The goal of the Cell Biology Core is to make available to members of the Yale DRC the instrumentation, technical personnel, and expertise for the analysis of cell function in areas of research related to diabetes. The Core focuses on molecular and cellular imaging techniques and on analysis of islet cell function. Imaging methods include light and electron microscopy, and quantitative infra-red imaging of gels and multiwell plates. Emphasis is given to immunocytochemical methods and to the dynamic light microscopy imaging of living cells containing fluorescent markers, using standard epifluorescence, total internal reflection, and confocal (including spinning disk) techniques. In addition, the core offers leading edge techniques such as electron microscopy tomography and three different types of super-resolution microscopy (stimulated emission depletion, single-molecule switching nanoscopy, and structured illumination microscopy). DRC investigators will be trained in various imaging techniques as required for their work. The islet cell biology component of the core offers isolation of islets, high-throughput parallel perfusion of islets, and dynamic studies of hormone secretion. As well, the Core offers high resolution respirometry of islets and other cell types or of isolated mitochondria.
It is anticipated that the services provided by the Core will permit the elucidation of wide-ranging aspects of cell function that are critical to understanding diabetes pathophysiology.
Specialized expertise and advice regarding islet studies are available from Dr. Kibbey, and expertise in live cell imaging, super-resolution microscopy, and electron microscopy is available fromDerek Toomre, Joerg Bewersdorf, and Xinran Liu, respectively.