Biomolecular Core Laboratory

Core Director: 
Katherine Robbins

The Biomolecular Core Lab (BCL) provides essential services in molecular biology and genetics to the clinical and research staff at Nemours, Delaware Institutional Development Award/IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) partner institutions and external clients.

Review the BCL's instrumentations and services »

Under the direction of Katherine M Robbins, PhD the lab provides consultation on experimental design as well as data troubleshooting, training, and mentoring of students and clinical fellows.

The BCL is also a collaborative research laboratory focusing on the study of rare pediatric genetic disorders. Dr. Robbins’ interest is primarily associated with rasopathies, skeletal dysplasias, and cancer. One focus of our research is to characterize Embryonal Rabdomyosarcoma within our extensive Costello syndrome cohort at the molecular, cytogenetic, and functional levels.  Another focus is to elucidate the signaling pathways regulating Embryonal Rabdomyosarcoma in our cohort of patients. Costello syndrome is a disorder that affects multiple organ systems and is characterized by short stature, intellectual disability, redundant loose skin, papillomata and predisposition for heart defects and cancer. Costello Syndrome patients have a 15% lifetime risk for developing malignances. Furthering our understanding of ERMS will ultimately help us to identify better therapeutic treatment options for these patients. This work is a collaborative effort between Dr. Karen Gripp, MD and the Biomolecular Core Laboratory.

Dr. Robbins’ research laboratory provides unique educational opportunities to summer students, undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Delaware and partner institutions.

The ultimate goal of this laboratory is to provide biomedical investigators with state of the arts technical support and clinicians with tools that can help improve pediatric supportive care and/or therapeutic intervention.

Current Research Group

  • Katherine M Robbins, PhD,Director
  • Jennifer Holbrook, BS, Assistant Director
  • Deborah Stabley, BS, Senior Research Assistant
  • Ellen Hitchens, BS, Research Technician 1