The Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) Core Laboratories are vitally important shared resources that provide access to the latest technology and equipment for all of BRI’s researchers without unnecessary duplication of equipment. BRI has established the core laboratory facilities to increase the efficiency of producing materials for scientific work. Led by experts in their fields, each laboratory employs cutting-edge technology to develop the high quality products needed for scientific discovery. The state-of-the-art facilities and high-speed, highly automated biotechnical equipment accelerates the rate of research dramatically.
Some resources of the BRI Core Laboratories are open to members of the scientific community outside of BRI.
The Bioinformatics Core consists of PhD computational biologists and biostatisticians, with access to a high-performance computing infrastructure and specialized software to support processing, analyzing and visualizing data from heterogeneous sources, including BRI and VMMC laboratories.
The Clinical Core Laboratory (CCL) at BRI provides sample processing, archiving and distribution services for clinical research projects conducted at BRI. Limited standardized testing of those samples is also provided.
The Software Development & Data Management Core offers knowledge and data management services and general informatics services to different immunology research centers including BRI.
The Diabetes Core Laboratory provides samples from BRI's Diabetes Biorepository to internal and external collaborating researchers.
The Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory analyzes, selects, sorts and identifies cells in a variety of parameters.
The Genomics Core provides resources to BRI and external investigators for gene expression analysis, from sample processing through data generation, as well as basic bioinformatics analysis, provided by our Bioinformatics Core Team. Currently available technologies include RNA-sequencing and high throughput real-time PCR.
The Genotyping Core provides on-site SNP genotyping services and HLA typing. Core resources include an ABI 7900 HT real-time PCR system, a BioRad tetrad PCR machine with 384 well plate units, and a Beckman Coulter Biomek FX robotic workstation.
The Histology/Imaging (H/I) Core Laboratory provides investigators at BRI with state-of-the-art services for tissue preparation and image collection. Histological preparation is accomplished with high-throughput, automated equipment for tissue embedding, sectioning and staining. A variety of light microscopes and other equipment with complementary ranges of magnification and modes of illumination are available for image collection and analysis. The H/I Core helps investigators at BRI to better understand how cell behavior and gene expression in tissues and organs are affected by disease processes.
The Human Immunophenotyping Core (HIP-c) at BRI is designed to facilitate the study of human immune mediated diseases through helping identify underlying mechanisms of disease, developing biomarkers of disease and targeting therapeutic intervention. This is done through the use of standardized, reproducible assays appropriate for application to large sample sets or rare/precious human samples including surface, intracellular and phospho- flow cytometry, cell selections, DNA and RNA isolation, ELISA’s, Luminex assays, short-term in vitro assays (i.e. proliferation, cytokine secretion, activation), ELISpot and qPCR.
The Tetramer Core Laboratory provides MHC class II tetramer reagents for collaborators both within and outside BRI. These tetramers are synthetic protein conjugates that allow the direct detection of antigen specific T cells by flow cytometry. Tetramers produced in our facility have been used to detect CD4+ (helper) T cells and have facilitated the study of viral immunity, autoimmune diseases, allergic responses and cancer.