Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

Research Administration Centers and Cores Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

Cystic Fibrosis Research Center

Directory Category: Core

The CF Research Center includes more than fifty faculty members. Using the resources described above, as well as University funds and an allotment provided through the State of Alabama, the Center maintains Core facilities available for studies of cell biology, ion transport, and translational aspects of CF research.

These include:

  1. Assay Core (Core Directors: Steve Rowe, M.D. or Catherine Fuller, Ph.D.) - The mission of the Assay Core is to develop and assist with protocols intended to evaluate macroscopic CFTR function and subcellular localization. The Core provides Ussing chamber capabilities and expertise for testing vectoral anion transport in polarized airway epithelial monolayers, and florescent dye-based methods for evaluating CFTR activity in cells grown on coverslips. The Core also performs immunolocalization for proteins relevant to CF pathogenesis, including CFTR. Reagents and assays are funded by resources available from the Cystic Fibrosis foundation. Core users are typically associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, but there is no limitation on who may access the Core.
  2. Cell Model and Evaluation Core (Core Director: Kevin L. Kirk, Ph.D.) - The mission of the Cell Model and Evaluation Core is to improve our understanding of mechanisms underlying cystic fibrosis ion channel dysfunction. The Core has helped identify new pathways for activation of mutant CFTR (including the most common disease-associated mutations). The Core assists with patch clamp and single channel analysis relevant to ion channel gating. The Core also provides primary murine airway epithelial cells. These reagents and assays are funded by resources available from the NIH. Core users are typically associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, but there is no limitation on who may access the Core.
  3. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Animal Models Core (Core Director: David M. Bedwell, Ph.D.) - The mission of the Cell Model and Evaluation Core is to improve our understanding of mechanisms underlying cystic fibrosis ion channel dysfunction. The Core has helped identify new pathways for activation of mutant CFTR (including the most common disease-associated mutations). The Core assists with patch clamp and single channel analysis relevant to ion channel gating. The Core also provides primary murine airway epithelial cells.  These reagents and assays are funded by resources available from the NIH. Core users are typically associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, but there is no limitation on who may access the Core.
  4. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Clinical and Translational Core (Core Director: Steven M. Rowe, M.D.) - The mission of the Clinical and Translational Core is to bring state-of-the-art technology for patient orientated research to the cystic fibrosis program on our campus. The transition of experimental interventions toward preclinical testing and ultimate clinical trials requires examination of efficacy and toxicity in human cells and tissues. Human primary nasal airway epithelial cells and bronchial airway epithelial cells (from bronchoscopy or other surgical remnant tissues) are provided by the Core for this purpose. The Core also includes expertise in the nasal potential difference measurement, an important endpoint in cystic fibrosis clinical trials, and a means to understand pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis and other metabolic diseases. Recently, the Core also initiated studies of pulmonary tissue physiology utilizing optical coherence tomography (OCT). These clinical assays help bridge the gap between preclinical animal studies and clinical trials and contribute to therapeutic development in the CF Research Center. The Core was established in 1999 as a result of an award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Core users are typically associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, but there is no limitation on who may access the Core.
  5. Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Expression Core (Core Director: Jeong S. Hong, Ph.D.)- The Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) Expression Core assists Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center investigators with the complex technology necessary to efficiently express CFTR in experimental systems. The Core maintains a repository of reagents for studying CFTR, including over 50 constructs containing mutations that lead to disease and CFTR plasmid molecules used as part of gene therapy protocols in CF patients in the past. The Core also assists with expression technologies using vaccinia, adenovirus and other methodologies and antibody based detection of CF related gene products. These reagents have led to important basic discoveries about CF and to external grant funding (from the National Institutes of Health, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and other sources) for UAB scientists and projects. The Core was established in 1994 as a result of a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation award. Core users are typically associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, but there is no limitation on who may access the Core.