Facilities & Resources

Resources and equipment for molecular biology, cell culture and animal work at the Division of Translational Brain Sciences are outstanding and available to all members.

The Division’s shared equipment includes Beckman L8-55 and Sorvall Rc M120EX ultracentrifuges, Sorvall Rc2-b and RC5c floor centrifuges, 2 Sorvall ST40 bench top centrifuges, 2 XLC1110 Cryogenectic liquid N2 storage tanks and fully alarmed backup -80 freezers. The Division also has microscopes including dissection scopes and a fluorescence/bright field Nikon stero-microscope with the latest Stero Investigator software by MBF Biosciences and dedicated imaging computer. For gel or blotting analysis our Division has a GE Amersham Imager 600 with full software.

Our Division has a dedicated and fully equipped mouse surgery suite with gas anesthesia for stereotaxic surgeries in neonatal and adult mice and rats. We have 4 Stoelting Mouse/rat Stereotaxic surgery devices for neurosurgery to allow precision stereotaxic injections. The surgery suite is designed to delivery of treatments to specific brain regions in mice or rats. In addition, Duke University DLAR provides access to shared surgery suites including electroporation equipment and gas anesthesia for in utero electroporation and gene delivery to the embryonic mouse brain.

We have a dedicated behavior facility equipped with a stage, infrared lighting and a Noldus Ethovision behavior tracking system. In addition, we have established behavior tracking software (ANY-maze) and machine learning software on our computer cluster to analyze behavior video data in an automated fashion. We have several standard and custom behavioral assays to study foraging, stress and anxiety-related behaviors, exploratory behaviors, feeding, and reward seeking behaviors, including open-field boxes, zero maze, light-dark box, sucrose-intake bottles, food-pellet magazines and foraging arenas. For movement and memory testing of mice we also have, Y-maze, plus maze, 8-arm maze, 8-arm water maze, Morris water maze, and 2 rotarod apparatus from Med Associates for mice.

In addition to Duke’s institutional computing resources the Neurology Department has a contract with OASIS, a team of expert IT consultants contracted IT support for day-to-day hardware and software support to all faculty and staff members of the division located in BRB and MSRB 3 buildings. 

Our administrative support includes a staff assistant, division’s lab manager, pre- and post- award administration, grants management, budgeting and planning, human resources, etc.

The Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Bryan ADRC) Brain Bank is directed by Shih Hsiu "Jerry" Wang, MD, PhD, and staffed with well-experienced scientists Dianne Cruz and John Ervin. The Brain Bank functions as a full-service facility with extensive experience in a Specifically, brain samples, neuropathological and clinical phenotypes data from cadavers that meet the research specifications will be provided to carry out the proposed investigations. The Kathleen Price Bryan Brain Bank of the Bryan ADRC houses over 1,100 fixed and frozen brain specimens from patients with neurological disorders such as, Alzheimer’s (AD), Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD), muscular dystrophy (MD) and normal controls evaluated longitudinally in the clinic of Neurology department. Beyond this resource, the Bryan ADRC has collected DNA samples (3,200) from a number of other well-characterized patient cohorts enrolled and followed prospectively in the Center, that will also be available for the proposed research. These samples are housed within the Bryan ADRC - DNA repository in the Duke BioBank. Additionally, if other tissues are needed to augment the Duke samples, the Bryan ADRC is also able to link to the collaborative network of the NIA supported National Alzheimer’s Disease Core Centers (NACC).

The NCRO within the Department of Neurology includes representation for each division, with Laurie Sanders, PhD as the lead representative of the division of translational brain sciences. The NCRO is a well-established organization that has a strong track record for carrying out multi-center clinical trials and observational studies, with funding from NIH and industry sources. Resources and well-experienced skilled staff available through the NCRO will rapidly help facilitate conducting small and large clinical and translational trials in both the inpatient and outpatient care settings.

These resources as well as other available facilities include everything needed to complete our faculty's research projects successfully.