PMCL: How We Work

Collaborating to Advance Your Science

Our expert staff are responsive to your needs and committed to collaboration in service of your science. Here’s how we do it.

Before a new project begins, our team works with you to devise an experimental strategy and project plan. Based on your scope of work, we draft a customized quote, detailing each service we would provide. Once we reach final agreement on scope of work, timeline and cost, both parties sign a service agreement detailing each party’s responsibilities during the lifetime of the project.

We ensure that all regulatory pathways and infrastructure are in place before beginning work with mice or accepting tissue samples. Throughout the life of the project, we provide regular progress updates and immediately communicate any emergent problems.

Interested in learning more? We’re here to answer your questions about our services and to learn about your research goals and possible scope of work. 

Under the direction of Dr. Priti Singh, left, transgenic technician Areum Yoon, right, provides investigators with world-class GEMM modeling services.
Under the direction of Dr. Priti Singh, left, transgenic technician Areum Yoon, right, provides investigators with world-class GEMM modeling services. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Case Studies

Our programs in patient-derived xenograft, or PDX, models and genetically engineered mouse models, or GEMMs, have helped to propel discovery in research on a range of cancers and other diseases. These case studies illustrate our impact.

Case Study: PDX Models of Bladder Cancer

The lab of Dr. Andrew Hsieh at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center worked with our PDX program to investigate whether mRNA translation represents a therapeutic vulnerability in bladder cancer.

READ OUR PDX CASE STUDY

Case Study: GEMMs of Poison Exon Loss

Our GEMM program worked with Dr. Robert Bradley of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to create technically challenging, first-of-a-kind mouse models for studying the role of poison exons in organismal viability.

READ OUR GEMM CASE STUDY

Example Projects

Below are examples of typical projects with the Preclinical Modeling Core Lab’s PDX and GEMM teams that demonstrate how we work with investigators.

PDX Examples

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Existing PDX Model

We source an existing PDX model of your choice from a third party, assisting with logistics and regulatory paperwork. We revive the model and then repassage it to expand the model in immunocompromised NSG mice that we breed in-house. From each passage we collect samples for PCR/protein testing and histopathology for quality control and confirmation of diagnosis. We provide you with freshly harvested PDX tumors for your organoid and cell line work and cryopreserve samples in our tumor bank for safekeeping. We implant your study cohorts and transfer the mice to you for a drug trial. If you have chosen to have us perform the drug trial, we would have discussed this with you during initial project planning and have added the experiment our IACUC protocol.

New PDX Model

We set up a pipeline to acquire patient biopsy or surgery resections in order to develop a PDX model of a specific patient. To do this, we work with you and with NWBioSpecimen or a collaborating physician in the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. We also work with you to put all the regulatory paperwork in place and ensure each subsequent patient sample is consented at the time of collection.

We implant the patient sample within hours of collection, taking samples for histopathology and PCR if possible. When the model develops, we harvest samples for characterization and testing, cryopreserve samples in our tumor bank for safekeeping, and repassage into a second set of mice to establish and expand the model. From each passage we collect samples for PCR/protein testing and histopathology for quality control and confirmation of diagnosis. We provide you with freshly harvested PDX tumors for your organoid and cell line work and cryopreserve samples in our tumor bank for safekeeping. We implant your study cohorts and transfer the mice to you for a drug trial. If you have chosen to have us perform the drug trial, we would have discussed this with you during initial project planning and have added the experiment our IACUC protocol.
 

Workflow for developing a PDX model from a patient donation Workflow for developing a PDX model from a patient donation Workflow for developing a PDX model from a patient donation
Image by Elizabeth Cromwell

GEMM Example

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Generation of Genetically Engineered Mouse Mode Generation of Genetically Engineered Mouse Mode Generation of Genetically Engineered Mouse Mode
Sample project timeline. GEMM staff are available to discuss experimental design and ensure the alignment of the proposed mouse project with your research objectives. We offer flexibility in service through in-house generation of all or portions of required materials. We charge for work completed at the end of Phase II and Phase III. Phase IV (genotyping) is optional and carries an additional cost if you request genotyping of F0 animals. Image by Dr. Priti Singh