Core Services

Tracy MitchellSeattle BioMed's Core Services have been developed to facilitate research efforts by providing excellent and cost-effective services through centralized biotechnology cores.

Core Services provide state-of-the-art research technology to our investigators by merging scientific equipment and technical expertise common to multiple research programs. Our goal is to produce scientific data more rapidly, more reliably and more cost-effectively by developing Seattle BioMed’s existing and future resources and providing expert service and training to all users.

Many of our research programs use genome-wide approaches to answer biological questions. Methodologies currently being employed at Seattle BioMed include automated high-throughput capillary sequencing, advanced fluorescence imaging and functional genomics. The immense amount of data acquired by these technologies is central to the discovery of accurate diagnostics, safe and effective vaccines and promising drugs for infectious diseases.

Some of these services are available to outside academic and other not-for-profit customers. Please consult the individual core page for contact information and to see what services are available.

Current Core Technologies

  • Bioinformatics: Provides researchers with access to high-end computing infrastructure, software and expert personnel needed to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, visualize, search and publish biological data. The core staff provides expert bioinformatics training, consulting and programming services to support lab-specific projects and Institute-wide initiatives.
  • Insectary: The Insectary Core grows and infects live mosquitoes to accelerate our malaria vaccine research. A consistent, reliable source of this material is essential for successful liver stage malaria vaccine research and development. This facility specializes in the production of sporozoites from Anopheles mosquitoes for ongoing research with Plasmodium strains yoelii, berghei and falciparum.
  • DNA Sequencing: Revealing the sequence of an organism's DNA facilitates gene discovery, elucidates infectious mechanisms, and allows us to make comparisons between hosts and pathogens. The Sequencing Core, a CLIA certified facility, provides service and expertise for automated DNA sequencing, genotyping, and real time PCR techniques.
  • Flow Cytometry: Analyzing and sorting individual cells within populations is vital to a better understanding of the roles of specific cell types in combating infection. High-throughput cell sorting allows the isolation and characterization of infectious agents expressing specific characteristics such as gene modifications. These tools are critical for advancing vaccine candidates and for understanding both host and parasite. The Flow Core provides flow cytometry and cell sorting services, as well as expert consultation.
  • Imaging: The location of specific molecules within cells and tissues is often the key to understanding their function, as is molecule size and distribution. The Imaging Core provides a variety of high resolution microscopes, imagers and software to view and analyze fluorescent- and chemiluminescent-labeled cells, tissues and organisms.
  • Protein Production: Large quantities of protein are often necessary for therapeutic drug and vaccine development, and for structural genomics studies. This facility supports researchers with centralized protein expressions in bacterial, wheat germ (cell-free), and mammalian expression systems.  Ongoing efforts will expand the services to include expression systems such as yeast (Pichia) and Leishmania. We also offer protein purification services with affinity and size exclusion chromatography using GE AKTA purification equipment. All aspects of the operation follow good laboratory procedures to ensure highest quality. The Core provides expertise and consultation for research and development with protein production and protein-protein interaction characterization, immune-based assays, diagnostics, drug targets and vaccines.