Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
School of Medicine Core Facilities Newsletter Volume 14

Spotlight On: Core Facilities Symposium

Third Year Highlights Outreach and Industry Relationships


The School of Medicine observed the third year of its Core Facilities project with a symposium held in the Tinkham Veale student center on August 31st, 2015. This year's theme was Outreach, and showcased the cutting-edge instrumentation and expertise available to the entire research community in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Dr. Chris Flask reported on efforts by the SOM Core Steering Committee (CSC) to lower the barriers to collaboration between core facilities and partners outside the School of Medicine. He introduced a simplified one page terms and conditions form for Core Directors to employ in place of the usual Sponsored Research Agreement or Services Agreement. This new form is to be used when an outside partner wants to order a Core Facility service at their approved rate and no other complicating factors like intellectual property or publishing rights are in play. The CSC is currently working with University leadership to make this tool available to Core Directors, and updates will be announced here so stay tuned.

The Billing and Reporting Subcommittee highlights included the drafting and adoption of the SOM Core Facilities best practices manual that shows by regulation and by experience the the best methods for administering core facilities. The group has also moved the Core Facility Business software project to the RFP stage.

The morning finished out with scientific presentations from Drs. Alex Miron and Drew Adams, who head up the Next Generation Sequencing and Small Molecule Drug Discovery facilities respectively. Dr. Miron presented exciting work being made possible through his core facility including Illumina Genotyping, Library Prepartion and QC, Low, Medium, and High throughput Genotyping. He pointed out new frontiers for his facility utilizing CRISPR and Clinical Translational Genomics/Exomics. Dr. Adams showed how CWRU’s new 50,000 compound library and high throughput sequencing robots are being employed by SOM researchers to identify leads on new potential therapeutic agents and targets.

The afternoon session saw the CWRU research community and core facility stakeholders joined by 17 representatives from industry and companies across the country. The industry VIPs were invited in an effort to begin getting the word out to all potential research partners in the region that wherever a company may have a product on the continuum between the bench and therapy, CWRU has core facilities to help move their science to the next phase.

  • Dr. Mitch Drumm discussed The Cystic Fibrosis Translational Research Program illustrating how a thriving core facility infrastructure was the true nexus in the study of one disease, moving discoveries from the bench to therapy, and how that model can be adapted other conditions.
  • Dr. James Chmiel from the Ohio Clinical Trials Collaborative gave a talk about how companies have successfully partnered with higher education institutions to move science forward to the benefit of both.
  • Dr. Mark Chance, the Vice Dean for Research in the School of Medicine showed how the School of Medicine has opened the Office of Translation and Innovation in order to help researchers move their post R01 discoveries toward the marketplace.
  • Throughout the day attendees participated in breakout sessions including a walkthrough of the Core Business Software project, Preparing Successful Shared Instrumentation Grants, Preparing CTSC Pilot Grants, Industry Engagement, a walkthrough of the New CWRU Central Research Administration Core Facilities Portal, a sponsored talk from Sigma-Aldrich on Gene-Editing, the Bioinformatics Cores, the Clinical Cores and the Imaging Cores.

153 people attended in all, and based on feedback provided in 75 feedback surveys the symposium was very well received. Respondents endorsed the work done over the last 3 years by the CSC, the Office of Research Administration, and participants from the Major Centers including CCCC, CFAR, and CTSC in advancing our Core Facility programs. Over the coming year SOM faculty and staff can look forward to CSC support in renewing the CTSA grant, industry engagement, the core business software, and finding ways to ease the reporting burden for Core Directors.


December 4, 2015

This newsletter is published by the Office of Research Administration here at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. To get in touch with the editor, email

Small Molecule Drug Development Core

Accelerating the identification of drug-like lead compounds at CWRU by enabling the development and high-throughput assays for disease-relevant targets and cellular processes. Contact Dr. Drew Adams and Dr. Yuri Fedorov, or visit their website here.

CWRU Genomics Core

Offering a wide range of services to all investigators at CWRU and partner institutions, including Next Generation Sequencing, genotyping, and gene experession analysis. Contact Dr. Alex Miron or visit the website here.

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