Facilities & Resources
The laboratory space in the University of Rochester Medical Research Building Annex (MRBx) totals ~33,000 sq. ft. and of which this program will occupy ~1200 sq. ft. of laboratory space, procedure rooms, and common-use corridors. Dr. Elder occupies office space near these laboratories. The lab has 4 IBM desk top computers and three laptop computers, in addition to IBM computers and printers in Dr. Elder’s office. Statistical analysis, word processing and slide-making software is available.
Dr. Elder is also a member of the Department of Environmental Medicine’s Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC) and, so, has access to the Analytical Chemistry and Inhalation Facility Cores, both shared facilities of the Center. In the Analytical Chemistry Core, facilities are available for the analysis of metals in tissue samples from exposed animals. The operations manager (B. Gelein, MS) is also a member of the Elder laboratory and has extensive analytical chemistry experience. The state-of-the-art barrier Inhalation Facility is contained within the fully AAALAC-accredited Vivarium and is located in the basement of the MRBx. This suite encloses ~6000 sq. ft. of laboratory space. Four rooms are used for animal housing and four are used for animal exposure systems, which allow exposures for up to 6 hours to particle-containing atmospheres in compartmentalized polycarbonate chambers. A shop is available for construction of new exposure apparatus and repairs. The air provided to the facility is extremely clean, with less than ˜50 particles/cm3.
Dr. Elder occupies office space near her laboratories and upstairs from the Inhalation Facility. A networked IBM computer and printer are available in Drs. Elder’s office, as is statistical analysis, word processing and slide-making software.
Dr. Elder’s laboratory has 4 IBM networked desktop computers and three laptop computers, in addition to instrumentation-dedicated computers and printers (e.g. aerosol monitoring equipment in the Inhalation Exposure Facility).
University Core and Animal Facilities
Core Research Facilities
The University of Rochester maintains several core research facilities with full-time technical assistance, including a Nucleic Acid Core Laboratory, Molecular Imaging Core Facility, Confocal Microscopy Laboratory, Protein Core Facility, Microarray Facility, Flow Cytometry Facility, Transgenic and Gene Targeting Facility, and the Electron Microscopy Core Facility.
Animals are housed in the University of Rochester Vivarium, which is in the Medical Center and supervised by the Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Space is available in one- and two-way room to handle BSL-2 hazards. The University of Rochester Committee on Animal Research (UCAR) implements all State and Federal statutes and the Public Health Services Animal Welfare Act policies for animal care and handling.
Overall Scientific Environment
Dr. Elder is a faculty member of the NIEHS-supported EHSC, which is focused on establishing innovative programs in environmental health sciences in order to prevent disease and improve public health. Scientific, programmatic, and career development support are provided by the Center. The three research foci for the 46 Center members are Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Diseases, Neurodevelopment and Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Center investigators come from the departments of Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics, Orthopaedics, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Biostatistics, Community & Preventive Medicine, Dentistry, Biomedical Genetics, and Neurobiology & Anatomy. The Center administers a pilot project program to foster the scientific growth of new investigators, strengthen collaborative relationships, and support the development of new investigative lines for established investigators. A Community Outreach and Education Core supports partnerships between members of the Rochester community and Center investigators with regard to environmental health issues.
The work is further benefited by the highly collaborative environment at the University of Rochester and a large number of faculty who focus on environmental toxicants, neural diseases, neuroinflammation, and glial cell biology.
Nanoparticle-containing exposures take place in closed systems from point of aerosol generation to exhaust (HEPA-filtered) such that personnel exposure is very unlikely. Nevertheless, before the aerosol generators or exposure chambers are opened, they are flushed with clean, filtered air. Handling of animals after exposure and cleaning of equipment is done with appropriate personal protective equipment (gloves, shoe covers, filter masks, lab coats). Our procedures are reviewed by the University of Rochester Environmental Health and Safety office.