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FAQs

Why work with the ITR?

Whether you are a basic scientist, oncologist, or other non-laboratory researcher, cancer research is increasingly complex, leveraging the knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines. The ITR can offer you comprehensive support managing collaborations, workflow, budget, and timelines to achieve your goals in a timely manner.

We have expertise in both hematological malignancies and solid tumors and have worked with 53 unique investigators across 7 VICC research programs since 2010. We have also worked with many of the 50 Vanderbilt core facilities so we know what technologies are available to assist you with your needs.

Do all ITR projects have a cancer focus?

Yes. The ITR is heavily subsidized by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Therefore, the laboratory can only work on projects that impact cancer. If you have any questions, please contact the ITR Director, Kim Dahlman (kimberly.b.dahlman@vanderbilt.edu).

How can the ITR help me with clinical trial correlative studies?

There are many challenges to clinical trial correlative studies and the ITR can help you by guiding the initiation and managing the completion of your study. Benefits include:

  • Experiment design in a team setting
  • Generation of accurate correlatives budget
  • Establishment of a smooth specimen workflow
  • Protocol (correlative sections) writing
  • Delivery of detailed lab manuals-we have established SOPs for specimen collection for commonly used assays! 
  • Project management
  • Participation in the Site Initiation Visit and study phone calls

We are with you for the entire study and will answer your questions (and those of non-Vanderbilt sites and collaborating labs) regarding the correlative research.

Our goal is to decrease turnaround time of protocol submission and study opening by engaging experienced protocol writers, laboratory scientists, and clincial trial specialists.

Do ITR personnel complete experiments?

Yes!

The ITR has a fully-functional wet-lab. The ITR is fully equipped for sample storage, molecular genetics and biochemistry laboratory experimentation, and cell culture. The ITR core laboratory contains: a chemical fume hood, laminar flow hoods, water jacketed CO2 incubators, inverted and upright light microscopes, water baths, gel electrophoresis equipment, immunoblotting equipment, power supplies, rocking shakers, bacterial incubators, thermal cyclers, bullet blender for homogenizing tissue, refrigerator, and freezers (-20oC and -80oC).

The ITR is housed within the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and occupies approximately 1,400 square feet of laboratory space in the Preston Research Building. The space includes two separate rooms for pre- and post-PCR sample handling and spaces shared with other laboratories such as: a separate tissue culture facility, cold room, equipment hallway, darkroom, and autoclave/glassware facility. Furthermore, we utilize shared equipment such as: a liquid nitrogen tank for storing cells, developer, phosphorimager, and fluorescent microscopy system.

With that said, we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. We do not duplicate efforts of other Vanderbilt core facilities and will lean on their expertise to facilitate completion of your studies. We also collaborate with other academic institutions and companies for expertise in certain areas.

Dr. Dahlman is a member of the VICC and has full access to all of Vanderbilt’s shared resources that house state of the art equipment and highly-trained personnel including: Genomic Sciences (library preparation and next-generation sequencing), Proteomics, Translational Pathology (equipment for paraffin embedding tissues, microtomes, cryostats, and IHC staining equipment and expertise in human and mouse pathology), and the Epithelial Biology Center Imaging Resource (with Ariol equipment for scanning and quantitative analysis of stained tissue slides). The specific equipment and services available through these cores can be found at http://medschool.mc.vanderbilt.edu/oor/irc/php_ corefacilities.php.

How do I get started?

We first encourage you to contact the ITR Director, Dr. Kim Dahlman, to discuss your research needs.

Email: Kimberly.b.Dahlman@vanderbilt.edu

Phone: 615-936-6589

After discussing the feasibility of your project, we invite you to submit a project request form.

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