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Special Techniques Group

Technology Development

Julie F. Foley
Julie F. Foley
Group Leader

Tel (919) 541-3772
Fax (919) 541-7666

P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop B3-06
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Delivery Instructions

Research Summary

CMPB: Cellular & Molecular Pathology Branch

The Specialized Techniques Group conducts investigative research support for NIEHS directed at refining, adapting and developing technologies for purposes of supporting morphologically-based research. It is primarily technology development rather than exclusively hypothesis-based research and applies to research throughout the Division of Intramural Research (DIR). State-of-the-art equipment exists to assist investigators and their research in the identification, quantification and documentation of morphological events. Since these techniques are used intermittently in a given research project, they are most efficiently and effectively developed, modified and applied by scientists and technicians who use them frequently with familiarity and confidence. While these technologies are frequently developed to support research within the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch (CMPB), the Specialized Techniques Group continues to assist others within NIEHS by providing intellectual support and technical advice on application of these specialized research tools. This permits efficient achievement of research goals by making the technology serve research, rather than engaging in technology-driven activities. The group serves as an intellectual resource for NIEHS investigators and perform technical tasks as full research collaborators.

The Specialized Techniques Group provides expertise in the following areas:

  • Mouse Phenotyping, specializing in embryonic lethality
  • Laser Microdissection (Contact Pat Stockton for additional information)
  • Image Analysis/Photomicroscopy
  • Specialized Necropsy Techniques

Mouse Phenotyping (Embryonic Lethality)

The primary focus of the mouse phentoyping core in the Specialized Techniques Group is to provide support in the area of pathology phenotypes of genetically altered mice. Efforts are geared more towards understanding the cause of an embryonic lethal phentoype. For additional information please contact Julie Foley.

Laser Microdissection (LM) (

Laser Microdissection projects have included the microdissection of cells by laser and the development of molecular techniques to amplify DNA and RNA. Laser microdissected samples have been used in the quantification of RNA by quantitative PCR. In addition, the lab has worked extenstively with the NIEHS microarray group to develop microarray protocols to analyze gene expression in frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue.

Image Analysis/Photomicroscopy

Assistance has been provided to investigators with image analysis and photomicroscopic projects. This support includes the capture, modification and enhancement of an image to be produced electronically for photo quality work through the use of state-of-the-art image scanners, computers and software, digital cameras, and digital and ink jet color printers. Contact Norris Flagler ( for additional information.

Specialized Necropsy Technqiues

For these specialized technologies to work, the Specialized Techniques Group also provides support with the collection of the tissue samples at necropsy. The group informs investigators of the ideal fixatives to use and whether the work can be completed on paraffin-embedded or frozen tissue. After developing and establishing a protocol for a particular technique, support is provided to investigators wishing to perform these techniques in their laboratories. Trouble-shooting and problem solving techniques are performed frequently with the investigators as collaborative efforts. Julie Foley can be contacted for additional information.

Julie Foley leads the Special Techniques Group within the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch. She received a B.S. in biology from East Carolina University before attending Duke University where she received a B.S in the Allied Health Assistant Program as a Pathologists’ Assistant.

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Last Reviewed: October 29, 2008