Molecular Biology Core

Director: Steven Abcouwer, Ph.D.
Staff: Phil Kish, PhD
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 734-277-5178
Fax: 734-615-0542

The Molecular Biology Core facilitates and expedites vision research by providing an array of services involving molecular biology technologies, statistical genetics, and bioinformatics. The Core also provides access to large equipment that would be impractical for a single lab to acquire or maintain.

Project Priority

  • NEI-funded investigations
  • Generation of pilot data for vision grant proposals
  • Collaborative investigations involving vision research

Primary Services

  • Maintenance/oversight of Core equipment
  • Training and certification for experimentation involving Core equipment and protocols
  • Facilitating MCORES usage
  • Gene expression, statistical, analytical experiment support and analysis
  • ‘OMICS data storage (as needed)
  • Emergency and defrosting freezer storage


  • SNP and GWAS analysis
  • Gene expression data analysis
  • Quantitative PCR assay design and analysis
  • RNA-Seq sequence data processing pipeline, differential expression and bioinformatic analysis
  • Other molecular biology protocols, depending on availability


Some pieces of equipment must be reserved for use. Reserve Equipment here.

RNA, DNA, Protein, Quantification and ELISA

  • Agilent 2200 Tape Station
  • Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100
  • BioTek Epoch plate Spectrophotometer
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Nanodrop 1000 Spectrophotometer
  • Beckman DU530 Spectrophotometer
  • PerkinElmer Lambda Bio20 UV/Vis Spectrophotomer
  • Shimadzu Spectrophotometer
  • Molecular Devices SpectraMax 190 Microplate Reader
  • Turner BioSystems Veritas Microplate Luminometer

Quantification PCR

  • BioRad CFX96
  • BioRad CFX384

Digital Imaging

  • Azure Biosystems C500 Imaging System
  • GE Typhoon FLA 9000
  • AFP X-ray Film Processor  

Sample Preparation

  • Large capacity centrifuges
    • Beckman Avanti J-26 centrifuge
    • Beckman Coulter Opima L-90K ultracentrifuge
    • Sorvall Super T21 centrifuge
    • Benchtop centrifuges
  • Vacuum concentrators
    • Savant ISS 110 Integrated SpeedVac System (2)
  • Ultrapure water purification systems
    • Milli-Q Reference
    • Seimens/US Filter ELGA Purelab Ultra
  • Other sample preparation
    • Thermo Spectronic French Press
    • Thermo Scientific MaxQ 5000 Shaker incubator

Other devices

  • Waters HPLC System with Radiodetector
  • Perkin-Elmer WinSpectral 1414 Scintillation Counter
  • Tuttnauer-Brinkman 3870E tabletop autoclave

Past Projects

Microarray Analysis

Statistical analysis heat map

Statistical analysis


Statistical Genetics

Statistical Genetics Meta-Analysis

Ayala-Lugo RM, Pawar H, Reed DM, Lichter PR, Moroi SE, Page M, Eadie J, et al. Variation in optineurin (OPTN) allele frequencies between and within populations. Mol Vis 2007;13:151–63. PMCID: PMC2533035



Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis
McLaren N, Reed DM, Musch DC, Downs CA, Higashi ME, Santiago C, Radenbaugh PA, Allingham RR, Richards JE, Moroi SE. Evaluation of the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene as a candidate glaucoma gene in 2 ancestral populations. Arch Ophthalmol2007;125:105–11. PMID: 17210860




Physiology Statistical modeling

Statistical modeling
Radenbaugh PA, Goyal A, McLaren NC, Reed DM, Musch DC, Richards JE, Moroi SE. Concordance of aqueous humor flow in the morning and at night in normal humans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2006;47:4860–64. PMID: 17065499




Immunology: Experimental design, cytokine levels, categorical data analysis


Experimental design, cytokine levels, categorical data analysis

  • Bucher RS, Hall E, Reed DM, Richards JE, Johnson MW, Zacks DN. Effect of intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide on susceptibility to experimental bacterial endophthalmitis and subsequent response to treatment. Arch Ophthalmol 2005;123:649–53. 
    PMID: 15883284
  • Comer GM, Miller JB, Schneider EW, Khan NW, Reed DM, Elner VM, Zacks DN. Intravitreal daptomycin: a safety and efficacy study. Retina 2011;31:1199–206. PMID: 21522040

Structural bioinformatics

Structural bioinformatics: Ab initio tertiary structure

Ab initio tertiary structure
Hemati N, Feathers KL, Chrispell JD, Reed DM, Carlson TJ, Thompson DA. RPE65 surface epitopes, protein interactions, and expression in rod- and cone-dominant species. Mol Vis2005;11:1151–65. PMID: 16379027