The NeuroTechnology Studio is a platform of advanced instrumentation and expert support for brain research at BWH. Its overall mission is to advance understanding of brain function and brain disease by providing Brigham researchers with access to cutting-edge technologies, in areas that include microscopic imaging, cell screening, molecular profiling, and medicinal chemistry.
These are critical technologies for modern neuroscience research, and they have seen rapid advances in the past few years. By providing shared access to state-of-the-art instruments, the NeuroTechnology Studio will ensure that BWH remains at the forefront of these new developments. In addition to equipment, the Studio’s expert technical staff provide training workshops and individual consultation to users, enduring that they are able to use these powerful instruments to their full advantage.
The Studio was launched in 2017 and its platforms will continue to develop over the next several years, in response to the needs of the research community and the opportunities presented by new and emerging technologies.
The Studio is located in the BWH Hale Building for Transformative Medicine (HBTM). The studio has a dedicated space on the 7th floor that was opened in early 2019, and other instruments are housed on other floors within the HBTM.
The Studio has received official Partners Core Facility status, meaning its resources are available to all BWH and Partners researchers on a fee-for-service basis, with priority given to BWH researchers engaged in neuroscience research. The studio is also open to external users, subject to availability. Further details on booking and fees are provided here.
The Neurotech Studio has partnered with the Division of Radiology, Immunology and Allergy and the Evergrande Center to establish a single-cell RNA sequencing core, which is now open for business as a fee-for-service facility. See equipment for more details.
The Neurotech studio has acquired a FACSymphony analyzer, among the most powerful cell sorters on the market, with five lasers capable of analyzing up to 29 independent markers. The FACSymphony is operated in partnership with the existing flow cytometry core within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Disease and is available to BWH users on a fee-for-service basis. See equipment for more details.
Decisions on future instrument acquisitions and other priorities are guided by BWH faculty members with expertise in the relevant technologies, who serve as representatives for the research community and its needs. For more information, please contact Charles Jennings, Ph.D, Executive Director, Program for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Studio has recently launched a new Genomics and Bioinformatics Hub, which will provide support, consultation and access to bioinformatics tools for the BWH neuroscience research community. The initial focus is on analysis of next-generation sequencing data, including genomic and RNAseq data, but we expect that our services and expertise will expand over time as new technologies emerge and the needs of our users continue to evolve.
Next Generation Sequencing
An Illumina Nextseq 550 sequencing machine was installed in the studio in early 2020. Users are responsible for supplying their own reagents and for operating the instrument, following a required training session. Initially users will also be responsible for managing and analyzing their own data, although we are exploring options for providing data management support as an additional service through our newly launched Genomics and Bioinformatics Hub.
Droplet-based Single Cell Molecular Analysis
A 10X Chromium Controller was installed in the studio in early 2020. Users are responsible for supplying their own kits and for operating the instrument following a required training session.
The studio has launched a collaboration with the laboratory of Jeffrey Moffitt at Boston Children’s Hospital, to establish a MERFISH facility within the NeuroTechnology Studio. MERFISH (multiplex error-redundant fluorescent in situ hybridization) is a method for identifying, localizing and quantifying thousands of RNA species at cellular and subcellular level. Dr Moffitt was one of the coinventors of MERFISH during his postdoc in the lab of Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard, and he continues to develop the method in his own lab at BCH. The MERFISH system in the Neurotechnology Studio will closely mirror the one in Dr Moffitt’s lab. We are currently in the stage of generating pilot data and final testing, and our aim is to make this technology widely available to the NTS user community.