Preclinical Modeling and Therapeutics Core

The Preclinical Modeling and Therapeutics Core (PMTC) facilitates the discovery and development of pharmacological and cellular therapies for cancer that are efficacious and safe. As a centralized facility, the PMTC also serves as a consultation and educational resource for investigators and trainees. It provides advanced resources for analytical and investigational studies essential for the preclinical validation of novel drug targets and biomarkers of cancer. 

The PMTC provides expertise in the following areas:

  • Cellular response technologies
  • Breeding of specialized mouse strains
  • Tumor modeling
  • In vivo therapeutics efficacy & safety testing
  • Hematopoietic & immune cell analysis

Cellular Response Technologies (CRT) team

The Cellular Response Technologies (CRT) team focuses on in vitro assays to evaluate angiogenesis, proliferation, cell death, and metabolism in normal and diseased cells derived from animal sources and patient samples.  Customized multi-parametric flow cytometry is available to define cellular phenotypes and frequencies including analysis of hematopoiesis, immunity, and cancer stem cells/cancer-initiating cells. The CRT is equipped with IncuCyte ZOOM and S3 (Sartorius) imaging which provides longitudinal, real-time assessment of cellular behavior including angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell migration/invasion, immune function, and 3D spheroid formation. The CRT also oversees the Seahorse XFp analyzer (Agilent Technologies) for analysis of metabolic pathways.

The In Vivo Therapeutics (IVT) team

The In Vivo Therapeutics (IVT) team maintains and distributes on-site breeding colonies of specialized immunocompetent (BoyJ, C57BL/6, BoyJ/C57 F1 cross) and immunodeficient (NSG and NRG) mouse strains. As requested and coordinated by research programs, the IVT team supports the set up and validation of syngeneic mouse tumor models and development of patient-derived human xenografts. The IVT team manages all aspects of the IVIS SpectrumCT optical imaging system to evaluate tumor response in mouse models via bioluminescence and fluorescence modalities. An ultra-sensitive CCD camera and two full range excitation/emission filter sets provide capacity to analyze a broad spectral range, extending from the visible to near infrared light. Optical imaging data can be linked to X-ray computed tomography to visualize anatomical sites. The IVT team also manages the radiation facility and performs irradiation services needed for in vitro and in vivo experiments, including hematopoietic stem-cell transplantations.

As requested, the PMTC will coordinate all aspects of procedures, provide training, assist with experimental design, regulatory requirements, methodology, and data interpretation.