Molecular Biology Core Facility

The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Molecular Biology/High-Throughput Screening Facility supports research at UNMC by providing reagents, services, equipment, technical expertise, and training in molecular biology. Most of these activities are not practical for the individual research laboratory to carry out for reasons of cost or lack of specialized technical skills and/or equipment. The Shared Resource is located in two laboratory rooms of the Eppley Science Hall, and performs automated high-throughput genome-wide siRNA and chemical screens at UNMC. Laboratories use siRNA to turn off or “silence” human genes in cell culture. By conducting high-throughput siRNA screening experiments that sequentially turn off individual genes in the genome, UNMC researchers now have a novel and powerful tool to rapidly and efficiently generate accurate information about gene pathways and functions. The siARRAY® genome-wide library from Dharmacon is the first complete siRNA library targeting 22,000 genes across the entire human genome. In addition, the facility is now providing investigators the resources for conducting unbiased chemical screens that will facilitate identification of small molecule inhibitors against molecular targets. The facility has a 100K-member Chembridge DIVERSet™ Chemical Library, a 1200-member Prestwick Chemical Library® composed of 100% marketed drugs, and a Selleckchem Kinase Inhibitor Library that are available to investigators. These small molecule inhibitors can serve as reversible chemical probes to dissect signaling pathways along with the possibility as lead compounds for drug discovery.  The facility will aid investigators in the optimization, performance, lead identification and validation of siRNA and chemical screens as well as in data acquisition, statistical analysis, and universal data formatting for storage, manipulation, and sharing. The Molecular Biology Facility also offers UNMC investigators extensive services and availability for high-content imaging applications, including training in the use of the ArrayScan VTI HCS Reader, Bioapplications, and Cellomics Store and Analysis database as well as provide consultation in the design of assays. Lastly the facility provides a large selection of other instrumental services related to molecular biology.