PCMD » Molecular Profiling Core

Molecular Profiling Core

Director: Tapan Ganguly, Ph.D.

Associate Director: John Tobias, Ph.D.

The mission of the University of Pennsylvania Molecular Profiling Core is to provide quality services for molecular biology assays that are conducted with highly parallel or high-throughput technologies. These services include assistance with experimental design and resource assessment, sample preparation, assay performance, and data management and analysis. Professional laboratory technologists and bioinformaticists working as a team throughout an investigator’s project provide these resources. The Molecular Profiling Core enables a wide variety of researchers to observe global nucleic acid patterns, including expression levels of all RNA transcripts in a sample, genetic variability throughout the genomic DNA sequence of an individual or population, and epigenetic modifications across the genome. These patterns, whether genome-wide or targeted to a specific set of markers, can be compared between control and treated/affected cell types in experiments that range from cell cultures to diagnostic or prognostic patient samples.

During the initial funding period, the PCMD Microarray Core was supported as a component of a larger shared resource, the Penn Microarray Facility, to develop Affymetrix and glass slide microarray services for musculoskeletal research. The Penn Microarray Facility has since merged with two other shared resources, the Molecular Diagnosis and Genotyping Facility and the Bioinformatics Core, and now operates as the Molecular Profiling Facility. This proposal describes the corresponding Molecular Profiling Core for the PCMD, which greatly expands the services available for musculoskeletal experiments and introduces new technology platforms, including massively parallel sequencing, that is expected to be of benefit to our members.

The Specific Aims are:

Aim 1: To provide guidance and training on the capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages of various genomics protocols and analyses for musculoskeletal research through formal educational enrichment programs and one-on-one interactions.
Aim 2: To provide expertise and service for whole-genome and targeted RNA profiling assays of musculoskeletal tissues.
Aim 3: To provide expertise and service for whole-genome and targeted DNA profiling assays of musculoskeletal tissues.
Aim 4: To provide bioinformatics services and training appropriate for analyzing the data produced in Aims 2 and 3.
Aim 5: To provide funding for development of new assays, projects and collaborations and to facilitate development of preliminary and/or feasibility data for investigators.

Successful completion of these aims will significantly enhance the environment and the capabilities of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, leading to new approaches to address musculoskeletal disorders and new collaborations between Center faculty who may have not previously included genomics or other molecular profiling approaches in their musculoskeletal research programs.

Citing the grant in publications:

“The XYZ analysis was supported by the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders, Award Number P30AR050950 from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.”

For more information, please visit Penn Microarray Facility.