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VUMC Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource (ITR)


Overview of Services

The mission of the Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource is to advance the translation of basic and clinical research into improved cancer therapies by facilitating discoveries and managing data exchange between researchers.


The Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource (ITR) was established in July 2008 to support collaborative research efforts, thereby setting a unique precedent in the field of cancer research by providing a means for laboratory and clinical investigators to work together to develop their ideas into new treatment approaches for cancer patients. The organization of the laboratory facilitates the collaboration of clinician-scientists with active clinical practices with basic scientists, leveraging the skills and attributes of each. In this collaborative laboratory, the most advanced laboratory techniques and treatment approaches emphasizing the uniqueness of each patient’s tumor for precision therapy will lead to discoveries that will be more quickly translated to patient care, saving lives and improving outcomes.


Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) physicians and scientists have determined that the most promising research approach emphasizes tailored molecular therapy (precision cancer treatment) with a focus on inhibiting tumor progression and metastasis. This can best be achieved by defining the molecular changes present in an individual patient’s tumor and monitoring the response of the tumor to treatment, not only based on tumor shrinkage but also treatment effectiveness at the molecular level. The information gained from monitoring will drive subsequent research and help shape the formulation of new treatments for patients.


An integral part of this process is the characterization of the features of each patient’s tumor. VICC researchers have found that the greatest impact comes from discoveries made as a result of direct contact with patients and their particular form of the disease. By integrating laboratory studies in the ITR, and monitoring procedures with therapies in the clinic, clinicians are assisted in making the right choices for the most effective drugs to use for each particular patient.


Shared Resource Services
The ITR is fully equipped for sample storage, molecular genetics and biochemistry laboratory experimentation, and cell culture.


General ITR Services:

• Guide the initiation of Phase I and Phase II clinical correlative studies
• Manage the completion of Phase I and Phase II correlative studies utilizing Vanderbilt Shared Resources or outside resources where applicable:


     o Cytokine assays – measure target inhibition, tumor response, and/or side effects
     o Genetic analyses – SNaPshot genotyping, sequencing, microarray, etc.
     o Proteomics – phosphorylation, biomarkers, etc.


• Foster collaborations between clinicians and researchers to disseminate data from clinical correlative studies and/or clinician-initiated pre-clinical studies
• Facilitate analyses of patient samples for research community and support collaborations with clinical investigators


Specific ITR Laboratory Services:

• Lymphocyte enrichment from bone marrow or blood
• Isolate DNA and RNA from blood, tumor samples, and/or cell lines and design/execute the following experiments (but not limited to):


     o SNaPshot genotyping and sizing assays
     o PCR and sequencing (design primers and analyze data)
     o Real-time PCR (design primers and analyze data)
     o Whole genome or transcriptome sequencing
     o Microarray
     o DNA methylation
     o Gene copy number


• Protein analysis including mass spectrometry, western blotting, and immunoprecipitation
• Custom studies including pre-clinical and tissue culture-based experiments
(Subject to Advisory Board Review)



Kimberly Brown Dahlman, Ph.D., Director

615-936-6589 (office); 615-936-0410 (lab)


Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

9AM - 5PM, Monday to Friday          

722 Preston Research Building    


Links and Resources


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