The Vector Core Laboratory was established in March of 1995 when the first of two laboratory modules targeted for the Vector Core became available in the Academic Research Building (ARB). In September of 1995, the Vector Core Laboratory occupied a second laboratory module in the ARB to reach its current size of approximately 1500 sq.ft. In its first year of operation, Sergei Zolotukhin, Ph.D., the previous Director, had equipped the first module for wet lab DNA manipulation and cloning and the second module as a tissue culture facility for producing preclinical vectors and for training staff from other laboratories. The current facility director is Sanford Boye.
The primary role of the Vector Core Laboratory is to provide the service of generating gene therapy vectors. This service is comprehensive, starting with consultation on construct design and AAV capsid selection, molecular cloning of AAV plasmids, and finally packaging and purification of the virus. The Vector Core has served this role for a number of NIH program project grants worth over $25M and produces over 400 preps per year for both academic and industry sponsors. In addition, the Vector Core serves a training role for students associated with those programs.
Together with the Process Development and Quality Control Lab (directed by Nathalie Clement), Vector Core assists with developing new vector technology in collaboration with Center faculty. As such Vector Core has access to many of the new AAV capsids developed at the University of Florida. In addition, Vector Core staff works directly with the GMP manufacturing staff in the Human Applications Lab (directed by Brian Cleaver) to facilitate the transfer of projects to clinical-stage manufacturing.