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Four Core Laboratories comprise the NIAMS funded Skin Diseases Research Core Center the SDRCC. They are: the Administrative Core, the Phenotype Core, the Molecular Genetics Core, and the Morphology Core.


The Administrative CORE serves a unifying function as it coordinates the day-to-day management of the SDRCC, provides fiscal oversight and supports the Pilot & Feasibility and Enrichment Programs. The Administrative CORE facilitates the functioning of each scientific CORE while providing a means of ongoing review and improvement. George Stricklin, MD, PhD is the Program Director.

Jeff Davidson, PhD heads this combined Core. The Phenotype Core takes the lead in providing expertise in the use of a wide range of animal models of wound healing and working with the Morphology Core, provides a comprehensive program to characterize any skin-relevant mutation in the transgenic mouse. A number of other animal models are also used in the work of the SDRCC including rat, rabbit and pig models. This Core assists in applying and developing appropriate models to answer critical experimental questions which are only testable in vivo. By providing experienced tutors and advice, this Core introduces investigators into the use of the animal model most useful for their needs. Through the activities of this Core, the skin diseases research group more efficiently utilizes animal models in our research. The Core operates a full service animal surgery facility in MCN, and it also houses instrumentation for wound biomechanics, blood perfusion, collagen and elastin determination and tissue morphometry. This Core also expedites the use of the excellent Animal Research Facilities present both in the DVA ACRE building and at Vanderbilt's Medical Center North Complex.

The second aspect of Phenotype Core service is a cell culture facility for isolation and propagation of mammalian (skin) cell strains. Human and mouse cells predominate. This Core also provides scale-up production (1011 to 1013 PFU) of recombinant adenovirus.

This Core supports the use of modern molecular biological techniques
within the skin-related research group. Susan Opalenik, PhD provides technical and practical knowledge which, through this Core, will be available to the group as a whole. Training in specific methods and general advice in experimental strategies that this Core provide will improve the overall level of expertise and accomplishments of the SDRCC members. They have expanded the scope of this Core to embrace
methods applicable to the use of transgenic constructs to answer skin-related questions. We consider the development of this resource essential to improving our research quality and range.

This facility is directed by Lillian Nanney, Ph.D.  The Core is a facet within Vanderbilt’s Institutional Immunohistochemistry Core. Skin investigators have quick access to routine paraffin embedding and sectioning, frozen sections, routine and special stains, and immunohistochemistry with an expanding compendium of working protocols suitable for localization of proteins in human and multiple animal species. Dr. Nanney has developed panels of immunomarkers that are especially suitable for the skin and offers her services for interpretation and photography of skin related projects. To view the latest working immunoprotocols, obtain contact information, view the staff and automated equipment visit

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