Toxicology & Preclinical Services

Research Support

The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has developed extensive resources to support its research in human health sciences. Under the Division of Toxicology and Preclinical Studies, five Research Support Services provide highly qualified and trained personnel, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and uniquely designed facilities to complement our service and research projects at The Hamner Institutes.

Necropsy and Histopathology Services

Rodent necropsy services, which are Good Laboratory Practices (GLP)-compliant, include routine and perfusion fixation, decalcification procedures, and gross trim of tissues in support of pathology, neuropathology, metabolism, and pharmacokinetic studies. Necropsies can be conducted on radioactive tissues, and samples can be collected and processed RNAase-free. An on-call service is available for necropsies that need to be conducted after hours. Histopathology services include routine paraffin, plastic, and frozen sectioning; routine and special stains; enzyme histochemistry; immunocytochemistry; immunohistochemistry; and autoradiography. Other histopathology services such as necropsy oversight and slide reading are provided through a contract with Experimental Pathology Laboratories.

Microscopy and Flow Cytometry

The Hamner's microscopy facilities include a Zeiss LSM 510 Meta confocal microscope and an MMI Cellcut laser-microdissection system. A variety of microscopes are available for dissection, light and fluorescent microscopy. Image analysis is supported by Image Pro Plus software. Flow cytometry is conducted using a Becton Dickinson FACS Vantage flow cytometer with five-color detection and standard sorting capabilities. Other equipment includes a benchtop Guava PC analyzer. A Bio-Rad BioPlex Suspension Array System is capable of analysis of multiple proteins such as cytokines from a single small sample of biological fluid.

Analytical Chemistry Services

Analytical Chemistry Services provides instrumentation and technical support for Hamner scientists and their external collaborators. Services include the analysis of tissues and compounds, development of chemical analysis methodology, collaboration in study designs requiring the use of analytical chemistry, and maintenance of instrumentation. Instrumental analysis techniques available at The Hamner include liquid chromatography (with mass spectrometry, UV-Vis, fluorescence, or electrochemical detectors), gas chromatography (with mass spectrometry, flame ionization, nitrogen/phosphorus, or electron capture detectors), and ion trap mass spectrometry.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control

The mission of The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences (The Hamner) is to conduct research that will provide an improved scientific basis for understanding and assessing human health risks. Scientific excellence has been The Hamner's central objective, achieved by generating high quality scientific research. It is The Hamner's policy that reasonable steps are taken to assure that research information has been obtained in a proper fashion and measures up to our high standards of quality.