Electron Microscopy Core for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research


Vincent H. Gattone II, Ph.D. (Director) 
Professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Phone - (317)274-2505
Fax - (317)278-2040
E-mail -

Caroline A. Miller (Manager)
Phone - (317)274-8730
Fax - (317)278-2040 fax
E-mail -


Indiana University School of Medicine
Dept of Anatomy & Cell Biology
635 Barnhill Drive, Med Sci Bldg, 5065 
Indianapolis, IN 46202

This Electron Microscopy Research Core facility is supported in large part by the Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation and is meant to further research on polycystic kidney disease as well as the general group of Hepatorenal Fibrocystic conditions.

The use of the facility initially requires the submission of the “Project Application” form to determine that the project meets the eligibility criteria. After the project is approved (which should take less than a week), the investigator needs to submit the other appropriate informational forms so that the EM Center can assess the project and determine the needs of the investigator. A conference call between the EM Center Director, Vincent Gattone, Ph.D., the EM Manager, Caroline Miller and the submitting investigator will be arranged to discuss the details of the project so that all are clear on what is to be done for the project. At that point a Project number is assigned and the scheduling arranged for materials to be sent.

Applicant Eligibility

Mechanism to assess eligibility : A research project application form will be available on the IU EM Center website ( and the PKD Foundation website will provide a link to this application to facilitate the accessibility of this application. Members of the PKD Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) are eligible to apply for these services. PKD projects from researchers located at the IU School of Medicine are limited to one project per year to counteract any potential overuse of this facility due to geographical convenience.

Project eligibility criteria : The project needs to be PKD related in some way, and this needs to be clearly delineated in the Project Summary on the Project Application. The criteria to be used for relatedness to PKD will be quite broad and this will be determined by the PKD Foundation EM Core Director, Vincent Gattone, PhD. If the investigator wishes to challenge the Director’s decision, he/she may make a written challenge which will be reviewed by the PKD Core Advisory Committee (Robert Bacallao M.D. and Carrie Phillips, M.D.). Their decision will be considered final. The relationship to PKD can be established if the project is evaluating: a) tissues/cultured cells from any cystic disease models, b) evaluating expression of proteins or pathways thought to be involved in PKD pathogenesis or progression, c) cilia or basal body associated components as well as a number of other directions of research that the investigator can make a case as being PKD related. The disease entity of PKD is being considered broadly to include any of the inherited Hepatorenal Fibrocystic conditions.

Investigators financial responsibility : The cost for each project is dramatically reduced compared to our standard fees for Indiana University investigators (see the Fee Schedule). But the Core requires investigators to bear some financial responsibility for their submitted projects. If the investigator feels that even that small charge is a financial hardship, the core will require a copy of his Other Support (on an NIH 398 packet form) and separately detail the basis for his/her financial hardship. Research funded by PKD Foundation always has access to the EM Core and is automatically considered eligible. However, PKD research funded by NKF, AHA, March of Dimes, NIH and intrainstitutional funding should provide evidence of PKD relatedness (via the project application form) and indicate their ability and willingness to pay for their share of the cost of their project.

It is presumed that those with NIH funding for PKD are pursuing their projects in this PKD Foundation supported core because either: 1) their institution cannot provide the EM services provided by the PKD Foundation EM Research Core or 2) this is an area of research not included in their current funding. This EM Core is not meant to take business away from an investigator’s institutional EM research facility, that typically needs their business in order to continue their operations. If NIH funding for EM studies on PKD are already budgeted for use at their institutional EM facility, the study may not be eligible for the PKD Foundation supported EM services of this core (but could be submitted to the IU SOM EM Center as a separate project from an outside investigator).

Prioritization of Projects: Projects are assigned a project accession number when the specimens arrive and are typically processed on a first come/first serve basis. A few deviations may be made in this service priority. Second attempts for immunocytochemistry can be delayed in order to consult with the investigator. After an investigator has already submitted three projects within a calendar year, their fourth and additional projects thereafter may be slightly delayed to allow other investigators more access for use of the EM facility.

Human Tissue criteria: The EM Center provides no human tissues as standard specimens and does not have IRB approval to collect human tissues for experimental studies. If an investigator submits human specimens, they must be thoroughly fixed and the investigator is assumed to have the appropriate IRB approval for the study of human tissues. All human tissue related projects need to be approved prior to the transfer of any tissue specimens.

PKD Foundation Acknowledgement Statement:

“The electron microscopy studies were performed at the Indiana University School of Medicine EM Center thanks to the generous support of that facility by the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation.”

Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology | IU School of Medicine | 635 Barnhill Drive, MS 5035 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | (317) 274-7494