PMIT: Preclinical Modeling

person seated between two lab benches

Welcome to the Preclinical Modeling Facility, part of the Preclinical Modeling, Imaging & Testing Core (PMIT) at the Koch Institute. The Preclinical Modeling Facility and the Preclinical Imaging and Testing Facility work very closely together to accelerate translation of laboratory discoveries toward clinical implementation for patients. The PMIT Core combines the expertise and instrumentation to facilitate the generation and high-resolution characterization of disease models, to assist investigations of the mechanisms of disease development, to enable the evaluations of drug efficacy and resistance, and to provide the means for testing novel strategies and devices for disease detection and drug delivery. The PMIT Core's mission is to streamline the path from the development of new therapeutic, diagnostic and basic discovery biomedical tools at the bench to their evaluation within a valid biological system.

The Preclinical Modeling Facility provides fee-for-service support to all MIT investigators who utilize specialized in vitro cells such as stem cells, organoids, or primary cell lines and/or novel mouse models to study human diseases such as cancer. While the majority of the projects we support involve the generation of a new model system, such as CRISPR-mediated gene editing in a mouse to introduce a mutation that mimics one found in patients, we have extensive experience with optimization of finicky cell cultures and are available to tackle any challenge with you.

We provide a customizable set of service options to match the specific needs of each project, including consultative advice and troubleshooting, complete tissue culture and microinjection servces within our dedicated facilities or hands-on training to enable investigators to perfom these experiments either at their own laboratory or within our facilities.

Services include:

  • Gene targeting: Genomic modification through traditional or CRISPR/Cas9 locus targeting, assistance with targeting strategies and vector designs
  • Embryonic stem cells: Generation of new ES lines from mouse strains, importation and testing of lines from outside sources, differentiation of ES lines into specific cell lineages or cell types and more.
  • Microinjection: Injection of mouse ES cells into blastocysts to generate chimeras and injection of DNA, RNA or CRISPR RNPs into the pronucleus of fertilized mouse eggs to generate transgenic and edited mice.  
  • Specialized tissue culture: Establishemnt of new primary cell cultures from a tumor, tissue or organ. Isolation of fibroblasts (MEFs) from mice for culture and analysis.
  • Tissue culture for xenograft and syngenic modeling: Optimization, validation and testing of cell lines for orthotopic placement into mice, coordinated with Preclinical Testing Facility.
  • Repository of reagent mice: Commonly used wild type mice such as C57BL/6j as well as KrasG12D-based models of cancers are maintained on campus for efficient distrubution.
  • Training and troubleshooting for all aspects of embryonic stem cells, primary cultures, animal breeding etc.
  • Serum, DMEM, LIF and other media components that have been tested and verified for use with ES cells.

Services are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis after approval. Access is available to all members of the MIT community, to the extent permitted by available capacity. Priority access is given to KI members, NCI-funded research projects and other contributing user groups in recognition of funding support. In special circumstances, access may be available to non-MIT users (details available on request from the Scientific Director, Aurora Burds Connor).

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