Oncology Tissue and Imaging Services SR

Woman sitting and looking through a microscope

The OTIS SR provides comprehensive integrated services facilitating tissue and cell-based research. OTIS offers tissue preparation, histology, tissue micro array (TMA) construction, immunostaining, cytogenetics laser capture microdissection (LCM), and imaging services to members of the SKCCC and the wider Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine community. The experienced staff in the OTIS core continually strives to provide the research community with work of the highest quality, in a collaborative and interactive spirit, providing individualized service to help meet each investigator's unique needs. The OTIS core was created in 2020 by merging the Oncology Tissue Services core (formerly directed by Dr. Meeker) with the Cell Imaging Core (formerly directed by Dr. Bunz). The combined OTIS core was created to streamline the administration of the two services and to provide a more seamless user experience, as both former cores were often utilized for single projects. We currently plan to incorporate new cutting-edge capabilities including high-level multiplex immunostaining, spectral imaging and specialized image analysis services currently being administered by Dr. Anders. One example of the core’s integrated approach where tissue samples of endometriosis, a relatively common entity, typically considered benign, were first processed for nucleic acid isolation and DNA sequencing which revealed somatic mutations in several cancer-associated genes (e.g. ARID1A, PIK3CA, KRAS, and PPP2R1A; Fig. 8). Following these discoveries, LCM was then performed on cohort tissue sections to isolate specific histologic structures allowing the determination that the mutations were restricted to the lesional epithelial component. Finally, immunostaining was conducted, verifying loss at the protein level of mutationally inactivated tumor suppressors specifically in the lesional epithelial cells.

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Alan Meeker, M.A.T, Ph.D.
Fred Bunz, M.D., Ph.D.
Robert Anders, M.D., Ph.D.

Lillian Dasko-Vincent
Helen Fedor