Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core


The primary mission of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) is to support CEHS investigators who conduct research using human study participants. IHSFC addresses four broad areas of interest. First, the IHSFC provides scientific consultation for clinical and population-based studies. These services promote collaboration and enhance scientific productivity. Second, biospecimen processing and genotyping sub-core laboratories provide platforms for short-term pilot projects and long-term epidemiologic studies for Center members. These sub-core laboratories provide access to state-of-the-art equipment and a high level of quality control and maximal throughput, which could not be achieved by individual investigators. The genotyping sub-core also provides typing of laboratory rodent strains in order to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration in functional and comparative genomics for Center members. Third, the IHSFC serves as a liaison to a variety of core laboratories, resources and facilities at UNC that are useful to CEHS investigators.

The IHSFC is closely integrated with the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility Core (BBFC) and the Systems Biology Facility Core (SBFC) through the Director of Interdiscplinary Research and the Flexible Interdisciplinary Research Groups (FIRGs). We envision that these three cores will become mainstays of CEHS research with humans and animal models of human disease in a manner that will foster a much deeper understanding of biologic mechanisms, elucidating pathways for environmental exposure effects and, ultimately, prevention of disease. The Director of the IHSFC and core staff will work closely with the Director of Interdiscplinary Research, the SBFC and the BBFC to ensure that CEHS investigators receive maximum benefit from UNC and CEHS resources, and all projects benefit from maximum usage of IHFSC sub-cores.

Goal and specific aims

The goal of the IHSFC is to provide a comprehensive, user-friendly, and efficient core facility that supports clinical and population-based investigations into the genetic and environmental determinants of human health and disease. The IHSFC also performs genotyping on rodent tissues and cells for comparative genomic studies.

Aim 1: Provide scientific consultation for clinical, translational and population-based studies.

Aim 2:  Establish and maintain a sub-core laboratory facility that assists with collection and processing of biospecimens. To maintain state-of-the-art, high quality databases and create a biorepository of specimens collected from research studies.

Aim 3:  Establish and maintain a sub-core laboratory that conducts high-throughput genotyping. To provide consultation on genotyping platforms and establish quality control and assurance procedures for genetic data.

Aim 4.  Provide CEHS investigators with guidance in accessing additional UNC and CEHS resources for conducting collaborative research.

IHSFC sub-cores

The Biospecimen Processing Facility sub-core provides efficient access to the UNC Biospecimen Processing Laboratory, a centralized laboratory for the processing of biospecimens, primarily blood and buccal rinse samples. The primary products of the processing are DNA, plasma, serum, and lymphocytes. The Facility maintains a state of the art data management system for biologic specimens, based upon the LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) platform. A biorepository containing archived biologic samples is maintained by the sub-core for use in approved research studies.

The Mammalian Genotyping Facility sub-core provides efficient access to the UNC Mammalian Genotyping Laboratory, a centralized laboratory that conducts high throughput genotyping and DNA Sequencing.


Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core director:
Melissa Troester, PhD; Department of Epidemiology, UNC School of Public Health
Email:  Phone: 966-7408

Biospecimen Processing Facility sub-core co-director:
Patricia Basta, PhD; Department of Epidemiology, UNC School of Public Health
Email: Phone: 843-3860

Co-director, DNA Sequencing:
Laura Livingstone, PhD; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Email: Phone: 966-3763
Mammalian Genotyping Facility sub-core co-director:
Jason Luo, MS; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Email: Phone: 966-4772

Hendrik Dejong, Research Technician, BSP
Heena Mehta, Research Technician, BSP
Janae Simons, IT Database Programmer, BSP
Michael Andre, Research Technician, MGC
Amanda Floyd, Research Technician, MGC

Funded by NIEHS Grant # P30 ES010126