Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center and Services
Enhancing Multidisciplinary Research
Research at Joslin involves many different disciplines—from molecular biology, protein biochemistry, genetics and genomics to studies of cultured cells, animal models and new therapies for patients. The Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (DERC) provides the stable infrastructure needed to support research efforts across all disciplines and encourage the scientific development of young investigators. The DERC framework also fosters partnerships between basic scientists and clinical investigators to promote rapid progress toward a treatment or cure for diabetes and its complications.
Directed by Gordon C. Weir, M.D., Holder of the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Chair at Joslin and Head of the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology, the DERC is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)—a grant for which Joslin must compete every five years.
The purpose of DERC is to improve the efficiency and collaborative nature of diabetes research by providing shared access to specialized technical resources and expertise. The DERC supports three primary research-related programs: the Core Laboratories, Pilot and Feasibility Program and Enrichment Program.
The Core Laboratories are led by DERC Associate Director George L. King, M.D., the Head of the Section on Vascular Cell Biology and Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin. These biomedical laboratories, or Cores, provide services, state-of-the-art technologies and expertise to enhance the efficiency, productivity and multidisciplinary research activities of investigators. The Cores are divided into two main clusters: Cellular and Molecular Biology and Clinical and Physiology.
Cellular and Molecular Biology Cluster
Advanced Microscopy and Histology Core: Provides sophisticated morphological techniques through electron microscopic services and a confocal microscope facility, as well as resources for protocols, analysis and interpretation.
Flow Cytometry Core: Offers high-speed cell sorting, multicolor fluorescence cell analysis and data interpretation.
Genomics Core: Supplies investigators with Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays for expression analysis.
Media Core: Provides cell culture media, tissue culture media and buffers, as well as storage areas for liquid nitrogen.
Molecular Core: Performs oligonucleotide synthesis and fluorescent real-time PCR analysis of nucleic acids.
Proteomics Core: Conducts Sequest database searching, reports on peptide/protein matches and performs MS/MS spectra analysis.
Clinical and Physiology Cluster
Genetics Core: Creates, maintains and distributes panels of DNA samples to investigators and provides technical support in molecular genetics.
Mouse Physiology Core: Supplies a wide variety of mouse models.
Specialized Assay Core: Performs hormone and metabolite assays for animal and human studies.
Transgenic Core: Acts as a centralized resource for the efficient production of transgenic animals by DNA microinjection and embryonic stem cell injection; also provides advice and training in the creation, care and maintenance of transgenic and knockout mice.