Research in our department is fully supported by the dedication and expertise of talented, renowned and award-winning scientists within the many core facilities available throughout our campus. These facilities provide services such as:
- Data generation and analysis
- Behavioral testing
- Genome editing
Together, these facilities provide a versatile set of skills, expertise and a vast array of cutting-edge techniques that are available to all labs in our department and throughout the university.
Animal Behavior Core
The Animal Behavior Core (ABC) offers Washington University investigators means to perform an array of standardized behavioral tests in rodents. It can assess the behavioral effects of specific experimental strategies, including drugs, altered development or genetic manipulations (e.g., transgenic expression or knockout). Services are comprehensive and range from consultation to animal handling, behavioral testing, data management and statistical-graphical analysis.
Center for High Performance Computing
The Center for High Performance Computing offers access to 2,500 computing cores, 19TB of memory and 43TFLOP/s of computing power in addition to pre-installed software packages, software development tools, and technical support and expertise. Services are free to researchers at the School of Medicine.
Genome Engineering and iPSC Center
The Genome Engineering and iPSC Center provides a variety of custom reagents, including the production of
- CRISPR/Cas9 vectors
- CRISPR nuclease mRNA for embryo injection
- Cell lines, including gene knockin, gene knockout, and single nucleotide modifications
- iPSC lines
Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC)
The Genome Access Technology Center (GTAC) at the McDonnell Genome Institute offers a comprehensive suite of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic services. These include single-cell genome and RNA sequencing, whole-genome mapping, specimen processing and data analysis. The Center’s experts can also guide project development.
Department of Neuroscience faculty can apply to become members of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, with faculty members from both Washington University campuses as well as St. Louis University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). The Hope Center’s mission is to accelerate translational research on brain disorders. The center funds investigations, fosters collaboration and facilitates the sharing of scientific discoveries through its seminars, lectures and annual retreat.
Each year, the Hope Center supports collaborative, two-year pilot projects led by a Hope Center faculty member with an award of up to $100,000.
Hope Center faculty members can apply for $10,000 Just-in-Time (JIT) grants from the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and the Hope Center. The funds are to be used for ICTS-affiliated core services.
The Hope Center manages multiple core facilities available to investigators across Washington University. These include:
- Alafi Neuroimaging Laboratory
- Animal Surgery
- DNA/RNA Purification
- In vivo Microdialysis
- Microelectrode array (MEA) device
- Viral Vectors
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC)
The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine is one of 15 NIH-funded Centers across the US with the goal of advancing basic research on intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) and facilitating clinical translation of discoveries. The IDDRC at WUSTL supports investigators through education, including seminars and networking groups, funding and core facilities.
IDDRC cores provide consultation, resources, brain and behavioral assessment services and technical expertise through:
- Model systems core—Supporting animal models of IDD and characterization and reprogramming of human somatic cells for IDD research
- Developmental neuroimaging core—For magnetic resonance and optical imaging in clinical studies and animal models
- Clinical translational core—Supporting comprehensive clinical, behavioral and genomic characterization of human subjects.
Information on how to apply for membership is available on the IDDRC website. Benefits include networking, access to consultation and expertise, discounted rates for services offered by the cores and eligibility for annual pilot award programs. There are no membership dues associated with joining the IDDRC.
The Instrument Machine Shop at Washington University School of Medicine is a fully-equipped shop and fabrication facility. It provides complete services in the design, fabrication and repair of parts, instruments and equipment. The shop serves all Washington University departments as well as off-campus customers not affiliated with the University.
Mouse Genetics Core
The Mouse Genetics Core (MGC) is sponsored by the Departments of Developmental Biology, Neurology, Neuroscience, Medicine, and Pediatrics. The facility offers researchers across Washington University a full suite of services for the production and maintenance of genetically modified mice, including:
- CRISPR-based genome editing,
- plasmid-based genome editing
- genotyping by PCR
- animal husbandry and breeding services for colony maintenance
- sample collection and microsurgeries
- reproductive services including in vitro fertilization, sperm and embryo cryopreservation, vasectomies and ovarian transplants
The MGC is a cost effective resource, and staff are available to help with project design, troubleshooting challenges in genetic modification and optimizing protocols.
Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI)
The Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) is a School of Medicine initiative started by the Departments of Neuroscience and Cell Biology & Physiology, offering a world-class shared technology resource for cellular imaging. James Fitzpatrick, PhD, professor of neuroscience, cell biology & physiology and biomedical engineering, is the scientific director of WUCCI.
WUCCI’s instruments include the latest in:
- light microscopy
- electron / ion microscopy
- X-ray microscopy
In addition to providing access to a comprehensive collection of microscopes, the center also offers assistance with experimental design, equipment training, sample preparation and data analysis.
Washington University School of Medicine is home to one of the largest zebrafish research facilities in the world, with thousands of tanks containing many more thousands of the model organism. The facility provides husbandry services, consultation on experimental design and expertise in technical skills such as genetic manipulation, tissue collection and cryopreservation.
Investigators who study zebrafish are invited to join the Zebrafish Consortium, which promotes zebrafish research and meets monthly to share best practices and identify potential collaborations. A new zebrafish facility is expected to open in 2023 in the new Neuroscience Research Building.
The University also maintains an extensive database of WUSTL research facilities and resources.