Research Core Center

The overall Goal of The Yale Rheumatic Diseases Research Core Center (YRDRCC) is to foster a research environment dedicated to advancing our knowledge of the etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of autoimmune and rheumatic diseases and the inflammatory pathways that mediate their pathogenesis. Toward this end, the Aims of the YRDRCC are to: 1) stimulate multidisciplinary collaborative investigation of the pathogenesis of the rheumatic diseases; 2) to organize resources, techniques, and procedures into high quality, cost-efficient facilities used by multiple investigators, and to disseminate this technology and its fruits inside and outside the Yale community; and 3) to provide a rich educational environment that will encourage new and established investigators to study the rheumatic and immunological diseases, while providing them and investigators outside Yale, knowledge of advanced technological tools to carry forward such research.

The YRDRCC is comprised of 44 investigators with common interests in the study of autoimmune and rheumatic diseases and/or the inflammatory and immune-mediated pathways that are essential to the their pathogenesis. Many already have established collaborative ties, especially in areas of autoimmunity, inflammation, and Lyme disease, including Lyme arthritis. The enrichment program conducted by the Administrative Core promotes development of innovative research strategies with their transmission to investigators within and outside Yale. In this way, we foster rheumatic and immunological disease research and promote collaborations with YRDRCC investigators and beyond. Two research cores enhance the productivity of its investigators and reduce redundancy of costs and procedures. A major goal of both, via our enrichment program, is to provide the technological expertise to take advantage of the resources offered, and to enhance research into the rheumatic and immunological diseases. These cores include the: 1) Generation and Preservation of Novel Mouse Models Core which preserves, stores, and supplies gene-modified mice to center members and investigators outside Yale, and which makes accessible to all YRDRCC investigator labs the ability to create novel strains of genetically engineered mice, including conditional and/or tissue specific gene knock-outs, knock-in mutants, and reporters. This core facilitates research using genetically modified mice at Yale and beyond, with the capability of shipping novel frozen strains, many heretofore not widely available to the research community (due to the difficulty in breeding and maintaining large numbers of mutant mice) to national and international investigators studying rheumatic and immunologic diseases. 2) In Vivo Imaging Core provides support for imaging fluorescently tagged cells within live anesthetized animals using multiphoton laser scanning microscopy, including use of novel methodologies to query as yet inaccessible biological events, including imaging of the inflamed joint, with an enrichment program that expands its reach within and outside Yale. These core facilities consolidate highly technical or labor-intensive services to standardize quality and improve productivity with efficient use of resources, while providing the necessary technical support to enable their use by the YRDRCC and the outside community.