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Molecular Biology Core

Thomas J. Rogers, Core Director (

The Molecular Biology Core facility provides services to investigators that involve either short- or long-term use of molecular biology techniques. Services are provided for investigators who span a variety of disciplines, and work is carried out in direct collaboration with the investigator or carried out independently and the work product passed along to the investigator (e.g., in the form of a molecular construct or in the form of a stably-transfected cell line). The work includes training where necessary and appropriate in the use of both traditional molecular techniques, as well as the development of more sophisticated novel methodologies. The Molecular Biology Core is particularly interested in continuing efforts to promote the use of molecular biology to study the role of drugs of abuse in the host-parasite interaction with HIV. There is particular interest in bringing together investigators with related, but somewhat distinct, research interests so that new collaborations can be developed. By combining the expertise of investigators with diverse interests, new perspectives and potentially novel investigations can be developed.

The following procedures are among those that are supported by the Molecular Biology Core:

  • Basic cloning and vector/plasmid design and construction services. This includes constructs for the expression of tagged proteins.
  • Expression plasmid design and construction for regulation of gene expression. This includes plasmids for expression of interfering RNA, dominant-negative or inactive forms of gene products.
  • Gene expression analysis techniques
    • Promoter function and analysis
    • Transcription factor array analysis
    • Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis (EMSA)
    • Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis
    • Evaluation of transcript levels including nuclear run-on assays
    • Northern blot analysis
    • Semi-quantitative and highly quantitative RT-PCR
    • SmartFlare-based mRNA and miRNA analysis
    • PrimeFlow (FISH flow) mRNA and miRNA analysis
  • Comprehensive transcription factor functional analysis
  • Training in the use of molecular biology methodologies for application to the study of single cells, cell populations, organ tissues, and whole animals
  • Genotyping services for the rodent breeding colony of the Animal Core for Addiction Related Behaviors