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    The core facilities of the Cochin Institute

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    For many years, the Institute has been a pioneer centre for murine models of human diseases, through the facilities of transgenesis/cryopreservation and homologous recombination. Production of dozens of genetically engineered mouse lines every year is of prime importance for the development of a number of research projects in various human pathologies: cancer, genetics, metabolic or muscular diseases, autoimmunity. These facilities are widely open to external collaborations (academic research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies).

    Accordingly, several facilities (morphology/histology, small animal imaging) allow for the phenotypic characterization of the genetically engineered mouse lines produced in the Institute, by analysis of organ systems and whole animals.
    The morphology/histology facility brings together specialized equipments (including laser microdissection) and expertise in order to process all types of murine organs. It also provides training courses on histological techniques for students or researchers.
    The microsurgery facility is dedicated to provide investigators with highly specialized expertise for surgery acts in rats and mice.
    The small animal imaging facility, focused on ultrasound echography, is a member of the UPD network “Descartes Images”, in association with several local platforms for small animal imaging using complementary approaches: MRI in the Georges Pompidou European Hospital, bioluminescence in the Faculty of Pharmacy, PET imaging, RPE imaging.

    These facilities are directly and functionally linked to the two animal facilities of the Cochin Institute which can host up to 35,000 mice in 1,300 m2 in agreement with European norms, one of them being a ‘specific pathogen-free zone’ (SPF, EOPS) (700 m2 in G. Roussy bldg). All together they constitute one of the largest animal facilities of the Paris area.

    Two facilities were selected in 2008 as GIS-IBiSA infrastructures (infrastructures in Biology, Health and Agronomy): proteomics and cellular imaging, on the basis of the quality of their activity to the benefit of the research groups in the Institute and far beyond.

    The proteomics facility is an UPD platform, created in 2007, as a network of the local platforms of the major UPD research centers. It is located in the Cochin Institute, because of the long-term expertise in the field of nano-chromatography and Mass spectrometry in several groups of the Institute and the local and expert activity of a two-dimension electrophoresis (E2D) platform.
    The cellular imaging facility is divided in one Electron Microscopy facility and one Photon Imaging facility. The former performs ultrastructural and morphological analysis in cellular biology, virology and microbiology ; the latter provides access to and trainings on a variety of state-of the art equipments (multi-photon, confocal microscopes, image processing workstations).

    The flow cytometry facility provides instrumentation, education, and expertise for analysis and cell sorting, notably regarding immune cell and stem cell populations.  A new facility in immuno-biology, currently under development, will be dedicated to the functional analysis of immune and metabolic activity of various cell types.

     

    The genomics/transcriptomics facility has recently externalized its strong activity in gene sequencing by contracting with a private on-site company ; it can now concentrate on transcriptomic (DNA chips and quantitative RT-PCR) analysis of human and mouse genomes.