Year 4

This year the UCR Stem Cell Core hired new staff to assist in operation of the Core, revamped the organization of the Core to improve it operation, provided space and cells for stem cell research, helped researchers develop their stem cell projects, hosted CIRM Bridges students, hired new staff, and took full advantage of the research facilities offered by the CIRM-funded Core. Our new Academic Coordinator oversees daily operation of the Core, trains new users, and oversees the Core staff. She has been involved in implementing changes to facilitate operation, interface with the Office of Research, develop new training opportunities in the Core, and upgrade Core equipment. A permanent staff position was filled in the fall, and this person helps with daily operation of the Core, provides cells to Core users, maintains inventories and places orders. A temporary position was filled to help with reorganization of Core Sales and Services, upgrade the website, and help with equipment maintenance and repair. The Core offers three cell culture suites, an equipment room, an analytical room, a microscopy room, and a cytogenetics workstation. The Core also offers state-of-the art equipment which has been extensively used by our stem cell labs at UCR. Some of our equipment (e.g., the Nikon BioStation CT) has also been used by stem cell labs at Loma Linda University and our Core provides storage for cells generated by a local Biotech company. Last year, the Core was fortunate to receive about 1700 square feet of new space adjacent to the existing Core. This new space, the Stem Cell Core Annex I, provides us with a conference room (which was upgraded this year), storage space, a microscope room, and additional office space for Core users. The addition of this new space has greatly enhanced Core operations, enabled growth, and allowed us to expand Core activities. This year we moved much of our expendable supply inventory into the Annex space and thereby freed-up valuable floor space in the main Core making operations in the culture area easier to perform and creating a better sterile environment. The Core is preparing to offer a stem cell culturing class this September to UCR students. We accepted six new CIRM Bridges students from California State University at San Bernardino this spring, and they do part of their work in the Core. The Core also supported a course in live cell imaging and analysis (EE272) which used human embryonic stem cells in all of its lab projects. The Core continues to offer a Sales and Services operation to enable users to buy most items needed for their research from the Core at a reduced cost to the user. The inventory system for Sales and Services was upgraded this year, and the method for distribution and storage of our inventory was improved. This has greatly facilitated use of the Core. The Core facilities have received extensive use and have provided lab space for faculty who cannot culture cells in their home labs. Four labs from the College of Engineering work in the Core daily and have assigned spaces. Users can also request the Core grow cells for their research projects to help move projects along efficiently. Data collected in the Core were presented in platform and poster sessions at the numerous meetings this year, and five of these presentations won first place awards. The laboratories using the Core published 22 papers this year that incorporated stem cell work done in the Core. Three of our stem cell graduate students who use the Core won NSF pre-doctoral fellowships and one graduate student received an NIH pre-doctoral fellowship to support her work with stem cells. Our faculty have been using the Core to conduct research dealing with osteogenesis, wound healing, primordial germ cell differentiation, testing scaffolds for tissue repair, differentiation of endoderm, scaling up procedures for growth of pluripotent stem cells, and evaluation of environmental toxicants using stem cells. The Core has created 35 new lines of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from human fibroblasts. The Core has also created reporter lines of hESC and human iPSC which are available to stem cell researchers. To bring stem cell information to the local community, the Core has been engaged in outreach activities. We have hosted tours through the Core, given lectures at local universities, and provided information and help to others in the Riverside/San Bernardino/Palm Springs area who are working with stem cells. The Core maintains a website which contains complete information on the facility, as well as the resources and services offered by the Core (