The renovation and equipping of the 3,000sqft California Institute for Regenerative Medicine sponsored Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Shared Stem Facility was completed in September 2009. The facility has four tissue culture suites with eleven clean tissue culture work stations, and associated equipment. The facility also has a large capacity for frozen sample storage, specialized microscopes and other equipment for stat-of-the-art molecular analyses of human stem cells.
Since September 2009, the core staff has calibrated and monitored the laboratory environment and instrumentation, trained research personnel in the use of the shared equipment and performed on-going maintenance of the facility. The staff has also performed one-on-one training of personnel in the generation of human iPSC, genetic modification of human pluripotent stem cells, and routine culture of human embryonic stem cells. The CHLA Stem Cell Core staff has also maintained stocks of monitored and quality tested human embryonic stem cells including weekly, bi-weekly and monthly quality control analyses on the cells. During the first year of operation, 34 quality controlled human embryonic stem cell cultures were distributed to researchers at CHLA the first year of operation. These investigators have used these cells to develop models and study a variety of diseases including pediatric cancers (neuroblastoma, Ewings-sarcoma, retinoblastoma, lymphoma) and genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis. Other researchers used the stem cells to study the genes and proteins that enable stem clel growth and expansion as well as differentiation. This provision of quality controlled stocks of human stem cells to investigators has decreased the amount of time individual research laboratories spend performing routine cell culture maintenance and quality control. In turn, this will increase the rate and efficiency of stem cell research at CHLA.