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Basic Sciences Core

This Core enhances basic and laboratory-based HIV/AIDS research by providing access to cutting-edge instrumentation and technologies, and the necessary support, education and training to enable efficient use of these resources. The Basic Sciences Core aims to enhance and foster new developments in HIV/AIDS and HIV-related research by broadening research capabilities and promoting collaboration.

To enhance the use and utility of cutting-edge instrumentation, CFAR offers funding vouchers for direct application to instrumentation that best suits research needs. Vouchers are competitively awarded and can provide up to $4,000 in user fees. Learn more about funding vouchers.

Core Leadership

Sanjay Maggirwar

Sanjay Maggirwar, Ph.D.
Core Director

P: (585) 275-0678

Charles VenutoCharles Venuto, Pharm.D.
Associate Core Director

P: (585) 276-5622

Instrumentation and Services

Nanosight NS3000

The Nanosight is capable of measuring the size distribution and concentration of particles as small as 10 nanometers by using light scatter and Brownian motion. The Nanosight is located within the URMC Flow Cytometry Core and CFAR members receive a discounted hourly rate for its use.  

Q Exactive Plus Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer

The Q Exactive Plus Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap combines quadrupole precursor ion selection with high-resolution accurate-mass Orbitrap detection. The superior quality of this instrument enables the analysis and quantification of thousands of proteins in complex biological samples.  The accuracy of the Q Exactive plus also enables the identification of post-translational modifications with high confidence.  The Q Exactive Plus is located within the URMC Mass Spectrometry Core and CFAR members receive free instrumentation time, on a first-come, first-serve basis that is capped on an annual basis. 

Pathways Discovery Resource

The Pathway Discovery Resource (PDR) is a high throughput screening facility providing cost effective screening methodologies for cell based assays.  Currently, the PDR offers cell based screening with the Silencer® Select Human Druggable Genome siRNA Library V4 and three chemical compound libraries.  The PDR also includes necessary robotics and high throughput instrumentation for library screening.  The PDR includes dedicated staff to assist in the design, training, and conduct of a screening campaign and candidate verification.  The PDR staff labor costs for screening is free for CFAR members, and is subject to certain conditions. 

Gnotobioitic Mouse Resource

Gnotobiotic mice, including germ-free mice, are animals in which the only strains or species of microorganisms living within them are known and accounted for. They are a valuable model for microbiome-related research. Mice are born in aseptic conditions, where all incoming air, food, and water have been sterilized.  provides centralized germ-free and gnotobiotic mouse services that including small experimental isolators for a variety of in vivo studies utilizing germ-free mice. The core maintains several common strains of germ-free mice, such as C57BL6. These strains are available upon request. The use of this resource is subsidized for CFAR members.

Rapid-quench Enzyme Kinetic Analysis

Provides access to the Kintek RQF-3 Rapid Quench-Flow instrument to examine fast reaction times (2.5 ms) using extremely small sample volumes, and allowing double delay quench which is highly suitable for examination of enzyme reaction pathways. KintekLearn more about the Kintek RQF-3 Rapid Quench-Flow.

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)

Consultation services are available to assist faculty with performing transcriptional profiling or studies of viral mutagenesis and use of the new Illumina Hi-Seq 2500 high throughput sequencer within the Functional Genomic Center at the URMC.

  • Illumina Hi-Seq 2500 - consultation services available to assist faculty with performing transcriptional profiling or studies of viral mutagenesis.
  • The MiSeq desktop sequencer allows you to access more focused applications such as targeted gene sequencing, metagenomics, small genome sequencing, targeted gene expression, amplicon sequencing, and HLA typing.

Structural Biology

  • Provides users access to biophysical instrumentation designed to: (i) determine macromolecular structures by X-ray crystallography, and (ii) quantitatively characterize biomolecular interactions. This facility provides CFAR supported technical assistance to provide Investigators with theoretical input, practical training and experimental design and data interpretation. Instruments include: BIAcore T100, Bruker AXS X8 Prospector X-ray source, Mosquito robot . For information and support, please contact Jermaine Jenkins.
  • AKTA Pure Chromatography System - A pure chromatography system for purification of RNA, proteins, peptides or complexes thereof. Researchers working on HIV/AIDS or related areas are eligible for discounts (50% off whole day and 25% off a 4 hour block)

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Imaging and Mass Spectrometry

Provides state-of-the-art instrumentation along with the human expertise to support all that is possible now, while pushing the limits of what can be done with flow cytometry. These next-generation instruments provide a host of new applications not readily available using traditional flow cytometry or mass spectrometry.

Customized Protein Production

Specialized protein production service that produces, purifies and characterizes HIV-1 Env oligomers for HIV/AIDS research. This includes:

  • Recombinant oligomeric HIV-1 gp140 (produced in human cells)
  • Monoclonal Antibodies (produced by transient DNA transfection of 293 cells)
  • His-tagged recombinant RT (produced in E. coli)
  • Custom proteins of interest, produced as His-tagged moleculed in E. coli

For information about protein production, please contact