The UConn Cell and Genome Engineering Core supports Stem Cell Research conducted in Connecticut and beyond by providing a central source of technologies and materials for research on human pluripotent stem cells: embryonic stem cells (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). The Core distributes several hESC lines which were generated in-house (CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4) as well as the WiCell lines, H1 and H9. We can arrange for quality control measures on iPSCs, such as mycoplasma testing and verification of pluripotency by immunocytochemistry. We also offer biobanking services to ensure secure storage and distribution of custom iPSC lines. We can provide researchers with an expanding suite of cell subtypes to study genetics, developmental biology and human disease states. We serve as a major biobank for iPSCs deposited by the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research and the Angelman Foundation. If you have iPSC lines, we can bank them and arrange distribution to others upon request. We provide integration-free reprogramming services using the Sendai virus method. Tissue samples accepted include skin fibroblasts, peripheral blood, cord blood, PBMCs, and cells cultured from urine. Reprogramming can be done under feeder containing conditions or feeder independent conditions.
The Genome Editing arm of the Core uses cutting-edge genome-engineering technologies to develop cellular models. Work involves not only cell engineering using state-of-the art technologies, but also intellectual help with planning and execution of projects. We also offer targeting of many different inducible systems to offer researchers a wide range of genome modifications as well as direct conversion to cell types of interest using safe-harbor loci in the genome. By using TALENS and CRISPRS, we induce precise double-strand breaks in the genome that will activate the machinery for homologous recombination. The use of these genome cutters along with carefully designed targeting vectors or oligonucleotide repair templates allows for the precise modification of the genome. This approach allows researchers to engineer isogenic cell line pairs by introducing specific mutations into wild-type cells or correcting mutations in patient-derived cell lines. These isogenic cell lines are powerful tools to study human development and disease. Gene editing can also be used to generate reporter cell lines for lineage tracing, isolation of specific cell sub-populations, or drug screening. We provide scarless genome editing using single strand oligo (ssODN) templates that allow for editing without the use of integrated selection cassettes. We continue our role at UConn as a place for project discussion, design, and implementation that provides all levels of researchers an environment to achieve their research goals regardless of their expertise in these areas. We offer complete “start-to-finish” genome editing services for nearly any murine or human cell line or can work with investigators to fill gaps in there engineering workflow.
The facility shares wet lab space (400 square feet) within the Cell and Genome Sciences Building (CGSB) at 400 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT. The lab staff has full access to a cold room, tissue culture rooms, a secured biobanking storage room, microscopes, picking hoods, and all departmental common equipment.

Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Services:
-Distribution of iPSC lines and hESC lines
-Cell banking and distribution of custom iPSC lines

-iPSC reprogramming services

Genome Editing Services:
-Correction of gene mutations in patient-specific iPSCs or well-characterized wild-type hESCs/iPSCs
-Production of custom targeting vectors and CRISPRs to generate knock-ins
-ssODN targeting for “scarless” genome editing
-Custom services tailored to investigator needs