The University of Minnesota (UMN) Viral Vector and Cloning Core (VVCC) provides a cost-effective and convenient option for UMN and external investigators who desire DNA constructs and/or viral tools for their research programs. Learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we can help your research program!
DNA constructs and viral vectors are used routinely in biomedical research to enhance or suppress gene expression, drive expression of foreign genes in defined cell types, and introduce or correct genetic mutations in cells over a range of developmental stages. As such, these tools can be exploited to probe the molecular basis of organ function and dysfunction, the molecules and neural circuitry underlying normal or pathological behavior, as part of gene therapy approaches, to generate new animal disease models, and to facilitate high-throughput screening efforts that may yield new compounds for treatment of medical problems, among other uses.
The generation of new DNA constructs and viral vectors begins with techniques often referred to as “cloning” or “sub-cloning” - an array of molecular biology procedures that permit, for example, the strategic cutting and pasting of DNA segments together, or the introduction of foreign sequences or defined mutations into coding sequences of interest. Viral production requires additional techniques in cell culture and manipulation. These procedures, while not particularly difficult to execute, nevertheless require specific lab infrastructure and expertise. Not all labs are willing or able to make the relevant investments needed to conduct this type of work, thus generating a need for service that either restricts the scope of research that a group can pursue, or that needs to be filled on an ad hoc basis by collaborating with another research group or engaging an external service provider. The VVCC can fill this need for your research program, allowing it to reach its full potential!