Systems Biology Core

CIBC will establish the Systems Biology Core (SBC), a facility that incorporates existing systems biology instrumentation, methodologies, and expertise at UNL – the Microscopy Core Research Facility, Nebraska Center for Mass Spectrometry, and RIF – under a single organizational structure. Because CIBC researchers expect to make extensive use of mass spectroscopy (MS), microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy capabilities, this administrative reorganization will help ensure CIBC’s and UNL’s biomedical investigators receive the proper support and training in the systems biology techniques that best fit their research needs. The long-term goal of the SBC facility is to create a sustainable systems biology facility that meets the omics and microscopy needs of CIBC members, UNL faculty, and the larger scientific community. The short-term goal of SBC is to facilitate the adaption of systems biology technologies by CIBC and UNL investigators.

Typical Workflow for SBC


Engage a Director Who Will Oversee the Core

Dr. Robert Powers will provide oversight for the core, share expert advice with and direct SBC technical staff, and facilitate communication with the Data Management and Analysis Core (DMAC), CIBC’s second research core facility.

Hire Two New Staff Experts in NMR and MS Metabolomics

Two new staff members – one NMR metabolomics specialist and one MS metabolomics specialist – will bring specialized skill sets in NMR, MS, statistics, bioinformatics, and cell biology.

Efficiently Provide Omics and Microscopy Assistance to CIBC Projects

Through the SBC facility, CIBC members will have routine interactions with skilled omics and microscopy experts who can assist with study design, sample preparation, and the collection, analysis, interpretation, and modeling of the resulting data.

Expected Impact

SBC will provide investigators with the expertise, training, and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and methodologies in systems biology that are necessary for investigating biomedically important biomolecular communication pathways. The SBC will integrate three separate, distinct core facilities into a single organizational structure. In utilizing these three existing facilities, the SBC will enhance existing infrastructure through expanding capabilities, instrumentation, technologies, and capacity and will facilitate the training, education, and adaption of systems biology technology by UNL investigators. Through this proposed core, CIBC research projects, mentors, and other UNL investigators will have routine interactions with highly skilled omics and microscopy experts who can assist with study design, sample preparation, and the collection, analysis, interpretation and modeling of the resulting data.


CIBC will leverage and optimize UNL’s strong base of existing research support by developing a centralized facility – SBC – that will enable Center researchers to effectively integrate systems biology methodologies into their projects. SBC personnel will also extensively collaborate with the DMAC facility to facilitate projects that require data mining and archiving; statistical, functional, and predictive analyses; and computational modeling. Rather than replacing existing facilities, SBC has been strategically designed to 1) enhance existing technology and enable the application of omics and microscopy methodology among users and 2) provide the necessary skills, tools, and training for systems biology analysis by CIBC investigators and other core facility users. Thus, SBC is expected to enhance infrastructure in an area of critical importance to CIBC investigators and UNL faculty and have a positive impact on CIBC researchers requiring streamlined access to metabolomics, proteomics, and microscopy instrumentation and methodology.

Systems Biology Core