CRL Goals and Potential Programs

Project Goals

The CRL Subgroup agreed to evaluate proposals based on achieving these major goals for the project:

  • Parnassus Renewal/Rejuvenation – Reenergize the Parnassus Heights research community, which represents a large and essential part of the UCSF enterprise, but now suffers from significant challenges due to the aging infrastructure. To accomplish this goal, the CRL should be completed promptly and should be highly visible as a model for developing new initiatives at Parnassus Heights.
  • Complements Other Strengths at Parnassus and beyond – Planning for the CRL should emphasize unique strengths of the Parnassus site, including the proximity of a vibrant clinical enterprise and the potential to explore the biological basis of disease in transformative new ways.  The CRL should also complement and not merely duplicate other resources available elsewhere at UCSF and in the Bay Area.
  • Collaboration – Create a highly collaborative and inclusive central research lab for the Parnassus campus. The CRL should positively impact as large a share of the Parnassus research community as possible and help to build a stronger sense of community among researchers there. The CRL should be developed as a new model that is more innovative and collaborative than the conventional core lab model and facilitate sharing of resources and data.
  • Excellence, Responsiveness, and Sustainability – Create a facility that recruits and retains excellent people, is nimble in recognizing emerging opportunities and challenges, provides a path to a core by promoting sharing of tools developed in individual research labs, and a operational model that is financially sustainable.
  • Education and Training – Students, trainees, and faculty should all have opportunities to work closely with the CRL to understand and master the use of state-of-the-art tools that will empower their research and career development.

Proposed CRL Program Areas

Six potential CRL program areas were discussed at the initial meeting of the CRL Subgroup. The subgroup agreed to form task forces to explore each of these and report back to the CRL Subgroup on March 1, 2018. The task forces comprise representatives of both the CRL Subgroup and other interested stakeholders, including existing core staff and potential CRL users.

Program areas proposed for inclusion in the CRL include the following:

  • Disease-to-Biology (D2B) – Receives tissue and produces single cell preparations and stains them for flow cytometry and/or imaging. Includes a Biospecimen Repository (BIOS) resource and an Organoid Core.
  • Flow Cytometry – Builds on a strong existing flow cytometry core at Parnassus and provides instrumentation and expertise for performing advanced flow cytometry analysis of single cell suspensions.
  • Biological Imaging Development Center (BIDC) – Builds on the existing BIDC and develops, houses, maintains and exploits microscopes for analysis of cells and tissues.
  • Data Sciences/Data Library – Bioinformatics and basic large data analysis expertise to serve individuals and large projects, including curating and analyzing large collections of data obtained in the other CRLs. 
  • Genomics – Technologies for analyzing global gene expression and function and for editing genes and modulating gene function (including single cell technologies and CRISPR-based approaches).
  • Transgenic Mouse Production – Facilities at UCSF/Gladstone are no longer operating. Several members will explore whether this important need can or should be addressed within the CRL’s initial phase.