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Virus Characterization, Isolation, Production and Sequencing Core

The Virus Characterization, Isolation, Production, and Sequencing Core is housed within the Division of Microbiology. 

The Virus Characterization, Isolation, Production and Sequencing (VCIPS) Core provides virological services to TNPRC NIH core and affiliate investigators. The core provides characterized infectious viruses, entire lots of virus when needed for large-scale individual projects, performs titration assays, prepares virus for inoculations, carries out virological assays such as new drug inhibition testing, provides advice to NIH funded investigators on choice of challenge virus for projects, and provides training in virological techniques to investigators.

Altogether the core’s primary goal is to provide NIH investigators at the TNPRC and our affiliate investigators with virological service that their labs do not or cannot provide. Many NIH investigators at the TNPRC are in need of challenge viruses, characterized stocks, challenge inocula and advice on which virus to choose for a specific project. This is central function of the core is to provide these essential materials plus consultation to TNPRC researchers and our affiliate investigators. 

BSL-3 virology

The VCIPS core provides live virus work with BSL-3 viruses. For SARS-CoV-2, the VCIPS core provides well-characterized stocks of multiple viral variants, including WA1/2020, B.1.351 (beta), B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.617.2 (delta) and others, as well as mouse adapted (MA10) and WA1/2020 modified to express eGFP. BSL-3 assays provided by the VCIPS core include:

  • Virus expansion and characterization
  • Viral sequencing
  • Viral titer by plaque and TCID50 assays
  • Live virus neutralization assays using traditional (plaque reduction) and modern assays including microneutralization assays and impedance-based assays.

Contact Information

Preston Marx, PhD, Co-director of VCIPS
Nicholas Maness, PhD, Co-director of VCIPS
Lori Rowe, PhD, Assistant Director of Sequencing for VCIPS
Kelly Goff, Medical Research Specialist for VCIPS