The University of Minnesota Viral Vector and Cloning Core (VVCC) was established in May 2017 to help meet the needs of investigators requiring DNA and viral vector tools for their research programs. Since then, we have completed 400+ custom cloning and 1000+ viral packaging projects for 70+ 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. Our fees, particularly for custom projects, are well below those you will find with external service providers. In addition, the in-person service offered by the VVCC is difficult to replicate by an external provider. 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.