Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling

The Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling (NCCS) was formed in the fall of 2003 by Dr. Margaret Wheelock to create a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) under the IDeA program and is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The NCCS is currently led by Dr. Keith Johnson, director, and Dr. Richard MacDonald, associate director. A collaboration between the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Center fosters new research initiatives dedicated to improving the oral and dental health of Nebraskans and citizens of other states. Both established and junior researchers conduct innovative and collaborative research. The Center has a strong tradition of mentoring and promotes the development of promising investigators.

Focus 

A number of areas within the field of cell biology are rapidly converging on a common theme: cellular signal transduction. This is particularly true for the fields of cell adhesion, cell motility and cancer biology. The main focus of this Center is to bring together individuals studying signal transduction to form an organized, cohesive group that will provide leadership and mentoring to junior faculty interested in signaling.

Faculty 
Director Associate Director
Keith R. Johnson, PhD
Professor, Oral Biology at UNMC
Richard G. MacDonald, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNMC
Project Leaders
Melanie Simpson, PhD
Associate Professor, Biochemistry at UNL
Received R01 funding 2005
James Wahl, PhD
Associate Professor, Oral Biology at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2006
Steve Caplan, PhD
Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2006
Yaping Tu, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology at Creighton School of Medicine
Received R01 funding 2007
Xu Luo, PhD
Associate Professor, Eppley Institute at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2006
Laura A. Hansen, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences at Creighton School of Medicine
Received R01 funding 2007
Ali Nawshad, PhD
Associate Professor, Oral Biology at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2008
Jing "Jenny" Wang, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Institute at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2010
Greg Oakley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Oral biology at UNMC
Received ACS funding 2010
Rene Opavsky, PhD
Assistant Professor, Eppley Institute at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2013

Aimin Peng, PhD
Assistant professor, Oral Biology at UNMC
Received R01 funding 2013

 
Mentors
Robert E. Lewis, PhD
Professor, Eppley Institute at UNMC
Shantaram Joshi, PhD
Professor, Genetics and Cell Biology at UNMC
Thomas M. Petro, PhD
Professor, Oral Biology at UNMC
Melanie Simpson, PhD
Jr. mentor/Graduated member
Parmender Mehta, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNMC
Steve Caplan, PhD
Jr. mentor and Co-Director Advanced Microscopy Core/Graduated member
Joyce Solheim, PhD
Associate Professor, Eppley Institute at UNMC
James K. Wahl, PhD
Co-Director Advanced Microscopy Core/Graduated member
External Advisory Board 

Thomas Carey, PhD, University of Michigan
Jean Schwarzbauer, PhD, Princeton University
W. Keith Miskimins, PhD Sanford Research

Core Facilities 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln operates the Center for Biotechnology in the Beadle Center which provides researchers with access to a wide range of large or sophisticated instrumentation. Core facilities specific to this application are the Protein Core Facility, the Microscopy Core Facility, the Flow Cytometry Core Facility, the Bioinformatics Core Facility and the Nebraska Center for Mass Spectrometry.

The Genomics Core Research Facility is located in UNL's Center for Biotechnology. They provide Illumina/Solexa next generation sequencing and Affymetrix GeneChip DNA microarray services. They also maintain several multi-user imaging systems such as the UVP EPI Chemi II Darkroom, the BioRad Personal Molecular Imager FX and the BioRad iCycler iQ Real Time PCR system. 
 
The protein core facility in the Beadle Center provides standard services related to state-of-the-art protein and peptide analyses including proteomic services, high resolution 2-D gel electrophoresis, imaging, spot picking and digestion, protein sequencing (performed on an ABI Procise-494 automated sequencer), peptide synthesis (performed on an ABI-Pioneer synthesizer. The core facility will also aid in the design, synthesis and conjugation of peptides that can be used as immunogens, substrates or standards, and protein purification.
 
The microscopy core facility provides instrumentation as well as offering consultation services in technical assistance and operation of instruments, data analysis and interpretation of results. The facility houses a variety of microscopes including advanced fluorescence microscopes (confocal, inverted, upright, stereo) and electron microscopes (transmission, variable pressure scanning, field emission scanning). The wide range of instrumentation permits a variety of studies to be conducted such as advanced immunofluorescence and histochemical analysis of proteins in animal and plant cells, and bacterial and viral pathogenesis; live cell imaging; and morphological, ultrastructural and topographic analysis in biological and chemical materials.

The bioinformatics core facility provides computational support for molecular biology, genomics, proteomics and other biology related disciplines. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art high performance computer hardware, specialized software, and advanced database systems. The facility provides consultation in experimental design, data analysis, software training and database support services.

The Nebraska Center for Mass Spectrometry is home to six mass spectrometers. These instruments provide a wide range of mass spectrometric analysis. Both low and high resolution data can be obtained in conjunction with electron ionization (EI), and chemical ionization (CI). The Center can also offer electrospray (ESI), matrix-assisted laser desorption (MALDI), and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS).

University of Nebraska Medical Center

UNMC facilities are housed in various departments throughout the campus. Many of them are funded by the Nebraska Research Initiative and partially maintained by a fee for service. The facilities are reviewed periodically and support is redistributed and new cores developed as new technologies change.

Advanced Microscopy Core Facility
The Advanced Microscopy Core Facility combines the the Live Cell Microscopy Facilities located in Lincoln and Omaha together with the confocal and super-resolution microscopy systems located in the Durham Research Center I building. The live cell microscopy systems are located at the College of Dentistry in Lincoln provides a humidity- and CO2 -controlled growth chamber and Intelligent Imaging Innovations software for collecting images. This system includes digital de-convolution, 3D rendering and lasers for FRAP analysis of protein turnover.

This microscope is available for use by investigators at UNL or the College of Dentistry. A second Live Cell microscope is housed in the Eppley Institute. This instrumentation is available to investigators in Omaha (UNMC and Creighton) and provides a humidity- and CO2 -controlled growth chamber and Intelligent Imaging Innovations software for collecting images, spinning disc confocal, digital de-convolution, 3D rendering and lasers for FRAP analysis of protein turnover. 

For more information or to schedule imaging, please contact: 
Jim Wahl, PhD, 402-472-1324, jwahl@unmc.edu

The UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility Directed by Dr. Steve Caplan has a Zeiss ELYRA PS.1 Super-resolution Microscope for SIM, TIRF, PALM and dSTORM microscopy, along with a workstation for processing data. This system will allow 3-D SIM and provide ~100 nm resolution on the lateral axis with about ~300 nm resolution axially, about 3-fold better than confocal resolution. There are 4 laser lines, several lenses and two separate cameras (for SIM and PALM/dSTORM, respectively). PALM will allow resolution to ~10-20 nm on the x axis and 50 nm axially, whereas dSTORM will provide similar resolution with endogenous proteins using antibody-coupled dyes. 2-channel PALM and STORM is also available for 3-D imaging. Read policies regarding use of the SIM

For more information or to schedule imaging please contact the facility directly: 
Advanced Microscopy Core Scheduling

NCCS members have access to other UNMC core facilities.

Contact

Director: Keith R. Johnson, PhD
Room 12730A
987696 Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-7696
402-559-3890
kjohnsonr@unmc.edu