MSK’s Core Facilities: ‘Mission Made Possible’

VIDEO | 04:00

Learn more about the resources and state-of-the-art technology that are available within MSK’s core facilities.

Show transcript

Charles Sawyers, MD: I think it would be impossible for us to do the work that we do without the cores at MSK. What I think being here at MSK allows you to do is swing for the fences in terms of the questions you want to ask, because you have the technology at your fingertips and the right people to collaborate with to really do it right.

Robert Benezra, PhD: Memorial Sloan Kettering core facilities are a group of 26 laboratories that perform experiments and assays that are often technically complex and require sophisticated instrumentation. The idea is that these core facilities can be accessed by individual laboratories to facilitate and advance their programs.

Joan Massagué, PhD: The breadth of services that we offer and the technology that we offer sets aside the core facilities at Memorial Sloan Kettering from those at many other institutions, where they are more fragmented — they are, some of them, embedded within different units, different centers, or institutes. Here, it’s all central, all coordinated, all well managed, and all very transparent to the users.

Agnès Viale, PhD: I like to classify them into three different categories. There are cores that are part of our infrastructure — we couldn’t function without them (for example, the glassware facility). We have core facilities that are creating tools that our scientists are going to be using. And then we have core facilities that are generating data — these are the ones where you drop off your samples and you collect the data.

Robert Benezra, PhD: The cores cover a wide range of technologies. It ranges from NMR spectroscopy to structural biology, to DNA sequencing, mouse genetics. It’s a very wide array that often aren’t available at other institutions.

Agnès Viale, PhD: We have some cores that are performing very clinical services.

Shanu Modi, MD: As a clinician, the core facilities really provide important and critical translational support to many of the clinical trials that we conduct at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The Anti-Tumor Assessment Core has really played an essential role in our preclinical understanding of a lot of the novel therapies that we use in the clinic and in clinical trials.

Agnès Viale, PhD: The way the cores are facilitating the development of new method and technology is through a real collaborative process with the labs. It can be a new method. It can be a new protocol, a new assay. It can also be testing a new instrumentation. I think what I like to highlight to a future recruit, or even the scientists that are here, is that there’s 420 employees collectively in all the core facilities. They’re here to support their work. That is a lot of people and a lot of hands to jump-start your projects. This is a huge advantage compared to other institutions.

Joan Massagué, PhD: More and more, basic science is dependent on and enabled by technology. At all levels, it needs to reside — the high-end technology — in entities like the cores. So, the cores equals technology, equals mission made possible.