Office of Research and Project Administration
UR SHARED RESOURCE FACILITY
|Contact:||David P. Penney, Ph.D. , Director||585-275-6335 or 585-275-2998|
Description of Facility:
The Experimental Pathology-Ultrastructure Facility was the first shared research resource established when the Cancer Center was formed, and was designed to provide high quality morphologic support and consultation for the research programs of Cancer Center investigators. Originally it was established to provide high resolution thick sections (0.5-1.0Ám) of plastic embedded specimens for histologic evaluation, consultation on morphologic and cell pathologic parameters of the cells/tissues under study, and quality transmission electron microscopy. Since then, the Facility has adapted to changing needs of the Cancer Center researchers. The Director has been successful in being awarded two shared instrumentation grants, one for an up-graded transmission electron microscope, and the other for a scanning electron microscope, with ancillary equipment. The Facility continues to provide morphologic support in histology (e.g., thick plastic-embedded specimens), transmission electron microscopy, and consultation. In addition, the Facility provides scanning electron microscopy, services, produces the light and electron (both scanning and transmission) micrographs for publications, posters, and grant applications, and is initiating technologies in transmission electron microscopic immunocytochemistry (EMICC). The Facility also participates in the training of technicians and post doctoral fellows in various techniques, when those techniques become an integral part of the research effort. There is no charge for Cancer Center investigators unless the volume of the project is deemed an excessive drain on Facility resources, at which point the investigators reimburse for supplies. A chargeback system is being developed for non-Cancer Center researchers.
Although the Facility currently does not provide for paraffin embedment of tissues, there is growing need for the Facility to provide paraffin-embedded tissue sections for both light microscopic immunocytochemisty (LMICC) and in situ hybridization studies. Currently, avenues to provide these technologies are being explored. Since most investigators prefer to perform their own staining, etc., it is envisioned the individual investigators will perform these procedures.
Several techniques have been developed by the Facility through the past several years, among which are procedures to prepare monolayer cultures and cell pellets for transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and a procedure termed Fixation-in-Flow, wherein cell populations isolated by flow cytometry are prepared for transmission electron microscopy by initiating fixation prior to their entrance to the capture medium.
Since the Facility is a shared research resource and not a service, the procedure for using the Facility is as follows:
The investigator meets with the Director to discuss the need and decide on the best approach or the level of analysis (e.g. light microscopy vs. transmission electron microscopy) to answer the morphologic question. At that time, advantages and disadvantages of approaches may be discussed, and decisions made about the details of the project and scheduling;
The laboratory provides the Facility with the tissue, cells, cultures, etc. for morphologic analysis; and
Upon completion of the work, the investigator and director meet again to review the data and decide either on modifications and a repetition of the experiment, or on the preparation of a manuscript, poster, etc.
Steps 2 and 3 are repeated if the experiment needs to be modified or repeated.