Developmental Therapeutics Core

The Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) helps investigators evaluate promising novel therapeutic agents and diagnostics, as well as existing therapeutics being considered for novel uses (repurposing), through continued development and deployment of relevant animal models and in vitro cell lines and tissue models. We provide several services to investigators to suit many needs, including those who may lack laboratory facilities and/or expertise for conducting experiments associated with preclinical therapeutic hypothesis testing


Proliferation and Apoptosis Assays

More than 200 cell lines are available for in vitro testing, including for determination of drug IC50 values. DTC is also able to assess the effects of therapeutics on cells grown in 3D culture or on organoid cultures.

Therapy-Response Experiments

Our personnel provide expert guidance in determining the most appropriate models for evaluating the efficacy of compounds and biologicals of interest. Services include experimental design consultation, animal procurement, and execution of the experiment according to the approved protocol. We work closely with cores such as the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI), Center for Translational Imaging (CTI), Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC), Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Laboratory (MHPL), and The Behavioral Phenotyping Core (BPC) to address all aspects of a study as needed.

Exploratory PK and Tox

Exploratory pharmacokinetics analysis can be incorporated into therapy-response experiments through organ and tissue harvest of treated animal subjects at pre-determined time points during treatment. Many projects require and include determination of therapeutic maximum tolerated dose (MTD) prior to initiating a therapy-response experiment with 7-day Repeated Dose also offered.  We work collaboratively with the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC) to provide full pharmacokinetics analysis as well as with the Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Core (MHPL) to evaluate treated organs and tissues for toxicity.

Device Implantation and Monitoring

We work with the investigators to implant and evaluate new devices in vivo through submission and approval of an IACUC protocol to surgical implantation. The core can then test the device, evaluate toxicity, and/or work with other cores and different imaging modalities.

PDX Models

PDX models offer the closest approximation to the clinical setting for testing cancer therapies, other than immunotherapies.  Consider working with us and our Patient-Derived Xenograft Tumor Repository to help translate your research.


DTC works collaboratively with the Recombinant Protein Production Core (rPPC) and the Peptide Synthesis Core to produce monoclonal antibodies from peptides.

Project Workflow

We provide an initial consultation regarding model selection, experimental design, and types of analyses to be performed. A study protocol and cost estimate are generated and approved by the user. At the completion of the study, data is collected and analyzed with a final report furnished in 1-2 weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: Our core maintains several blanket ACUC protocols to fit various user needs.  However, an amendment is typically required to add the test substance and administration procedure.  These require approximately 30 days to be approved. Your study cannot begin without approval if required.