The goals of the Skin Translational Research Core (STaR) are to facilitate basic and translational research in skin biology through provision of primary human skin cells, human skin, and engineered organotypic skin, together with technical and administrative support for their use, including the Penn Derm BioBank, training on primary human skin culture, high-throughput screening, and skin xenografts. Our core provides the IRB approvals for the procurement of these tissues.
Important Note:Specialized patient consent processes are necessary for studies that fall under the Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy, this includes all single cell analysis. If the GDS policy applies to your work, contact the Core Director Aimee Payne, MD, PhD, email@example.com before the start of your study to ensure that you are using properly consented tissues. It is the responsibility of the investigatorto ensure the use of all SBDRC-provided materials and services are in compliance with the GDS and other applicable NIH policies.
Primary human keratinocytes, melanocytes, and fibroblast cultures are initiated from neonatal foreskins weekly and can either be distributed in flasks or plated directly for experiments. Cell culture media should be purchased by the user; please contact us and we will give you the appropriate ordering information. If your media usage is low or intermittent, you can purchase a bottle for the core and then we can give you back fresh aliquots each time you need them. Cell and media orders must be received by Friday at 12 pm for plating and distribution the following week. Pick up is at 1062 BRB. Contact Chris Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Eun Jung Choi, email@example.com, for specific questions regarding orders or pick up.
We offer research training on how to initiate primary human keratinocyte/melanocyte/fibroblast cultures from neonatal foreskin (that we provide) or mouse keratinocyte cultures from neonatal mice (that you provide). We recommend that all trainees should have experience in general cell culture aseptic techniques.
For human keratinocyte training, a typical schedule would be Monday-Monday, available on most weeks of the year. For mouse training, you must contact us before you start breeding so that we can plan a schedule for culture initiation. You will need IACUC approval for harvesting of mouse keratinocytes, which is covered under a 'tissue harvest' procedure on IACUC protocols.
The STaR core provides fresh normal human adult skin, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma samples (freshly obtained from surgical procedures). These are available most weeks for pickup in the afternoon-evening. We provide neonatal foreskins for pickup Wednesday to Friday for pickup between 12 pm - 5 pm. Freshly obtained punch biopsies from patients with skin diseases can also be provided upon request. After we receive your form, you will be contacted by SBDRC staff to arrange for consultation (biopsy requests), determine availability, and/or sample pickup.
Neonatal foreskin or adult human skin xenografts on immunodeficient mice are one of the few methods to allow study of human skin in vivo. Grafts take 3-8 weeks to mature depending on the application and strain of mouse used. For questions on this service please contact Core Directors Aimee Payne, MD/PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Todd Ridky, MD/PhD, email@example.com.
We provide technical consultation and service for genetic engineering of organotypic skin cultures for in vitro studies, as well as xenografting of organotypic cultures to immunodeficient mice for in vivo studies. For questions on services, please contact Core Co-Director Todd Ridky, MD/PhD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Penn High-throughput Screening (HTS) Core offers numerous genetic and chemical libraries to identify modulators of signaling pathways, cellular phenotypes, and protein function, among other cellular readouts. STaR Core will work with SBDRC investigators to develop robust and sensitive assays using primary human skin cells, focusing on the kinetics and magnitude of the response plus validation assays and controls to confirm activity. STaR Core charges cover consultation costs; investigators will be responsible for costs of primary human skin cells and Penn HTS Core charges. Investigators are encouraged to speak with STaR Core Co-Director Todd Ridky, MD, PhD (email@example.com) and HTS Technical Director David Schultz, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding project feasibility.