DIR Core Facilities

Core Facilities provide scientific resources, cutting-edge technologies and novel approaches to support DIR scientists. Availability of specialized expertise creates a robust environment for conducting a wide range of studies and accelerates the pace at which scientific discovery can take place.

Our Programs

Animal Surgery and Resources Core

The Animal Surgery and Resource Core services for NHLBI research animals include animal model development, surgery, surgical support, imaging support, and post-operative care, as well as technical services such as radiography, blood & tissue collection. These services include both rodents and large animals.


Biochemistry Core

The mission of the Biochemistry Core is to provide expert services and consultation in biochemical enzyme assays and protein purification. All users are provided with on-site instrumentation training and if necessary, assistance with data processing and analyses.


Biophysics Core

The Biophysics Core’s mission is to provide support in the study of macromolecular interactions, dynamics, and stability by offering consultations, training, professional collaborations, and instrument access. This Core assists NHLBI researchers with comprehensive biophysical characterization of biomolecules, including proteins, polynucleotides, nanoparticles, and their ligands.


DNA Sequencing and Genomics Core

The DNA Sequencing and Genomics Core provides NHLBI investigators with fast and cost-effective next-generation sequencing services to facilitate DIR basic and translational research. The services include sequencing experiment consultation, various library preparations, data acquisition and FASTQ file generation, as well as sequencing technology training for postdoctoral and clinical fellows. The core strives to maintain cutting-edge sequencing instrumentation and genome technology.


Electron Microscopy Core

The Electron Microscopy Core provides advice, technical services, training and use of facilities to NHLBI DIR investigators who require electron microscopy (EM) to answer specific research topics. In general, this refers to questions involving subcellular, supramolecular or macromolecular structure at a level of resolution below that of the light microscope. The facility is equipped with transmission electron microscopes (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), as well as the preparative equipment for most biological EM applications. One TEM is a current model equipped for electron tomography and automated montage acquisition.

Contact: Valentina Baena Echeverri Ph.D., Co-Director, valentina.baenaecheverri@nih.gov and Zulfeqhar Syed Ph.D., Co-Director, zulfeqhar.syed@nih.gov

Flow Cytometry Core

The Flow Cytometry Core is a state-of-the-art facility to accommodating a wide range of cell sorting and cell analysis needs for basic and translational research for NHLBI investigators in a cost-efficient time bound manner. This Core supports a wide variety of applications, including high speed cell sorting, 30-color cell analysis, cytokine analysis by multiplex bead arrays (Luminex), imaging flow cytometry (Amnis Image-Stream), phosphoprotein analysis, cell cycle and ploidy analysis, protocol standardization / methods development for high dimensional flow cytometric assays for longitudinal studies. Core also provides training for end users for instrument operation and assay specific training on one-on-one manner.


iPSC Core

The mission of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) Core is to accelerate stem cell research by providing investigators consultation, technical services and training in human pluripotent stem cell technology. The major services that iPSC Core currently provides include (1) generation of human iPSCs from fibroblast cells, CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using non-integration methods; (2) CRISPR/Cas9 mediated human iPSC gene knockout, gene correction, point mutation knock-in, and AAVS1 safe harbor transgene knock-in; (3) human iPSC-cardiomyocyte differentiation.


Light Microscopy Core

The mission of the Light Microscopy Core is to assist investigators in experiments involving light microscopy with state-of-the-art equipment, training, and image processing capabilities.


Murine Phenotyping Core

The NHLBI Murine Phenotyping Core carries out physiologic and behavioral testing in a diversity of mouse models for NHLBI and other NIH institutes.


Transgenic Core

The mission of the Transgenic Core is to keep up with the latest genome engineering technologies and to assist NIH scientists in creating genetically engineered animal models.