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The Cancer Centers Council is a collaborative effort between the three NCI-designated Cancer Centers in the San Diego area (UC San Diego, Salk Institute, and Sanford Burnham Prebys) to leverage their collective talents and resources.  The Core facility-based initiative of the C3 focuses on enhancing inter-institutional sharing of unique core facilities at each Center.  Recharge rates in these six cores (two at each Center) have been negotiated to be the host institutions’ Cancer Center member internal rate plus 16% indirect cost.  This reduced cost access to unique cores, along with enhanced outreach by the cores, provides valuable new technical resources to the C3 members.
 
The Biorepository and Tissue Technology Core in the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center (core website) is a developing collection of plasma, serum, RNA stabilized buffy coat, urine, viable tumor samples, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor; with associated clinical information.  Urine and blood-derived specimens are available from a wide variety of cancer cases and cancer-free controls. Tumor sample availability is more limited. Samples are collected from consented subjects, and de-identified clinical information on the subjects is available. The initial tumor collection is predominately from breast and gastrointestinal malignancies.  The core can provide anonymized samples from the repository, or ongoing sample collection.  Download a poster describing Core capabilities.
 
The UCSD Transgenic Mouse Shared Resource in the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center (core website) is a state-of-the-an facility that has an outstanding track record in the production of genetically altered mice. Transgenic mice carrying new or novel genes are created by microinjcction of DNA into the pronuclei of fertilized eggs. Knock-out mice lacking specific genes of interest are created by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells followed by injection into blastocysts to create chimeric mice. Knock-in mice with specific mutations or alterations are created using CRISPR mediated recombination. The shared resource also provides embryo rederivation, sperm and embryo freezing, ovary transplants, in-vitro fertilization, and embryo thawing.
 
The Gene Transfer, Targeting and Therapeutics Core (GT3, formerly called the Viral Vectors core,) in the Salk Institute Cancer Center  (core website) provides design, consultation and production services for retrovirus (MMLV/MSCV), lentivirus (HIV/EIAV), adeno-associated virus (AAV), adenovirus (Ad5), rabies virus (g-deleted SAD B19) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) -based viral vector systems. The core offers stocks of DNA shuffled AAV libraries, which allow for selection of novel serotypes with unique transduction properties on cells of interest, as well as non-viral delivery technologies based on mini-intronic plasmid (MIP). In addition, GT3 offers vector titration services, vector purification services, Replication Competent Lentivirus (RCL) testing, and limited custom cloning and vector services. Several advanced instruments are available for use in the core on a charge-back basis, including a NanoSight system for sizing and counting viral particles, a GE AKTA system for protein purification, and an Eppendorf liquid handling system.  Download a poster describing Core capabilities.
 
The Salk Institute Transgenic Core (TG) in the Salk Institute Cancer Center is dedicated to providing access to cutting-edge technologies  to create  transgenic  and  knockout  mouse  models. Core services include microinjection of DNA constructs into single-cell stage embryos, microinjection of gene-targeted mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells into blastocysts, in-vitro fertilization (lVF), cryopreservation and rederivation of mouse lines.   The TG core has implemented new genome engineering technologies  based on the CRlSPR-associated RNA-guided  endonuclease  Cas9, which enables generation  of  mice  carrying  mutations  in  multiple  genes,  endogenous  reporters,  conditional alleles or defined deletions.  ln addition, the Core offers lentiviral injection of two-cell stage embryos, and injection of human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines into immunodeficient  mice to form teratomas. They can provide G4l8-resistant mice for generating feeder cells for ES cell culture and inbred strains of mice.
Contact for Salk Institute Transgenic Core:  Yelena Dayn <dayn@salk.edu>
 
The Chemical Library Screening core in the Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center includes 3 facilities: the Assay Development facility, which supports the development and optimization of robust and sensitive high throughput-ready assays
 (384 or 1536 well) with a wide variety of readouts; the Chemical Libraries & High-Throughput Screening facility, which provides high throughput screening utilizing the core’s focused libraries or broad collections of compounds (>800,000 compounds total) and extensive robotics; and the High Content Screening facility, which develops assays for screening with high-throughput microscopy and assists with all aspects of screening and analysis, including algorithm development. These facilities are part of the integrated chemical biology and drug discovery efforts in Sanford-Burnham’s Conrad Prebys Center.  Download a poster describing Core capabilities.
 
The Functional Genomics Core in the Sanford Burnham Prebys Cancer Center (core website) specializes in target discovery and validation services.  The Core's primary effort is focused on loss-of-function screening via RNAi (arrayed format) and CRISPR-CAS9 (pooled  format).  Screening services cover from initial feasibility assessment experiments all the way through verification of identified targets. Core personnel develop both plate reader and image-based cellular assays, and develop and adapt them to HTS-siRNA/shRNA screening conditions in conjunction with the High Content Screening Core. Target validation services include generation of custom stable shRNA KD and CRISPR-CAS9 KO cell lines. Although the major focus is loss-of-function screening (including a genome-wide modified siRNA library with both single and pooled siRNAs for each gene), gain-of-function screening is also available for specific gene families. Finally, the Core also serves as a repository for reagents (siRNAs, shRNAs, and ORF clones for follow-up of screens) and expertise in assays and functional genomics technologies.