Vector Core

Director: Paul McCray (paul-mccray@uiowa.edu; 240F EMRB, 319-335-6844)

The Vector Core at the University of Iowa is highly integrated into gene therapy projects directed at cystic fibrosis (CF) lung and pancreatic disease. Under the previous P30 Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis and Other Genetic Diseases, the disease base was wide and the Vector Core subsidized costs through a reduced recharge for a broad number of target organs and diseases. With the new P30 RFA, the Vector Core will only subsidize recharge for projects focused on CF research. The Vector Core staff are active participants in the development of gene transfer technologies for the Center for Gene Therapy of Cystic Fibrosis, as well as the Neurobiology, Cardiovascular, Cancer, and Macular Degeneration Centers. The interaction with investigators from various disciplines allows for cross-fertilization of ideas, technical advancements, and innovations in vector design. The overall objective of this P30 Vector Core is to support investigators in gene transfer technologies relevant to CF. This includes consultation, development of novel vectors, collaborative testing of vectors for function and purity, and routine vector preparations. Core staff and investigators are in close contact through all phases of design and generation. The Core will provide purified and concentrated preparations of recombinant adenovirus, adeno-associated virus (AAV), lentivirus, vaccinia, baculovirus, and hybrid non-viral/viral vectors. The Vector Core will also provide access to standard cell lines, expression plasmids, and stocks of reporter viruses. Thus, the Core serves as a research and development facility for gene transfer studies, and a service facility for routine vector preparations. The Vector Core also has an exceptionally strong national presence by distributing viral vectors to many institutions and companies outside of Iowa.

The Vector Core is committed to producing state of the art reagents. This is accomplished in several ways. First, Core staff keeps abreast of many different gene transfer technologies from the current literature and scientific meetings. Second, the Core provides service to a broad scope of users across institutions and countries, fostering inter-collegiate communication with focused efforts at developing improved vectors, payloads and delivery methods. Finally, a continuum of new ideas from our close collaborators Drs. Paul McCray, Joseph Zabner, John Engelhardt, Michael Welsh, Patrick Sinn, and Ziying Yan assure that the Iowa Gene Transfer community has access to cutting edge approaches

The main responsibilities of the Core are:

  • Preparation of recombinant vectors.
  • Vector dissemination.
  • Maintainance of a wide selection of vector stocks available for use.
  • Catalogue plasmid database of expression vectors.
  • Design, clone, and prep new expression vectors as needed.
  • Develop novel methods for virus production.
  • Assist in the design and development of novel vectors
  • Design of highly specific and protent RNAi sequences.