Shared Resources Help IRP Researchers Do Science

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

“Does anyone have Rattus norvegicus Sprague Dawley genomic DNA that you would be willing to spare (I only need 10uL)?” asks a postbac one morning.

About once a week, an email comes through the NIH’s postbac listserv from a young researcher looking to borrow a few hundred microliters of some reagent that his or her lab has run out of, or maybe they are seeking tips on how to use a piece of equipment.

“Has anyone used either a KingFisher Flex or Duo Prime for bacterial DNA extraction who could share your experiences with the instrument?” another young researcher inquires.

Being a scientist in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) is like going to work each day in the biomedical equivalent of a candy store. The advanced equipment and shared tools readily available to researchers doing basic, translational, and clinical science in the IRP are unmatched anywhere else, which enables high efficiency and productivity within the IRP’s unique discovery model.

Not only does the IRP provide easy access to the myriad technologies needed to conduct complex research across the biomedical spectrum, but it also enables researchers to develop new equipment that pushes the boundaries of what was previously thought possible.

From rooms that measure a person’s energy expenditure and metabolism around the clock to gene sequencing machines that work at previously unimaginable speeds, IRP shared research resources and core facilities within each of the NIH Institutes and Centers save money while facilitating discovery.

Yet, a machine is only as useful as its user. A supercomputer is not only a fancy computing box, but a powerful means for IRP researchers to compare genetic mutations within different types of cancer tumors and identify common characteristics. While microscopes can look inside human cells, it takes a brilliant mind to develop strategies and techniques that enable new understandings of  how cells recycle used components.

View a sampling of shared research resources used by IRP investigators in their research, such as the Natural Products Repository, BEPS, DSEIS, IPDC, and more!

Category: Resources