Core Facility Tours

Vanderbilt Tour Options.

Each attendee will be able to choose two tours


1.     VANTAGE – Genomics, DNA banking and Flow Cytometry

 In 2011 Vanderbilt was a awarded an $8.8M grant to bring related campus cores together in an environment that would make them better than the sum of their parts. On this tour, guests will see the result: VANTAGE – VANderbilt Technologies for Advanced Genomics ( The tour will focus on the robotics which allow for the high throughput, highly automated processes for sample sorting, extraction, and storage, that enable Vanderbilt’s institutional DNA biorepository, BioVU.  Attendees will also see a demonstration of the Flow Cytometry Cores integration of a CyTOF mass cytometer, six custom Cell Sorter and Anaylsis platforms, and other instruments to enable customer accessible sorting, in addition to single cell work in VANTAGE’s next-generation sequencing core.  The tour will also highlight the environmentally considerate renovation strategies that led to VANTAGE receiving LEED Gold level certification.


2.     Drug Discovery – High throughtput Screening, Chemical Synthesis and Protein/Antibody Production

Key goals of the Vanderbilt Institute for Chemical Biology (VICB) are to promote research that provides insights into human disease, lead efforts to develop new therapeutic paradigms, support development and dissemination of new technologies, and to translate all of these discoveries into the marketplace.  Three core facilities are a central feature of the VICB operations: High-Throughput Screening (, Chemical Synthesis (, and the Antibody and Protein Resource (  Tour attendees will interact with personnel from each of these facilities, as well as, see live demonstrations of several automated screening platforms used in these cores.


3.     Core Management

This tour will focus on innovative lab management tools.  First attendees, will visit the Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR).  Here, staff will explain and demonstrate a custom developed software platform, nicknamed “The Central Scrutinizer”, which provides automated and interconnected scheduling, access control, instrument use tracking, and system-wide data transfer. The Central Scrutinizer facilitates the management of over 20 different instruments located in 11 rooms and 6 buildings, used by several hundred people from more than 250 labs within the VUMC and basic sciences campus. It enables secure access 24/7 to most CISR instrumentation, while allowing limited CISR staff to spend time with investigators and imaging applications.  Attendees will also visit the Vanderbilt Antibody and Protein Resource (VAPR).  Here they will be given a tour focused on the Lean/Toyota Production System management tools the lab has implemented over the past few years.  Lean tools for managing ordering, inventory control, equipment maintenance tracking, and project tracking/management will all be demonstrated and discussed.


4.     Imaging Institute – Human and Animal Imaging cores

The Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science (VUIIS) supports advances in physics, engineering, computing, chemistry, and other basic sciences for the development and application of new and enhanced imaging techniques to address problems and stimulate new research directions in biology and medicine.  Attendees will visit both the Center for Human Imaging and the Center for Small Animal Imaging.  The human imaging core is dedicated to the application of advanced and prototypical MRI methods to study specific organ systems of the human body such as: nervous (central and peripheral), muscular-skeletal, cardio-pulmonary, and integumentary systems.  The Center for Small Animal Imaging is a comprehensive resource of state-of-the art biomedical imaging instruments spanning a wide range of modalities, including MRI, X-ray/X-ray CT, PET, SPECT, ultrasound, bioluminescence and fluorescence.  Attendees will interact with key personnel in each core, as well as, see demonstrations of some of the many imaging technologies operating within these facilities.


5.     Mass Spectrometry Research Center (MSRC) – Proteomics and Tissue Imaging

The mission of the Mass Spectrometry Research Center (MSRC) is to bring state-of-the-art mass spectrometry expertise, methodology, and instrumentation to the research and clinical infrastructure of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  The Thursday October 9 Proteomics workshop will be an excellent preliminary to this tour.  Participants will be able to observe both the Proteomics and MALDI-MS Tissue Imaging facilities of the MSRC.  In addition, interactive sessions on immuno-proteomics and tissue imaging will be conducted.

Transportation to and from the Vanderbilt Tours and the Opening Reception

We have arranged for transportation to the Vanderbilt tours and to the downtown reception.  

Option 1: Tour and Reception attendees.  Coaches will depart from the Presidential Portico of the resort at 3:15pm.  The coach will take you directly to the start of the tour site at 1301 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37232.  After tours are concluded, the coaches will take you DIRECTLY to the opening reception at the Johnny Cash Museum.  Coaches will then return to the Cash Museum at the conclusion of the reception.  These coaches will return all attendees who attended the Vanderbilt tours to the Opryland Hotel.  

In addition, you will receive a two-day unlimited use bus pass for the Gaylord "Discover Music City" shuttle. 

  • This shuttle departs from the nearby Wildhorse Saloon (120 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN) 
  • Departure is hourly at 35 minutes past the hour. Final departure is at 11:35pm.
  • Alternatively attendees can return to the hotel by taxi (approximate cost $20-25).

Option 2: Reception only attendees.  All attendees will receive a two-day unlimited use bus pass for the Gaylord "Discover Music City" shuttle.  

  • This shuttle departs hourly: On the hour from the Cascades Canopy and 5 minutes past the hour from the Magnolia Canopy.  
  • Take this shuttle to the Wildhorse Saloon drop off (120 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN) 
  • The opening reception is approximately 1.5 blocks away at the Johnny Cash Museum (119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN)
  • Return buses leave from the Wildhorse Saloon at 35 minutes past the hour. Final departure is at 11:35pm.
  • Alternatively attendees can travel by taxi (approximate cost $20-25 each way).

We strongly advise all attendees to take advantage of our scheduled coaches and the Gaylord Shuttle for transportation to and from the tours/reception.  Parking at Vanderbilt and downtown Nashville can be difficult.  However, if you need to drive separately to the tours, please park in the Medical Center East Garage. 

A map can be found here: 

Tour start locations are nearby at 1301 Medical Center Drive.