Diabetes COBRE

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Administrative Mentoring and Recruiting Core

Drs. Jian-xing Ma and Timothy Lyons will serve as Co-Directors in this Core. The reason to have two Directors in this Core is to combine the basic research experience of Dr. Ma with the clinical skills of Dr. Lyons in diabetes research and patient care. This combination will promote the collaboration between basic scientists and clinical investigators in diabetes research. This combination will also expose the PJI to both basic science training and clinical knowledge and thus, enhance translational research.  This combination will also facilitate the collaboration between the CoBRE with Oklahoma Diabetes Center and GCRC of OUHSC, which are both directed by Dr. Lyons.  A Clinical and Translational Science Award application will be submitted by the GCRC in January 2008 (a planning grant has already been awarded).

This Core will be responsible for overall administration of the CoBRE including selecting PJIs and mentors, establishing the mentoring program, overseeing the overall budget, organizing meetings of EAC and IAC, organizing seminar series, interacting with all the core directors and PJIs, following the progress and milestones of PJI’s projects and submit progress report to NCRR, and recruiting new investigators to Oklahoma Diabetes Center. This Core will also work closely with the Provost and Dean to recruit new investigators to Oklahoma through the OUHSC Strategic Plan.

For questions concerning the Administrative Mentoring and Recruiting Core, please contact:

Barbara Turek
BSEB 302


Diabetic Animal Core

    • This Core centralizes the induction, monitoring and maintenance of diabetic animals for PJIs 
    • This Core coordinates the sharing of diabetic animal tissues. Services to PJIs are at no additional charge and thus, reduce the budget of each PJI project.

    Diabetic Animal Core Services

    1. To induce diabetes by STZ injection in rats or mice or in transgenic or gene knockout mice required by the investigators. STZ-induced diabetes is a commonly used type-1 diabetes model. STZ is a compound with a high toxicity and carcinogenicity. Laboratories using STZ will have to go through an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) application process and are required to have safety setup and equipment. All laboratories using STZ are also subjected to regular inspections. The waste with STZ contamination will have to be collected separately, treated and disposed following the IBC guidelines. Apparently, it would be counter-productive if each PJI lab has to obtain a separate approval for using STZ. This core will induce diabetes by injections of STZ for all the PJI projects and mentors of this COBRE. This centralized use of STZ will reduce the time and paper work for these PJIs and also ensure safety. It is also known that STZ dose for induction of diabetes is highly dependent on animal age, sex, body weight, species and strain, and overdose of STZ is associated with animal death. Induction of diabetes by an experienced core will avoid common mistakes and free the PJIs from time-consuming learning process in induction of diabetes.

    2. To breed and genotype genetic diabetic mice and rats. Most of the genetic diabetic models do not breed when they are homozygous such as db/db, ob/ob mice and Zuker rats. Homozygous Akita mice do not survive. Heterozygous Akita mice are diabetic and will be bred with wild-type mice. All these genetic diabetic animals will require genotyping. The Core will be responsible for breeding and genotyping of these animals when requested by the PJIs and mentors.

    3. To monitor diabetes by measuring hyperglycemia and inject insulin when necessary. The Core will test and record blood glucose levels on a regular basis. When the blood glucose exceeds the desired ranges, insulin will be injected to save the life of the diabetic animal.

    4. To collect and record clinical data from diabetic animals. Body weight, urine volume, food and water consumption will be recorded on a regular basis for the diabetic animals.

    5. To monitor renal functions of diabetic animals. Urine albumin and creatinine concentrations and serum creatinine levels will be measured on a regular basis or as demanded by individual users to monitor the renal functional damage in diabetic animals.

    6. To provide special diet for diabetic animals. Some studies of diabetic animals require maintaining them on a special diet. The Core will be responsible for the dietary control based on the requirement of users.

    7. To induce retinal neovascularization in the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model. OIR mice and rats are commonly used models for retinal neovascularization and vascular leakage. The Core is equipped with a chamber with oxygen controller. The Core will induce retinal neovascularization in mice and rats.

    8. To perform specialized assays to evaluate diabetic complications. The Core will perform vascular leakage assay and glomerular filtration rate assay, upon the request from users.

    9. Dissect tissues and coordinate the sharing of tissues from diabetic animals. The Core will dissect tissues such as heart, kidney, retina, liver and serum from diabetic animals for the PJI projects. The Core will also establish a tissue bank of diabetic animals and will coordinate sharing of tissues from diabetic animals. This will maximize the use of diabetic animals and reduce costs of diabetic animals.

    Purpose of the Diabetic Animal Core

    1. Diabetic animals are associated with high mortality and require intensive cares and characterizations.

    2. As most diabetic complications occur after long durations of diabetes, the long-term maintenance and monitoring of diabetic animals are expensive and labor-intensive.

    3. This collaboration Core has greatly increased the efficiency of diabetic animal research and reduced costs for diabetic animal models in these labs.

    4. There is a growing demand in the OUHSC diabetes research community to expand this Core service to serve all diabetes researchers in Oklahoma.

    Diabetic Animal Core Director:  Dr. Ying Chen, Ph.D.
    Mailing Address: 941 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BSEB 313 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-5020
    Telephone: (405) 271-5896 ext 48421

    Supervisor and Instructor of Operations: Yang Hu, M.S.
    Mailing Address: 941 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BSEB 300 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-5020
    Telephone: (405) 271-5896 ext 48421

    Diabetic Animal Core Laboratory Technician:  Robert A. Mott
    Mailing Address: 941 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BSEB 310 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-5020
    Telephone: (405) 271-5896 ext 48423

    Histology, Image Acquisition and Image Analysis Core

The purpose of the Histology, Image Acquisition and Image Analysis Core is to provide to the PJIs and diabetes funded investigators, both paraffin and cryostat tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, and histochemical staining of mounted slides.  In addition the core provides quality state of the art instrumentation and expertise to obtain microscopic images with light, epifluorescent, and Nomarski optics; to provide the software for morphometric analysis and to produce publication quality images.

Histology Core Facility
The purpose of the Histology, Image Acquisition and Image Analysis Core is to provide PJIs and diabetes funded investigators tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, and histochemical and immunohistochemical staining of mounted slides, for both paraffin embedded and cryo-preserved tissue preparations.  The core facility has trained histology technicians who will work with the researchers to accomplish these goals.  All use of the histology core is maintained in an Access Database.  PJIs are given priority and the order by which materials are processed, cut and stained is determined by when materials are received.

Histology and Imaging Core Presentation
For use of the facility contact:

Jeffery Smith
BMSB 519
271-8001 ext. 45507

Image Acquisition and Image Analysis Core Facility
The purpose of the Image Acquisition and Image Analysis Core is to provide PJIs and diabetes funded investigators quality state of the art microscopy instrumentation and expertise for investigators to obtain microscopic images of publication quality with bright field, epifluorescence, phase contrast, and Nomarski optics.  The core also provides software for morphometric analysis and to produce publication quality images.  The core contains an Olympus Provis AX-70 photomicroscope equipped for bright field, phase, epifluorescence, and Normaski microscopy with a Q-imaging digital camera with Q-capture software and an Olympus Macro Zoom Microscope equipped for bright field and fluorescence microscopy and a digital capture system.  In addition, the image analysis facility has Image Pro Plus and Autoquant Deconvolution software for image analysis.  There is an online signup for image core equipment that is available on the campus net.  Researchers and staff are instructed on how to use imaging equipment in the facility.

For use of the facility contact:

Carol Haaksma
271-8001 ext. 45505

For questions on the Core Facility contact:

Dr. James Tomasek,
David Ross Boyd Professor, Cell Biology
Dean, Graduate College
271-8001 ext. 45505

Biostatistics Core

            The Director of this Core is Dr. Christopher Aston, Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The Core will assist the PJIs and mentors in experimental design and data analysis. Dr. Aston is a highly experienced biostatistician with 30 years of experience in experimental design, data analysis and manuscript publication.

           The goals of the Biostatistics Core are to promote and facilitate the research undertaken by the Junior Investigators in the COBRE, as well as to enhance the research capabilities in the institution.  The Biostatistics Core will provide support for the development of analytical capabilities at all levels of the COBRE, including technicians and mentors, but especially focusing upon the Junior Investigators. As potential collaborators for all research projects, the Biostatistics Core will be an integral part of the research team in the development of research studies; as well as providing ongoing data management, statistical and analytical advice throughout the life of each individual project. Services will be accordingly tailored to the individual Junior Investigator and could include advice or participation in experimental design, database construction, statistics, and publication.

The specific functions include:

  1. Providing experimental design advice and training to Junior Investigators (and diabetes researchers at the OUHSC).
  2. Assisting, advising, and implementing high quality data management within laboratories.
  3. Providing state of the art analysis capabilities for data from family studies to population studies, single candidate genes to genomic scans, retrospective and prospective, cross-sectional and longitudinal. Whatever best suits the question and data at hand.

For questions concerning the Biostatistics Core, please contact:

Christopher E. Aston, PhD
Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma
1000 N.Lincoln Blvd, Suite 2900
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
Phone: (405) 271-7000   x42715
Fax: (405) 271-7522
Email: chris-aston@ouhsc.edu

Email is preferred.

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