News and Alerts
We are excited to announce that in accordance with UNC and School of Medicine guidelines, the Histology Research Core has been approved for increasing our operating capacity beginning MONDAY JUNE 1st 2020. At this time, we will be able to return to performing work unrelated to Covid-19 and/or not deemed “critical” by the university, while maintaining 50% personnel capacity in the lab. However, there will be some important changes in operational procedures for our customers and those changes are outlined below.
1) Please note our new core e-mail address! The e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org will be accessible to all core personnel. This will be important since staff members will be working different shifts in order to comply with social distancing measures outlined by the university. While individual staff e-mail addresses will still be active and checked, it may take up to a day for a given person to respond to your e-mail. We encourage all of our customers to direct their queries into services, requests for meetings, coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs, etc. to email@example.com in order to ensure the quickest response time.
2) In-person contact will be minimized as much as possible. Non-core personnel will not be allowed to enter the core without prior approval, and only when necessary. Customers must contact core personnel to schedule both drop-off and pick-up of material, and only one customer will be met at a time. These appointments will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis. All meetings will take place outside at the main 1st floor entrance to Taylor Hall unless otherwise coordinated. DO NOT come to our lab without a prior appointment. Please DO NOT bring a hard copy of your data sheet—prior to your arrival please e-mail a completed data sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) For customers who require a lengthy consultation to discuss project details, we ask that you set up a phone or Zoom meeting with core personnel prior to drop off.
4) Core personnel and all individuals who enter the core facility or interact with core staff are required to wear a mask at all times and to follow social distancing guidelines. Please be assured we take this virus very seriously and are doing everything within our power to ensure a safe work environment. In line with UNC SOM guidelines, please wear your mask properly when interacting with core staff. Not wearing a mask will be considered grounds to refuse service.
5) Core personnel will use designated containers for transport when accepting and returning customers’ materials. We suggest that customers bring a box or bag to transport their material back to their lab—we can no longer offer cardboard boxes for your convenience. Be assured that our containers will be thoroughly sanitized using 70% ethanol after each use. Materials accepted will be sanitized (as much as is possible without damaging samples) upon receipt. Before returning materials, they will be enclosed in a Ziploc bag which will be sanitized using 70% immediately before leaving the core. Some items within the bag will not be sanitized due to potential harm to the samples. Therefore, each bag will be dated so that a 72 hour no contact window can easily be determined by our customers.
6) We expect to be back up and running quickly. However, due to changes in individual scheduling, challenges faced by ensuring social-distancing guidelines, and an expected surge in incoming projects, we anticipate we may be running on a longer than normal turn-around time. Please communicate any concerns about deadlines or a need for a rush order to staff members when you drop off samples. We appreciate your continued patience!
An important update about the Core’s response to Covid-19
How the Histology Research Core will operate – effective immediately
- The core will be operating with reduced staffing and reduced hours of operation.
- No new projects may be dropped off without prior e-mail or phone contact with a HRC staff to confirm operational status and coordinate drop off.
- Existing projects may continue upon a negotiated timeline
How the Histology Research Core will operate if the University goes to condition 2 or 3
- The Histology Research Core will be closed and no in-person staff assistance will be available. Staff WILL be checking e-mail and can continue to provide quotes for services, discuss upcoming projects, answer histology-related questions, and provide feedback on manuscripts.
- Exceptional circumstances may be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will include but are not expressly limited to any projects supporting research around the identification, progression, and treatment of COVID-19. Written justification for these circumstances must be provided and are not a guarantee of service. Decisions will be made by the core staff under the guidance of the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology.
- Core staff will perform critically essential scheduled maintenance of all instruments, as usual.
Procedures we expect Histology Research Core users and staff to follow
- If you have a fever, have been in contact with a presumptive positive case, and/or are coughing/sneezing a lot, stay at home. UNC info on what to do if you are sick: https://ehs.unc.edu/infectious–diseases/coronavirus/
We understand that in the coming weeks we will likely fall short of the level of support you’ve come to expect from the Histology Research Core, but the current health emergency is having an unavoidable impact on our operations. We will do our best to help you with your research under these circumstances and will continue to communicate with you promptly as the situation develops. We will be checking e-mails daily and will respond as soon as possible.
- Reminder: No food or drinks in the Core
- The Histology Research Core was awarded a CFAC grant that will fund the purchase of the Thermo Scientific Slide Basket Transfer System. This new technology will provide automated H&E staining as well as coverslipping. Read more about this equipment here.
- We are now offering 3-Helix Collagen
- The Histology Research Core now on the Science Exchange platform! Come check us out on our storefront!
- Are you searching for an antibody? Check out BenchSci! BenchSci is an AI-driven antibody database search engine which is FREE to academic users and streamlines the process of comparing antibodies for cross reactivity, application technique, and published validation. We’re excited to be able to use this here in our core facility and recommend it to our users.