BRCF Research Reactivation

Updated 3/17/2021: As part of the tier 3 Medical School Research Reactivation Process guidelines, laboratories and research spaces across U-M campuses and Michigan Medicine may begin to operate at a density capacity that safely allows for at least six feet of social distancing between personnel beginning April 1st. All human research studies categorized as Tier 3, which have been paused since last spring, may resume in-person activity beginning April 1. These studies must first apply for activation.

For core-specific updates, please review the information below.

Advanced Genomics Core

As part of Phase 1 Wave 3 of the Medical School Research Reactivation Process, research ramp-up included the Advanced Genomics Core located within building 14 of the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC).

As research across campus returns, it is important to understand that in response to COVID-19, AGC operations are required to change in order to bring our employees back to the lab safely. We have updated some of our policies and procedures to reflect the recommended social distancing guidelines.

Standard sample submissions resumed Monday, June 15th. For the most up-to-date sample drop-off instructions, see this page.

Please note that unused samples can no longer be retrieved. If needed, please submit an aliquot only.

Thank you all for your patience and cooperation as we take these initial steps in reopening AGC operations at the University of Michigan. Please contact us with any questions.

Bioinformatics Core

(open and working remotely)

Until we are able to safely return to campus, we are happy to arrange consultations and follow up meetings with you via phone or videoconference. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project, please let us know by contacting bioinformatics@umich.edu.

Biomedical Research Store

(BSRB, LSI, NCRC & MSRBII locations are open)

  • Current hours are Monday-Thursday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • To order products, customers will utilize a pick-up form that will be available on our website. After both the pick-up form and order have been submitted to the Biomedical Research Store (bmrs1@umich.edu), the customer will receive an email from a member of our staff with a receipt, product availability, and estimated pick-up time.
    To maintain social distancing, store location doors will remain closed. If you placed an order with us, our staff will utilize a table/cart in the doorway/hallway for order pick-ups.
    We are currently accepting special orders, however, due to vendor shipping issues, delays might be possible depending on product inventory or volume of the order placed.

NCRC Customers will utilize the stock product pick-up/delivery form available on our website to order products. Afternoon delivery is available to NCRC customers as needed. The cut-off time to place delivery orders is 1:45 pm. Customers will not be required to sign receipts and there will be no on-site pickup.

For customers who do not have building access to any of our store locations, curbside pick-up is available at LSI! Please email the pick-up form to bmrs1@umich.edu asking for curbside and we will schedule a pick-up time.

Epigenomics Core

(open)

As part of our sample drop-off and pick-up procedures:

  • Customers will need to schedule a time to bring their samples to the core by emailing clalance@med.umich.edu
  • Customers will not be allowed in the lab
  • Samples will be left on the red cart next to the Epigenomics Core door. A box of ice will be put there when we know samples are coming

If you have any questions, please contact me at clalance@umich.edu.

Flow Cytometry Core

(open)

  • Current hours for staff operation are Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
  • Self-Assist (SA) Operators will be given access to the lab, however,
    • As we must stagger the number of individuals in the lab at any given time, SA appointments are no longer auto-approved and must go through the standard manual approval process.
    • SA users must wear masks, gloves, and gowns/coats in the lab at all times.
    • SA users will be required to clean the workstation with ethanol upon finishing.
  • Technician-assisted investigators will no longer be allowed to enter the lab.
  • Samples will be dropped off at the station located outside the lab door.
  • Sample tubes must be labeled numerically (1,2,3,…) and accompanied with a sheet identifying the tubes.
  • Samples must include negative (unstained) and single positive control samples (no exceptions).
  • While you will not be allowed into the lab during the experiment, if you include an email in the “Event Notes” section of the MiCore appointment request, we will send you the TeamViewer remote desktop login information. With this software, you will be able to monitor the experiment, speak to the operating technician, and even take control to draw gates if desired.
  • Data will be emailed to the user in PDF (or requested alternative) format.
  • Sorted samples will be placed at the drop-off location for pickup.

Core Equipment Training Resumes

I am happy to announce that the Flow Cytometry Core is ready to resume training at all of our locations. For those that have not attended the mandatory training lecture, beginning in October, we will resume our twice-monthly schedule. Please contact me directly to reserve a space. You will be able to schedule hands-on training after attending a session.

For those ready to begin or resume hands-on training, please understand that things will be handled somewhat differently due to EHS restrictions. The key points are as follows:

  1. Users will be required to wear the following PPE during training:
    • Face Shield (User Provided these are available via mStores in all locations)
      Mask (User Provided)
    • Lab Coat or Gown (Ideally user-provided, but disposable gowns will be available in the lab)
    • Gloves (available in lab).
  2. Users arriving without appropriate PPE will be turned away. No Exceptions.
  3. We are limited to one training session per location per day. In order to coordinate this:
    • All training requests need to be made directly to David Adams. No other core staff will be able to schedule a training session for you. iLab training requests will likewise be dismissed.
    • As we are limited to the number of training sessions we can offer, we ask that you remain patient while we work through everyone’s request.
  4. Training will require interactions within the 6’ social distancing recommendation, but the trainer will work to minimize such time.

In order to schedule a training session, email David Adams (davadams@med.umich.edu) with the request and include the following information:

  • Whether you have previously attended the mandatory lecture or need to schedule a session. We will, of course, verify the information, but providing the information upfront minimizes prep time.
  • Which location (MSRB2, NCRC, or BSRB) and which instrument you wish to be trained on.
  • Which instrument(s) you have previously been trained on by U-M BRCF Flow Core staff.

Metabolomics Core

(open)

As part of our sample drop-off and pick-up procedures, the Metabolomics Core’s Brehm Location will be open select hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for customer drop-off and pick-up. Future availability will be determined as needed.

  • Please coordinate a pre-arranged drop-off, including date and time, with Kari Bonds (karibond@umich.edu), Metabolomics Core Sample Coordinator
  • On the day of sample drop-off or pick-up, research laboratory staff members must first utilize the ResponsiBLUE Screening Tool and obtain a green checkmark for the day documenting successful health screening clearance.
  • For In-Building Customers, Kari will have a table outside of her office where samples can be dropped off (samples should be brought in a styrofoam cooler, on dry ice) and she will check regularly to put samples into -80 C storage
  • For Out-Of-Building Customers, Kari (or other lab staff as designated) will complete transactions utilizing a cart while maintaining social distancing guidelines

Microscopy Core

(open)

As part of our shared instrumentation access procedures, Users will notify the core in advance by calling 734-763-1170 upon arrival at the microscopy core building entrance. Someone from our team will come up to let the user in.

Additional Microscopy Core Usage Policies During COVID-19

In order to ensure public health, while still advancing and supporting imaging research, the Microscopy Core has instituted a number of new user interaction and microscope use policies (below). We understand that these policies create some inconvenience, but we have tried to strike a balance between continued ease of use and maintaining a healthy environment within a publicly shared facility. Please contact us with any questions that you may have.

Useful links that we will use to interact with you:

New User Consultations

All consultations with core staff will now be performed remotely via BlueJeans or telephone. When requesting a consultation, please include a few dates and times when you are available as well as how we should contact you.

Sample Preparation Services (for LM or EM)

Sample prep services will proceed largely as always:

  • Schedule a time with Core staff to pick up any reagents needed for your experiment (e.g. fixative)
  • When your sample is ready for processing, please tell us in advance when you will be coming to drop-off your sample
  • EM samples should be dropped off in the chemical fume hood in the EM lab area (A816, follow signs). LM samples should be dropped off in the deli fridge just inside our back door (across from A841, follow signs).

Some EM sample prep steps where we previously trained users will now be performed directly by core staff in order to limit close interactions.

Image Analysis Training or Service

Image analysis consultations will now be performed remotely:

  • Please share with us in advance a few representative datasets via Google Drive (not MBox)
  • Tell us some times when you can be available at your U-M computer to discuss the data, acquisition settings, and goals (what you are trying to do/measure/render).
  • At the scheduled time, we will call you on the phone and we may connect to your computer using Bomgar to show you how to do the analysis using freeware that we will install on your computer. You may also decide that we should do the analysis for you, on a fee-for-service basis.

Microscope Training and Use

Microscope training and use procedures have changed substantially. We realize that some of the new precautions are inconvenient, but please be patient. Trainings are charged as a one-time fee, so if a training takes longer than before, you will not be charged extra. Because our rooms are very small, no more than one user will be allowed in a microscope room at any one time. You can no longer bring a lab mate, and we can now train only one person at once.

There are now two parts to microscope training:

  1. Before coming to the core, you will watch some short online videos that depict ‘generic’ aspects of microscope use: https://brcf.medicine.umich.edu/cores/microscopy/outreach/
  2. Core staff will schedule a time with you when you can come and work on the microscope with your sample. We will not sit with you. You will sit by yourself, and we will connect to the microscope acquisition computer remotely using Bomgar to guide you on how to optimally set the acquisition settings for your sample. Each scope room will also contain a phone with speaker and a webcam that you can use to point at the microscope etc. if we need a closer look at something.

Policies and Procedures regarding microscope use:

  • Arrive at the core 30 min AFTER the start of your scheduled time as reserved on the iLabs calendar. The purpose of this delay is to allow sufficient time for room air exchange between users, since our rooms are very small. Based on measured airflow rates, a 30 min delay allows for 5 air exchanges between users, which should reduce aerosols >10x. Instrument use time is not billed from the calendar, so you will not be charged for this delay. Please exit the microscope at the end of your scheduled time as always.
  • When you arrive with your sample, the core staff member working with you will briefly meet you in our cell culture room (A852, to the right of our main entrance door) to inspect your sample. Please place your sample on the bench so that we can look at it and then stay +2 meters away.
  • LM Users: Once we agree that the mounting of the sample is OK, we will show you which microscope to use. We will then go back to our office and connect to the microscope computer remotely, while you sit at the microscope with your sample. All further training will occur remotely via Bomgar.
  • EM Users: Core staff will take your sample and load it into the microscope. You may then enter the microscope room. We will go back to our office and connect to the microscope computer remotely, while you sit at the microscope with your sample. All further training will occur remotely via Bomgar.
  • Sanitation Protocol: Eyes commonly touch the microscope eyepieces during use. Before you look in the microscope, cover the eyepieces with the Saran wrap provided and attach it with a rubber band. Dispose of the Saran wrap and rubber bands when you are finished. You will also find a spray bottle of 70% EtOH and paper towels. Please spray EtOH onto some paper towel, and then gently wipe down all surfaces and parts of the microscope, keyboard, and phone (if you used it). Cleaning may not be completely effective, so we highly recommend that you also wear lab gloves and lab coat (if available) throughout your use of the microscope (we do not provide PPE).

Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core

(open)

The Proteomics Core offers a full spectrum of qualitative and quantitative proteomics services including Pathway Analysis. Most of these services can be processed within a 2 to 3-week turnaround time. Custom peptide synthesis services are also fully available.

Sample submissions are available by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please contact Dr. Henriette Remmer at hremmer@umich.edu.

Transgenic Animal Model Core

(open)

As part of our sample drop-off and pick-up procedures, core users will call or email the Transgenic Core in advance of their arrival and make an appointment to drop off or pick up samples at a pre-arranged location.

If you have any questions, please contact me at tsaunder@umich.edu.

Vector Core

(open)

As part of our sample drop-off and pick-up procedures, Vector Core staff will only be available from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, daily.

  • Please coordinate a pre-arranged drop-off, including date and time, with the Vector Core.
  • On the day of sample drop-off or pick-up, research laboratory staff members must first utilize the ResponsiBLUE Screening Tool and obtain a green checkmark for the day documenting successful health screening clearance.
  • Upon arrival at the building, please contact the Vector Core at (734) 647-1351.
  • If you are picking up virus samples, please bring your own dry ice as we do not have access to any.

For additional details, please refer to the Vector Core sample drop-off map.