The VVCC strives to meet the needs of investigators requiring custom DNA and viral vector tools to help their research programs reach their fullest potential. To date, we have completed 100+ custom cloning and 300+ viral packaging projects for 40+ different clients across the University of Minnesota Medical School, College of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Science and Engineering, and College of Biological Sciences. Learn more about how we can help YOUR research!
DNA constructs and viral vectors are used 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. 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.
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 the strategic cutting and pasting of DNA segments together or the introduction of foreign sequences or defined mutations into coding sequences of interest. Viral packaging requires additional techniques in cell culture and manipulation. Sub-cloning and viral packaging procedures 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 can restrict the scope of research that a group can pursue, or that needs to be filled by collaborating with another research group or engaging an external service provider.
The VVCC was established as an Internal Service Organization at the University of Minnesota in May 2017, and is located in Nils Hasselmo Hall (Rm 2-274) on the East Bank-Twin Cities campus. Our fees, particularly for custom projects, are well below those you will find with external service providers. In addition, the helpful in-person service offered by the VVCC is difficult to replicate by an external provider. Learn more about the services we provide!