UNC Clinical / Translational Core Facilities and Resources

 

These pages list our core facilities by areas of focus.  These are brief profiles of the cores; to find more detailed information on each core, including location, contact information, and equipment lists, please check out their facility overview in their listing in our searchable database.

 

The clinical/translational cores offer a large number of resources to investigators working specifically on correlative sciences as part of a clinical or translational program or on evaluations that focus on the use of human tissues.  These include the very large NC TraCS program that provide critical infrastructure to a large number of clinical and translational efforts at UNC to specific cores that focus on behavior, nutrition, and human movement.  Finally there is a significant focus on the collection and analysis of human cells, serum and tissues.

 

Behavioral

The Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) focuses on supporting research that addresses the interface of biological and psychosocial factors that underlie individual responses to acute and chronic illness. The BBL specializes in non-invasive physiological measurement and instrumentation. 
The lab comprises a behavioral observation research suite with six in-wall cameras and a monitoring room with video recording and editing software.  The state-of-the-art sleep laboratory includes two fully equipped sleep rooms and with subject monitoring systems.

Center for Human Movement Science encompasses a Motion Analysis Laboratory, an Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Laboratory, and a Neuromuscular Control Laboratory.
The Motion Analysis Laboratory has a Peak Performance Motus motion analysis system with eight cameras, two force plates, and a 16 channel telemetry electromyography (EMG) system. These hardware combined with our customized MS3D computer program package for biomechanical data processing and reduction allow us to study three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data and muscle activities of human movements through statistical analyses or biomechanical modeling.
The Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Laboratory is equipped with a Vicon-Peak motion analysis system with eight cameras, a split-belt treadmill instrumented with two force plates and a virtual reality system, a telemetry EMG system, and a isometric and isokinetic strength testing system. These systems allow us to study interactions between neuromuscular controls of human movements and a variety of external environments.

Biobanking

The Biospecimen Processing Facility provides investigators with a centralized, cost-effective UNC facility to process biospecimens from population, clinical, and other studies. Our facility’s main emphasis is DNA/RNA extraction, however we also provide blood product separation and other non-tumor specimen processing
The laboratory supports individual investigator initiated large-scale clinical research as well as epidemiologic studies designed to help unravel the underlying relationships between genetics, the environment, behavior, and disease. 
The UNC BSP Facility is a centralized, quality controlled and quality assured facility for the processing of human biospecimens. In addition to laboratory services, the facility provides a scientific resource for investigators seeking advice on study design including specimen collection and storage methods. The BSP has received IRB approval for its own uses and maintains a HIPPA secure facility at all times. The BSP core staff can also act as a liaison to other UNC core facilities.

Tissue Procurement Core Facility (TPF) supports and enhances cancer-related translational, clinical, population and basic science research by providing UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center members with a centralized, coordinated, quality-controlled, quality-assured facility for procurement, processing, storage, and distribution of normal and malignant human specimens. Included in these services is the processing of blood for serum, plasma, packed red blood cells, and buffy coats. Additional biospecimens collected and stored by the facility, especially in support of epidemiology studies, include fat biopsies, toenails, urine, and other body fluids as defined by the research study.

The Translational Pathology Laboratory (TPL) provides access to UNC Hospitals' repository of human tissue samples, given appropriate IRB and HIPAA approvals. The TPL provides the only centralized facility on campus for the acquisition of digital slide images and for qualitative and quantitative analyses of fresh, frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues using morphology-based assays for DNA, RNA, and proteins.

Histology

The Translational Pathology Laboratory (TPL) provides access to UNC Hospitals' repository of human tissue samples, given appropriate IRB and HIPAA approvals. The TPL provides the only centralized facility on campus for the acquisition of digital slide images and for qualitative and quantitative analyses of fresh, frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues using morphology-based assays for DNA, RNA, and proteins.

 

CGBID Histology Core provides a full range of histology services, encompassing routine and specialized grossing, tissue processing, paraffin embedding, microtomy, H&E and special staining, and immunohistochemistry. Consultations are also available. CGIBD members receive priority.

Nutrition


Nutrition Research and Metabolism 
provides various bionutrition support services for investigators, including:
* Research Protocol development
* Nutrition intake measurements and subject screening
* Development, planning, scheduling and delivery of metabolic and controlled nutrient diets
* Research measurements in the Body Composition Core laboratory

 

Diet, Physical Activity and Body Composition Core provides methodological resources and expertise for dietary intake, physical activity and body composition in the human population. 
Services include: diet assessment using 24-hour recalls (NSDR and ASA24); food record analysis; menu analysis; user recipe analysis; development and administration of customized food frequency questionnaires; diet assessment training; physical activity assessment via interview or accelerometry; a metabolic kitchen for dietary studies; physical activity training; accelerometry  and body composition (DXA, indirect calorimetry, PQcT, bodpod, peapod, anthropometrics, bioelectric impedance scale). In addition, the Core provide consultation, grant writing assistance, and data analysis for diet and physical activity assessments.

Analytical Services


UNC CFAR Clinical Pharmacology & Analytical Chemistry The goal of the UNC Center For Aids Research (CFAR) CPAC core is to provide the research community with the expertise and resources in study design, analytical chemistry, and data analyses to support innovative animal and human clinical pharmacology investigations.
All analyses are conducted in a CLIA-certified, state of the art analytical laboratory that includes high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet and mass spectroscopy detection.
Services include: Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic analysis; development and validation of small molecule methods using LC/UV, LC/MS and LC/MS/MS in a wide variety of animal and human matrices; grants and clinical trials consultation and research support. We will provide you with advice on experimental design and the best methods to accomplish your objectives.

 

Cytokine Analysis Facility offers enzyme linked immuno-assays (ELISA) for analyses of human fluid samples (e.g. GCF, serum):

 Inflammatory mediators (Interleukins, PGE2, sCD14, sICAM-1, TXB2, TNF) Acute-phase reactants (CRP), Glucose & complete Lipid panels using Cholestech TDX, and HbA1c. Oxidative stress markers (tot-8isoPGF2alpha, 9alpha-11betaPGF2)

  • Others (endothelin-1, big endothelin-1, IGF-1, IGFBP-3)

New capabilities include multiplex assays using Luminex/BioPlex.
The facility provides bar-coded collection vials for the appropriate tracking of samples, from the collection site, through shipping, receiving, and storage at our facility, and specific analysis of inflammatory markers.


Developmental Neuroimaging Laboratory , Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities provides consultation and support for all stages of design and implementation of neuroimaging studies, and provides access to well-established methods for the acquisition and analysis of MR data.  The DNL is also responsible for the development of novel neuroimaging methods to insure the most technologically advanced and efficient data acquisition parameters that would also address particular challenges posed by studying immature of developing neural systems.
Brain imaging has become an important and indispensable tool for the non-invasive analysis of human brain function and structure. In particular, MRI is especially well suited for the study of children because it is non-invasive, does not involve radiation and therefore can be repeated within short periods of time, thus enabling longitudinal investigations.

 

The Biobehavioral Laboratory (BBL) services include enzyme immunoassay analysis of salivary biomarkers, as well as serum/plasma biomarkers.  Other biomarkers can be assayed upon request.

 

The Nutritional Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Core  provides assistance for nutritional biochemical and molecular biological techniques and cutting edge metabolomic capabilities.
Services include: DNA/RNA isolation & purification; PCR, RT-PCR, qRT-PC; northern, southern & western blots; virus isolation; serum, plasma & lymphocytes separation; tissue analysis for oxidative stress, inflammation, peptide hormones, nutrients, cytokines & adipokines; flow cytometry.


The Pharmacometrics Core supports the design, conduct, and analysis of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies. Our goal is to provide expert consultation to improve drug therapy, from pre-clinical animal models to healthy volunteers and patients to UNC and other academic investigators, as well as government and commercial investigators as permitted.
Services include: pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic study design, optimal sampling schemes, pharmacokinetic data analysis, including noncompartmental and compartmental approaches, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling, pharmacologic data interpretation, and data preparation for presentation or publication.

 

Clinical Research Support


NC TraCS Clinical and Translational Research Center offers investigators a variety of research support services, including access to inpatient and outpatient examination rooms, a staff of highly-skilled research professionals, an investigators laboratory, nutrition research support, and an oral health research facility. In addition, CTRC staff can assist you with study budgeting, letters of support, and research coordinator orientation.


Nutrition Research and Metabolism  provides various bionutrition support services for investigators, including:
Research Protocol development
Nutrition intake measurements and subject screening
Development, planning, scheduling and delivery of metabolic and controlled nutrient diets
Research measurements in the Body Composition Core laboratory

The UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) Concierge Service provides consultation support for the development, design, and implementation of nutrition and obesity clinical and translational research. The Concierges can assist investigators with developing research plans, preparing grant proposals, manuscripts and protocol reviews, connecting with potential mentors and collaborators, facilitating the development and implementation of pilot projects, and providing navigation through the UNC research infrastructure. Support services are available for Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Clinical Research, Nutrigenomics and Metabolomics. Concierge services are available to all UNC faculty members, however, priority is given to approved members of the NORC.


Research Participant Registry Core, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, supports research projects on developmental disabilities at UNC.  UNC researchers who have been approved for IDDRC membership are eligible to access core services.
The Core assists with recruitment, public relations and referral source development, and grant preparation, and  maintains confidential databases of people who want to be contacted about research studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, links eligible participants with research studies, and keeps registry members informed about the latest advancements in research at UNC.

 

NC TraCS Data and Analytics offers services to help investigators mine and manage large and diverse data sets using advanced statistical, mathematical and computational techniques.
Access clinical and administrative data from UNC Health Care systems:
* Data Management
* Curated Data Sets
Access fully-hosted, web-based data management services to support clinical trials and clinical & translational research studies
Ensure high quality data capture and compliance

 

Link to Searchable Core Facility database

 

Back to Categorized Core Listing page