Office of Research Research Core Facilities Program Invests $775,000 in New Equipment and Strategic Operating Expansions to Advance Research Infrastructure - Office of Research

Research Core Facilities Program Invests $775,000 in New Equipment and Strategic Operating Expansions to Advance Research Infrastructure

Research Core Facilities Program Invests $775,000 in New Equipment and Strategic Operating Expansions to Advance Research Infrastructure

By AJ Cheline

August 5, 2019

In February 2019, the Research Core Facilities Program (RCFP) within the Office of Research invited proposal submissions for investments to support the acquisition of new equipment and strategic operational expansions of core facilities that would advance the research infrastructure at UC Davis. Campus Research Core Facilities (CRCFs) and Shared Resource Facilities (SRFs) that serve a broad user base from at least three colleges or schools were eligible to apply.

In total, 15 applications were received. Each proposal was evaluated using a peer-review process developed by the Research Core Advisory Council (RCAC) which included three panel members. In addition to evaluating the primary objective of advancing scientific excellence at UC Davis, key review criteria included 1) identification of an existing broad user base that would benefit, 2) analysis of similar existing resources on campus to confirm a strategic need, 3) assessment of a sustainable management plan, and 4) demonstration of attempts to obtain funding from off-campus agencies.

The following seven facilities were selected in May to receive awards totaling approximately $775,000.

Health Sciences District Advanced Imaging Facility (HSDAIF)

“Expansion of multiphoton microscopy services.”
Faculty Director: Colin Reardon; Technical Director: Ingrid Brust-Mascher

“The Health Sciences District Advanced Imaging Facility is using the enhancement funds to add two ultrasensitive detectors to our multiphoton microscope. This will allow users to image up to four parameters simultaneously. Applications include fluorescence microscopy of fixed, thick and cleared tissues as well as time-lapse intravital imaging.”
—Colin Reardon

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility

“Acquisition of a helium liquefier system: A greener future for the campus NMR facility.”
Faculty Director: James Ames; Technical Director: Jeff Walton

“The funding received by NMR will be used to purchase a helium recovery system. Helium is a non-renewable resource and policy changes made by the United States government have led to a volatile market making supply expensive and uncertain. A reliable liquid helium supply will reduce operating costs and relieve the uncertainty of supply, thus ensuring continued access to NMR instrumentation for researchers.”
—Jeff Walton

Advanced Materials Characterization and Testing Laboratory (AMCaT)

“Acquisition of a high sensitivity energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDXS) for an in-situ environmental scanning electron microscope.”
Faculty Director: Klaus van Benthem; Technical Director: Andrew Thron

“AMCaT acquires an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer to be attached to a recently installed environmental scanning electron microscope. This technology will enable nanometer-scale quantitative mapping of chemical composition profiles from organic and inorganic samples at temperatures up to 1400°C, or living organisms in water vapor pressures as high as 3,000 Pa.”
—Klaus van Benthem

Real-Time PCR Research and Diagnostics Core Facility

“Enhancement of qPCR research and veterinary diagnostics through multiplicity and speed by use of QuantStudio 7.”
Faculty Director: Emir Hodzic; Technical Director: Samantha Barnum

“The awarded proposal submitted by the Real-time PCR Core Facility will be used for purchasing a QuantStudio™7 Flex Real-Time PCR System. The instrument will enable a broad range of qPCR-based applications through its versatility, reliability, sensitivity and accuracy. It will enhance the quality and quantity of research and veterinary diagnostics services that serve a broad academic constituency.”
—Emir Hodzic

Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging (CMGI)

“Enabling novel carbon-11 (11C) radiochemistry at UC Davis.”
Faculty Directors: Abhijit Chaudhari and Julie Sutcliffe; Technical Director: David Kukis

“A major asset operated by CMGI is a biomedical cyclotron that has extensively supported imaging investigations at UC Davis. This proposal will expand the utilization of this highly unique and specialized resource for enabling novel Carbon-11 (11C) radiochemistry. These services will enable new applications in neuroscience, oncology, immunology, aging and microbiome research across species and disease models.”
—Abhijit Chaudhari

MCB Light Microscopy Imaging Facility

“Modest, GPU-based image reconstruction hardware to significantly extend live-cell imaging times and provide a new approach to previously-failed analyses of high content screens.”
Faculty Director: Jodi Nunnari; Technical Director: Michael Paddy

“The funding we received will be used to build two gpu-accelerated workstations. These workstations will significantly extend the utility of at least three existing microscopes within our facility. The cost of the computing resources proposed here are 20 to 40 times lower than the cost of a modern microscope, and thus are a great value for the potentially transformational utility they provide.”—Michael Paddy

Campus Mass Spectrometry Facility (CMSF)

“Installation of a nitrogen delivery system to enhance operational efficiencies.”
Faculty Director: Carlito Lebrilla; Technical Director: William Jewell

“CMSF received funding for a ProStar Dewar Switchover System. The system allows two high-pressure nitrogen dewars to attach to our open-access triple quadrupole liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) instrument. It monitors gas and pressure levels and switches between dewars, thus allowing uninterrupted operation of the LCMS. This will greatly benefit our campus users when acquiring data.”
—William Jewell

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