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.
On-campus research has been reduced to essential research-related activities as of March 24, 2020. See details on essential research and the slowdown 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.
- College of Medicine core facilities
- College of Medicine COVID-19 resources
- University Office of the Senior Vice President for Research COVID-19 resources
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Updates for Specific Cores/Services
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
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.
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.
The Supply Center is open, but with limited hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays), and the expectation of only providing reagents for essential research lab functions.
- Because of required lab security and limited staff numbers, and to avoid multiple researchers arriving at the same time, investigators must make prior arrangements for a specific time to come to the Supply Center.
- The room may be locked while a single staff member is working in another core lab.
- Walk-in purchases are not available.
- Researchers should notify the Supply Center of a list of reagents/supplies needed in advance. This can be done by calling 717-531-4055, 717-531-6087 or 717-531-0003, ext. 321467, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and CCing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Investigators must pick up their order outside the door of Room C1735 at the time designated by the supply center staff member who was contacted.
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