Translational Laboratory Shared Service

Director: Rena Lapidus, Ph.D.


The mission of the Translational Laboratory Shared Service (TLSS) at UMGCC is to generate data from preclinical (cell- and animal-based) and clinical sources for investigators to support cutting-edge research as well as preliminary data for grant submissions and letters of intent for Phase I/II clinical trials. The TLSS also provides support for developing and executing in vitro and in vivo preclinical models for evaluation of novel anticancer agents or novel combinations of agents to translate scientific ideas into therapeutics. 

The TLSS supports many of the UMGCC Phase I/II clinical trials by isolating biological specimens (plasma, serum, DNA/RNA, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and bone marrow) and developing and executing assays for correlative studies to support these trials. The TLSS is unique in that it provides a combination of services and resources usually not offered by any one core, predominantly supporting physicians engaged in clinical and translational research and preclinical investigators, fellows, and students conducting in vivo studies. 

The major focus of the TLSS is to provide research support to clinicians and investigators who do not have the expertise or the lab space to conduct cell-based, in vitro, or clinically oriented assays but who would like to generate preliminary data for investigator-initiated clinical trials, grants, or letters of intent.

Impact to the Cancer Center

The TLSS has focused its efforts on supporting Phase I/II clinical trials; providing access to in vivo tumor models; generating preliminary data for numerous successful grant applications; supporting submission of patent applications; and generating data that provide the basis for new clinical trial protocols, many of which resulted in publications that include TLSS staff as coauthors, clearly demonstrating the positive impact the TLSS brings to cancer research at the UMGCC. Over the last 5 years, the TLSS has provided support for 27 clinical trials, including providing preliminary data for 4 new investigator-initiated trials; carried out over 200 animal experiments through an umbrella animal protocol that streamlines investigators’ access to animal studies; and provided preliminary data to 8 peer-reviewed, funded grant applications.

Specific Aims

  1. Provide support for Phase I/II clinical trials, including processing of specimens and performing assays that provide clinical correlates. This includes generating preliminary data for letters of intent for new clinical trials.
  2. Provide expertise for in vivo studies offered under the TLSS umbrella animal protocol to evaluate efficacy, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetic endpoints of novel and experimental cancer therapies.
  3. Develop and implement custom and routine in vitro assays for cell proliferation and apoptosis for cytotoxicity of novel agents.
  4. Maintain and offer access to a number of cell lines ranging from solid tumors to hematologic malignancies.
  5. Offer members educational resources, consultation, and training opportunities to increase their ability to more effectively integrate translational methodologies, including in vivo and in vitro services, into their research programs.

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