectrometry, proteomics and bioanalytical technologies to support the research needs of UAB cancer investigators. The MSPSF offers services support the identification, characterization and quantification of proteins, as well as post-translational modifications.
The MSPF team:
- Provides high-quality and cost-effective mass spectrometry and proteomics services, including the identification and quantification of proteins, and protein modifications in purified and complex biological samples, to cancer investigators
- Provides comprehensive assistance from experimental design all the way through to statistical and systems biology analyses of mass spectrometry/ proteomics datasets.
- Works closely with principal investigators and junior faculty in preparation of manuscripts, grants and presentations.
- Trains and educates cancer investigators through seminars, formal graduate courses and web sites, as well as individual and team meetings
- Develops new and improved approaches while integrating advanced state-of-the-art technologies to support cancer research
Microbiome/Gnotobiotics Shared Facility
The Microbiome/Gnotobiotics Shared Facility provides cancer investigators with access to cutting-edge microbiome analysis methodologies and gnotobiotic animal models designed to facilitate and strengthen the quality of cancer-related research.
The MGSF team:
- Provides state-of-the-art microbiome analysis services to cancer investigators, giving them the full spectrum of resources required to study microbiota in human and animal model research.
- Assists investigators with microbiome data analysis through computational bioinformatics expertise
- Provides gnotobiotic animal services to cancer investigators, giving them access to gnotobiotic mouse models, as well as assisting in developing new gnotobiotic models, assisting in “humanizing” animal models by transplantation of archived microbiomes, and supporting full microbial and immunological analyses of the transplanted microbiota and mice.
Preclinical Imaging Shared Facility
The Preclinical Imaging Shared Facility supports multimodality imaging in preclinical models to accelerate the translation of basic research to human trials. Imaging conducted in the facility currently provides rapid, repeated, accurate, and cost-effective evaluation of new cancer treatments in preclinical models, using the most sophisticated technologies available.
The PCISF team:
- Provides state-of-the-art molecular imaging for preclinical studies in appropriate animal models, and support IND’s for transition to human imaging studies
- Offers consultation and training to cancer investigators for molecular imaging in cancer models
- Establishes methods for image analyses.
- Accurately calibrates and maintains equipment
- Develops novel imaging technologies
Anna Sorace, Ph.D.
Participant Recruitment and Assessment Shared Facility
The Participant Recruitment and Assessment Shared Facility provides infrastructure to recruit subjects to cancer control and chemoprevention research studies and therapeutic trials, with expertise and emphasis on targeting African Americans, women and older individuals.
Participant Recruitment and Assessment Shared Facility team:
- Provides recruitment infrastructure that includes information system modules for Mass Mailing System (MMS), Recruitment Tracking System (RTS), Health Profile System (HPS) and a Patient Navigation Tracking System
- Tailors recruitment strategies that include media messages, recruitment materials, community outreach activities, mass mailings for population-based studies and patient navigation support for therapeutic trials
- Establishes and maintains the ongoing relationships between UAB researchers and surrounding communities by making community presentations and developing materials to raise community awareness regarding clinical trial participation by minority groups
- Designs and tests innovative recruitment strategies to enhance recruitment and retention of African American participants in therapeutic trials
- Trains and maintains a cadre of Patient Navigators to disseminate information about UAB cancer research studies and provide support services to those who enroll in clinical trials
Structural Biology Shared Facility
The Structural Biology Shared Facility supports cancer investigators with cutting-edge technology to elucidate structure-function relationships of macromolecules. The state-of-the-art research instrumentation capabilities include a Bruker-Biospin Avance III HD 850 MHz NMR spectrometer with a TCI-cryoprobe, a high intensity X-ray system with Pilatus multi-wire and R-axis IV++ detectors, two Fomulatrix crystal imaging systems to support 20o and 4o degree crystallization and imaging, and a powerful optical system that can detect protein crystals less than 1 micron in size.
The SBSF team:
- Maintains and provides access to state-of-the-art X-ray crystallography, NMR, biophysical instrumentation, and computer modeling capabilities, including structure-based virtual screening of chemical compound libraries
- Provides expertise to investigators through service, consultation, education and training in protein crystallization, X-ray structure determination, and high-field NMR applications in structural biology, drug discovery, and cancer metabolomics by NMR
- Continues structure-based approaches to improve compounds being designed and synthesized by medical chemists at UAB and Southern Research for cancer-related projects in order to produce new compounds appropriate for clinical trials
Tissue Procurement Shared Facility
The Tissue Procurement Shared Facility enhances the productivity and power of research of cancer investigators by ensuring access to high-quality tissue specimens (malignant, normal, benign, diseased) with associated histopathologic and demographic data, histology services, and expertise in informative analysis of tissue samples. The TPSF operates as a state-of-the-art, centralized, investigator-driven tissue procurement service that streamlines functionality, incorporates new technologies into standard operating procedures for sample collection and processing, storage and data tracking. Specimens can be provided to investigators fresh, frozen or fixed.
The TPSF team:
- Facilitates cancer research by providing human specimens via optimized SOPs, a rigorous quality management system and a team approach for development, coordination, execution and monitoring of complex tissue collection and processing protocols
- Aids investigators in development of individualized research protocols, including pathological consultations in identifying appropriate tissues to support their research
- Supports a broad range of clinical protocols through state-of-the-art biorepository and histology services
- Aligns management and operations of the facility with the needs of cancer investigators through strategic planning
Katherine C. Sexton, MBA
Associate Director and Manager
Transgenic Animal Shared Facility
The Transgenic Animal Shared Facility provides efficient, cost-effective production of transgenic and genetically-engineered animal models for cancer investigators to accelerate genetic, biochemical, and cellular analyses of pathogenic mechanisms of cancer, as well as provide in vivo models for the assessment of human disease alleles and genetic avatars for personalized cancer therapies.
The Transgenic Animal Shared Facility services include:
- Animal model development
- Microinjection of nucleic acids
- CRISPR synthesis and gene targeting
- ES cell gene targeting (with & without screening)
- ES cell microinjection
- In vitro fertilization
- Embryo and sperm cryopreservation
- Assisted reproduction / re-derivations
- Consulting and training
Larry W. Johnson