Core Facilities

Strong labs equal strong research capabilities. MSM is home to core facilities encompassing multiple technologies. All facilities offered by the Core are in the Neuroscience Institute.

  • Tissue culture
  • Imaging: fluorescence, light, confocal, light sheet, laser capture, in vivo microscopy
  • Proteomics
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Bioinformatics


The Cell and Molecular Core will provide support and services that include Genechip expression analysis, Real Time measurements of PCR reactions, and Genetic reporter systems (Dual-Luciferase Reporter Assay System), and proteomic approaches to facilitate research into the molecular basis of circadian rhythm generation, and molecular analysis of specific isoforms of the type calcium channels in photoreceptors. Training opportunities in molecular analysis and recombinant methodologies will also be available.

Staffing of the Core:

B. Ford, Ph.D. is responsible for supervision of the microarray facility. Dr. Ford will also provide consultation in experimental design, tissue processing and troubleshooting.


The Core will have a dedicated technician who has experience and expertise in gene expression   profile technology, mutagenesis of clone DNA, introduction of DNA into mammalian cells,   preparation of primary neuronal and non-neuronal cell cultures and a number of other recombinant   DNA techniques.

Resources and Environment:

All facilities offered by the Core are located in the Neuroscience Institute.

Primary Equipment of the Cell and Molecular Core Facility:

  • Gene expression profile analysis: Affymetrix:
    Hardware: Hybridization oven, Fluidics station 400, Gene Array (Neuroscience Institute is  in  the final steps in acquiring the scanner), and PC-compatible workstation.
    Software: Microarray software solutions, and Data Mining Tool
  • Real Time PCR Detection System: Biorad iCycler Multi-Color
    Hardware: iCycler IQ System, Dell OptiPlex GX260 Computer
    Software: iCycler iQ Real Time Detection System Software
  • Molecular Signaling Analysis: Berthold Microplate Luminometer
    Hardware: Microplate Luminometer, Dual Injector Unit
    Software: Simplicity (Version 2.0 R1)
  • Gene Delivery System: Helios gene gun (Bio-Rad)
    Hardware: Gene gun, tubing preparation station, tubing cutter, helium regulator and hose assembly, and optimization kit

Accessory Equipment for Cell and Molecular Core Facility:

  • Two Vertical Flow Biological Safety Cabinet (4 and 6 foot, Baker Sterilgard III Advance, Class II,  Type A/B3)
  • Three Single Chamber Water Jacket Incubators (Forma, model #3110)
  • Two Benchtop Incubator Orbital Shakers (Forma, model #420)
  • Two EdgeGARD Hoods (Baker)
  • Refrigerated Centrifudge (Eppendorf)
  • Spectrophotometer (Beckman, model # DU650)
  • Versadoc (Bio-Rad)
  • Microplate Reader (Bio-Rad)
  • PhosphoImager (Bio-Rad)


Dr. Jackson will be responsible for the overall administration of the Cell and Molecular Core. He will   guide the day-today operations and activities of the Core, make key decisions of priority, and  evaluate  new technologies for adaptation.