The MRC-PPU cloning team undertakes all of the cloning required by Unit researchers, as well as providing significant support to many of our external pharmaceutical collaborators. The cloning team also plays a critical role in managing a very large collection approaching 40,000 cDNA clones that includes detailed datasheets on how each clone was generated including details of vectors, insert location and precise sequences of DNA inserts. This service greatly aides our researchers and pharmaceutical collaborators, who rely heavily on the team to provide clones that their research projects depend on. The importance of the cloning team and the contribution they make to the Unit’s research is emphasised by one of the cloning team members being a co-author on over 75% of all research papers that are published by our Unit PIs over the last five years.
The members of the cloning team are highly experienced and it is not unusual for each team member to generate over 30 fully sequence-verified constructs in one week (this is dependent on complexity of constructs). The cloning team also bulk-order their cloning reagents, generate many of their own reagents (including cDNA libraries) and avoid using expensive kits, thereby saving considerably on resources. They also deploy many innovative strategies that the team have optimised over the years to maximise efficiency and keep consumable costs to a bare minimum.
Any cDNA clone reported in an MRC-PPU publication is available to the worldwide not for profit research community. To request constructs please email Rachel Toth and Mark Peggie (see below for email addresses, please note a cost of £50 per construct is levied for cost recovery purposes). The cloning team also takes charge of distributing our cDNA clones to all of our researchers as well as external collaborators, as well as many groups who request these worldwide. They also respond to countless queries we receive for further information on all of the constructs that are distributed.
With the assistance of technician Andrew Davis, the team also makes several different strains of chemically super-competent cells for use both within the Unit and throughout the rest of the College of LifeSciences.
MRC cloning team is jointly headed by Mark Peggie and Rachel Toth. The team has an additional 4 other key staff (Melanie Wightman, Nicola Wood, Thomas Macartney and Simone Weidlich) who, along with support from technician Andrew Davis, all work as a tightly knit team to generate all clones required by MRC-PPU researchers and their collaborators.
The MRC cloning team