High-throughput RNAi screening in cultured cells has opened up new routes to studying gene function, identifying drug targets, and understanding pathways, including those most relevant to cancer biology. Several groups with expertise in various aspects of cell-based RNAi screening recently came together and formed the DF/HCC RNAi Core, which launched in the summer of 2009.
According to Jerome Ritz, MD (DFCI), Associate Director for Core Facilities, "Many talented investigators in the Harvard community have come together to create this novel core facility that will provide DF/HCC members with access to the most comprehensive collection of RNAi platforms, libraries and screening technologies available anywhere in the world. This is truly a unique resource that will facilitate new discoveries and the development of new cancer therapies."
A primary goal of the RNAi Core is to help give DF/HCC researchers full access to experimental reagents, equipment, and expertise relevant to planning, performing, and interpreting the results of RNAi screens. One of the most exciting aspects of this collaborative effort is that the RNAi Core supports a very wide spectrum of approaches, including siRNA, shRNA, and dsRNA reagent libraries for plate-reader and image-based screening in human, mouse, and Drosophila cell lines. In the future, the core hopes to further benefit the DF/HCC community via educational opportunities and other efforts to be guided by input from DF/HCC leadership and members.