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Nemours Biomedical Research

(302) 651-6884

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Biomolecular Core Lab

Nemours Biomedical Research

About the Biomolecular Core Lab

The Biomolecular Core Lab (BCL) provides essential services in molecular biology and genetics to the clinical and research staff at Nemours, Delaware Institutional Development Award/IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) partner institutions and external clients.

Review the BCL's instrumentations and services »

Under the direction of Katia Sol-Church, PhD, the lab provides consultation on experimental design as well as data troubleshooting, training, and mentoring of students and clinical fellows.

The BCL is also a collaborative research laboratory focusing on the study of rare pediatric genetic disorders. Dr. Sol-Church's interest is primarily in disorders associated with skeletal dysplasia and cancer. Her team has identified novel germline mutations causing rasopathy disorders and is using high throughput screening as well as next generation transcriptome analysis to explore new ways to control growth of Embryonal Rabdomyosarcoma in patient with Costello Syndrome, a disorder that affects multiple organ systems and is characterized by short stature, intellectual disability, redundant loose skin, papillomata and predisposition for heart defect and cancer. The group also has discovered using whole exome sequencing the genetic cause of Baratella Scott Syndrome, Ayme-Gripp syndrome, Lateral Meningocele and Diamond Blackfan Anemia with mandibulofacial dystostosis.

Dr. Sol-Church research laboratory provides unique educational opportunities to summer students, undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Delaware and partner institutions.

The ultimate goal of this laboratory is to provide biomedical investigators with state of the arts technical support and clinicians with tools that can help improve pediatric supportive care and/or therapeutic intervention.

Current Research Group
  • Katia Sol-Church, PhD, Director
  • Jennifer Holbrook, BS, Assistant Director
  • Deborah Stabley, BS, Senior Research Assistant
  • Ellen Hitchens, Research Technician 1
  • Kate Robbins, UD PhD graduate student
  • Rebecca Sahraoui, UD MS graduate student

Services & Equipment

Operating under strict HIPAA regulations, we are a CLIA-certified site. Our service core unit currently supports the Nemours Molecular Diagnostic DNA sequencing and fragment analysis CLIA-certified tests. We also provide backup services to other cores in the Delaware Valley Network, including DNA sequencing coverage services for the University of Delaware DNA Sequencing and Genotyping Core.

Expression Analysis:
  • Affymetrix microarray (global gene expression, Transcriptome, 3’IVT and WT assays)
  • Pathway-focused real-time qPCR (mRNA and miRNA)
  • Digital PCR (absolute/relative quantification)
Genotyping/Variant Analysis:
  • Allelic discrimination probes (SNP real-time PCR)
  • Affymetrix microarray (CNV, CytoScan, SNP arrays)
  • Fragment analysis (capillary electrophoresis up to 1200 bp)
  • DNA sequencing (Sanger sequencing)
  • Next Generation DNA Sequencing (Ion PGM)
  • Digital PCR (CNV analysis)
  • NGS Library Preparation (Amplicon libraries, fragmentation libraries)
Laboratory Instruments:
  • ABI3130xl Genetic Analyzer
  • Ion Torrent PGM System
  • OneTouch2/ES System
  • ABI7900 384-Well Real-Time Genetic Analyzer
  • QuantStudio 3-D Digital PCR
  • Agilent Bioanalyzer Lab-On-A-Chip
  • Beckman Biomek 3000 Liquid Handler
  • Qubit
  • NanoDrop 2000
  • PCR Tamer
  • Veriti Thermocyclers
  • Pippen Prep

Contact Biomolecular Core Laboratory

Ellen Hitchens

Research Technician 1
(302) 651-6707


Jennifer Holbrook, BS

Assistant Director
(302) 651-6712

Deborah Stabley, BS

Senior Research Assistant
(302) 651-6712

Applied Clinical Genomics

Our Center for Applied Clinical Genomics works to turn new genetic information discovered by our researchers into tangible improvements in patient care.
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