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College of Medicine core facilities share info regarding research slowdown

To preserve the health and well-being of members of Penn State’s research communities, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, in consultation with Dr. Leslie Parent, Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Penn State College of Medicine, announced steps to reduce research activity in laboratories across all Penn State campuses.

See College of Medicine coronavirus information here.

The core facilities of the College of Medicine have provided the following information regarding core use during the research slowdown.

Most Facilities Remain Open

Most of the College of Medicine’s core facilities are still open, but with limited staffing and restricted hours, and with the expectation that only instrument usage and requests for sample analyses for essential research lab work will be allowed.

  • Hours of operation and protocols for continuing to use core resources are specific to individual cores and staff availability. Investigators should check with the core before physically arriving at its location. All usage of cores where physical presence is required will be by appointment only, to ensure limited physical contact.
  • Each core will have signage posted at its entrance including telephone contact information, hours of operation and sample drop-off or analysis protocols.
  • Each core is emailing all current users with detailed information on telephone contact information for staff, hours of operation and sample drop-off or analysis protocols.
  • Information for each core will be posted here and shared on individual core websites and research.med.psu.edu/core-facilities as available.

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Updates for Specific Cores/Services

Data Analysis/Consultation Expand answer

All work that can be performed remotely by core staff will continue to be available during normal working hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. This includes:

  • Consultations and experimental design (available by phone, email or Zoom meeting)
  • Grant support letters and information for grant application needs
  • Data analysis and interpreted results of already acquired datasets
  • Help with manuscript methodology and other sections
Genome Sciences Facility Expand answer

Penn State College of Medicine’s Genome Sciences Facility has issued updates to its procedures for sample drop-off and equipment use in light of COVID-19.

The following information was provided to facility users.

Dear colleagues,

There is an ongoing conversation on how the genomics core at Penn State College of Medicine is being affected by the evolving situation with COVID-19. At this time, we are trying to keep all services available to you. In order to encourage social distancing, we ask you all to send an email request to GenomeSciences@pennstatehealth.psu.edu for consultations. We will schedule a phone or Zoom meeting as needed.

For QC sample drop-off, nothing changes, with drop-off boxes as usual – RNA in the -20C freezer, DNA in the 4C refrigerator.

For project submission, email GenomeSciences@pennstatehealth.psu.edu before bringing the samples. We are now implementing a modified procedure for submission as follows:

  • For RNA, use the same -20C freezer, but drop the samples in the box labeled “RNA project submission box.” We will retrieve them and store them in the -80C freezer as soon as we can. Please label every sample with the project number assigned.
  • For DNA, use the 4C refrigerator and drop samples in the box labeled “DNA project submission box.” We will retrieve them and store them in the right location as soon as we can.

We are regularly cleaning open access equipment including Qubit, NanoDrop, centrifuges and the qPCR setup. If you wish to clean these surfaces before your use, we have bleach and ethanol solutions available. If you utilize our open-access equipment, please be respectful of the recommended six feet distancing practice. Staggered staffing will be implemented, and some staff members will be teleworking, so if you have a question for one or all of us, email GenomeSciences@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Thank you,

Genome Sciences

Supply Center Expand answer

The Supply Center in Room C1735 is now open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and investigators can purchase stocked reagents at discounted prices, with no shipping/ice charges.

The Supply Center team is grateful for the patience of everyone at the College of Medicine during its pause over the past months.

  • In addition to its stocked products, the Supply Center can place special orders for various items that are not kept in daily stock, but which can be ordered at discounted prices with no shipping/ice charges. To do this, email Suja Maddukuri at srm25@psu.edu.
  • While continuing nationwide supply chain shortages have delayed restocking some items, most items have been restocked. Current item availability (and pricing) is listed here, updated every couple of days.
  • In keeping with efforts to minimize unnecessary face-to-face interactions during COVID precautions, investigators are asked to check existing availability and prices of products of interest before visiting the Supply Center.
  • Hours may vary. Email Suja Maddukuri at smaddukuri@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or call 717-531-6087 to confirm hours before visiting.

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