Office of the AVP for Basic Science

Instrumentation and Core Facilities

Core Facilities description:

The School of Medicine operates a number of core facilities that offer both advanced technologies and equipment. These facilities include the following (see for more information):

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

The Core Facilities operate under a central administration headed by Dr. Jerry Kaplan, Assistant Vice President for Basic Sciences at the Health Science Center and Dr. John Phillips, Associate Director of the Core Resources. Drs. Kaplan and Phillips are assisted by Ms. Janet Bassett, Ms. Kristy Green and Ms. Sarah Jo Gordon. The Core Facility office is responsible for personnel and financial affairs. All of the Core facilities operate on a charge-back basis, although the percent recovery of operating expenses for each facility varies greatly.  For example, the DNA Sequencing Core recovers all expenses, while other Cores such as NMR, Cell Imaging and Knockout/Transgenic Mouse are heavily (50-90%) subsidized by institutional resources. The goal of the Cores is to make technology and expertise available to all faculty members and students. The institutional view is that supporting core facilities is the single best way that institutional funds can be used to promote the University¿s research mission.




David Jones, Ph.D.


Dept. of Oncological Sciences

Jerry Kaplan, Ph.D.


Dept. of Pathology

John Phillips, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dept. of Pathology and Hematology

David Stillman, Ph.D.


Dept. of Pathology

Wesley Sundquist, Ph.D.


Dept. of Biochemistry

Dennis Winge, Ph.D.


Division of Hematology, Dept. of Biochemistry

Mark Yandell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dept. of Human Genetics

Joseph Yost, Ph.D.


Dept. of Neurobiology and Anatomy


 The Metabolic Phenotyping Core offers several services to help investigators evaluate metabolic phenotypes in multiple model organisms. Our services are offered to the University of Utah research community and off-campus researchers. Services include mitochondrial bioenergetics (respirometry for tissue and isolated mitochondria, Seahorse XF24 for cells and isolated mitochondria), determination of whole animal energy expenditure using the Columbus Instruments Oxymax Lab Animal Monitoring System, determination of body composition by NMR, determination of circulating metabolite and hormone concentrations using the MAGPIX magnetic based system that can measure up to 50 analytes in a 25µl sample. We are also willing to consult on more complex projects that require more detailed in vivo metabolic phenotyping such as glucose clamps and advanced cardiovascular monitoring on a case-by -case basis. We are also happy to offer protocol consultation as needed. 

 The Metabolomics Core is bridging the knowledge gap between phenotype and small metabolites. To perform this task the Core has purchased a MicroMass GCT Premier, a highly accurate time of flight mass spectrometer mated to a gas chromatograph (GC-MS). This instrument is able to analyze the small molecules involved in cellular metabolism in a qualitative fashion and is primarily used in the discovery phase of metabolomic analysis. The Core recently purchased another GC-MS, a Thermo Trace gas chromatograph with a TSQ triple quadrupole mass spectrometer serving as the detector. This instrument will be used in the quantification of metabolites that were found in the discovery phase. For metabolomic profiling of biofluids by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) the Core has purchased the Chenomx software suite. This software allows for the identification and quantification of common metabolites found in biofluids. The Metabolomics Core Facility focuses solely on the analysis of small metabolites. Within this mission several types of services are provided including: experimental design, sample preparation; instrumental analysis, assistance in data analysis

The Mutation Generation and Detection Facility specializes in providing customized TALEN DNA nucleases to induce targeted mutations in a gene of your interest. TALEN DNA nucleases are a cutting edge technology for preforming reverse genetic studies in multiple model systems, including zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans, and mammalian tissue culture.  The Genetic Mutation and Detection Core also offers services to identify induced mutations using High Resolution Melt Analysis. Our support includes hardware, reagents, and expert advice for optimizing and performing HRMA for your gene of interest. Upon request, the Genetic Mutation and Detection Core can also provide help in using Zinc-Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) in reverse genetic studies.

  The Microarray facility helps researchers perform cDNA-based microarray experiments while the associated Bioinformatics facility aids in the experimental design and analysis of results. The microarray system consists of an Amersham BioSciences GEN III Array Spotter and a GEN III Array Scanner. The facility has a very large inventory of cDNA clones (>80, 000) from human, mouse, Drosophila, yeast and planaria. The facility has a new experiment management database to provide easy access to results, and is assembling gene annotations and software tools to allow the integration of gene expression data with other biological databases.   

 The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility helps researchers determine the structure of proteins, nucleic acids and natural products. The instruments available in the facility include a Varian Unity 500 MHz NMR, a Varian Inova 600 MHz NMR and a Varian Mercury 400. The facility also has several Sun and SGI workstations for offline data processing and biomolecular structure determination.  

 The Oligonucleotide/Peptide Synthesis facility provides synthetic peptides and oligonucleotides, with specific modifications as needed. Additionally, the facility performs Edman sequencing of proteins/peptides, including the identification of phosphorylation sites using this methodology.   

  The Small Animal Imaging Facility extends the benefits of modern diagnostic medical imaging systems to the studies of anatomy and physiology in small animals. The Facility currently features state-of-the-art Bruker BioSpec 7.1 T horizontal-bore MRI and General Electric EVS-RS9 micro-CT scanners, both equipped with supporting and monitoring hardware that allows a wide variety of imaging experiments to be performed on live animals and specimens. Imaging scientists and full-time imaging and animal support technicians are available for technical consultation and experimental assistance.