Core Technologies Unit

To view the services we provide, please visit our iLab page by clicking here.

Introduction to Cores

  • Applied Genomics Technology Center
  • Proteomics
  • Microscopy, Imaging and Cytometry Resources
  • n-Fab at Wayne State University
  • Clinical Research Center
  • Lipidomics Core

Overview of DCaTS Cores

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Information on the Karmanos Cancer Institute Cores can be found here.

Henry Ford Health System

Cell Sorting Facility

Primary Missions
  • Facility performed multicolor hi-speed cell sorting
    • Dual laser (488 and 635nm), up to 7 colors
    • 4 way sort
    • Sterile
    • Cloning/single cell or multicell
  • Providing the scientific expertise to effectively integrate this technology into research projects.
Examples of Commonly Used Parameters for Cell Sorting with FACSAria
  • Stainable protein expression: up to 7-color sorting: e.g. FITC, PE, PerCP, PE-Cy7, PE-
  • Texas Red, APC, APC-Cy7.
  • Fluorescent protein expression such as: eGFP, eYFP.
  • Cell division sorting by CFSE.
  • Cell-cycle and cell-ploidy sorting: PI.
  • Stem cells by the Side Population.
  • Calcium mobilization according Indo-1 fluoerescences.
  • Apoptosis sorting, according Annexin V- staining.
  • Cell volume and morphological characteristics by light scatter parameters and autofluorescence.
Sorted Cells could be used for:
  • culture, creation of stable cell lines,
  • DNA analysis, (single cell) PCR,
  • RNA analysis, FISH, micro array analysis,
  • morphological analysis by microscopy,
  • protein extraction, Western blot analysis,
  • single cell cloning,
  • functional tests.
When should cell sorting be used instead of bulk separation methods
  • When very high purity (95%-100%) of the target population is required.
  • For separations on the basis of internal cell staining e.g. of internal antigens, or fluorescent proteins.
  • For enrichment of populations on the basis of surface antigen density.
  • For separation of populations that have a low density of antigens on their surface.
  • For separations on the basis of multicolor staining.
  • When single cell sorting is required (cloning).
  • When other separation methods fail.
  • Bulk separation methods should be first used when the starting cell number is too high, or the target population is too small.
Factors to be Considered in Preparing Cells for Sorting
  • Cell size and morphology: nozzle size ( 70, 85, 100 um), cell size should not exceed 25% of the nozzle diameter.
  • Sample preparation:
    • single cell suspension: 30-50um filtration.
    • optimized sample concentration: 10x106/ml
    • proper sorting buffer
    • prompt sample processing
    • Cell physiology
    • Collection buffer and post-sort handling
Sorting Buffer:
  • 1xPBS (Ca/Mg++ free) 25 mM HEPES pH7.0
  • 1% heat inactivated FBS (or BSA) 0.2 um filtered
Collection Buffer:
  • 1xPBS (Ca/Mg++ free)
  • 20% heat inactivated FBS or FCS antibiotics
  • 12 X 75 mm polypropylene collection tubes Fisher # 14-9561-D or equivalent filters: 35 micron BD strainer cap/ test tube (35-2235) or the 40 micron cell strainer (Fisher:22363547).
Sorting speed, recovery rate and other limitations
  • Maximum event rate on the instrument is 20,000 events/s
  • For high purity, a rate of 3,000 events/s is typical and advisable.
  • 50% is a reasonable recovery rate of cell sorting
  • Currently, we are unable to sort human cells and other cells with infectious potentials. Fees and time reservation and cancellation
Cell sorting:
  • $80.00/hour, plus instrument preparation $50.00/ or $80.00 for aseptic sorting.
  • One week in advance for reservation.
  • 48 hours in advance for cancellation.
  • Pilot experiment is suggested for first time users or novel experiment planers.

Matthew Weiland

Dr. Li Zhou:, 313-874-4881

For time reservation and cancellation, contact Matthew Weiland:, 313-874-3771

Bio-Rad MRC 1024

The confocal microscope core facility has a Bio-Rad MRC 1024 3-channel laser-scanning confocal imaging system, utilizing a krypton argon laser with 488, 568, and 647 nm wavelengths, mounted onto a Zeiss 100 Axiovert inverted microscope. The inverted microscope is equipped with objective lens of 10X, 0.3 numerical aperture (NA), 40X, 1.30 NA, 63X, 1.40 NA, and 100X, 1.3 NA.

The system is located on the third floor of the E&R building at the main campus. The system has its own acquisition and analysis software, LaserSharp 2000. The facility operates on a scheduled basis, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The monthly schedule can be found on the facility door at 3031 E&R. The facility manager is available for basic training and troubleshooting.

Contact Information: Kelly Keenan (313) 916-4220

Zeiss LSM 510

The confocal microscope core facility has a Zeiss LSM 510 NLO two photon microscope system that is equipped with a Chameleon-XR Ti:Sapphire laser which provides femtosecond pulses tuning more than 275nm, from 705nm to 980nm. The system is ideal for imaging fluorescent signals with subcellular resolution from deep tissue in the living small animal.

Contact Information: Zheng Zhang M.D., PhD. (313) 916-5456

Clinical Trials Office (CTO)

The Clinical Trials Office (CTO) at Henry Ford Health System conducts and promotes clinical research studies in an effort to develop and offer new state-of-the-art treatments to patients for a wide array of diseases. Clinical trials provide the opportunity to advance medical knowledge, prevent diseases, increase quality of life, and offer treatment benefit to many patients.

The CTO has the expertise to provide a centralized clinical research support system to your Department.

The CTO supports a group of highly trained clinical research professionals who function to assure that all aspects of the clinical trials processes are maintained at very high standards and fulfill all aspects of the federal regulatory requirements. These individuals are subdivided into categories of job classifications providing specialized services in the following areas:

Case Management (CM) - The Case Management Team consists of registered nurses who recruit, evaluate, consent and determine eligibility of patients for clinical trial participation. The CM ensures compliance and adverse event monitoring for clinical trial patients throughout their length of participation in the clinical trial. Oversight of all patient care pertaining to a patient enrolled in a clinical trial is maintained by the CM. The PI can expect continual communication regarding clinical trial patients from the Case Manager.

Data Management (DM) - The Data Management Team is responsible for abstracting data from Careplus or other source documents onto the study specific case report forms. Data Managers serve as an excellent double-check method in data documentation. The DM team does not make any clinical interpretation/ judgment, but will seek clarification from the treatment nurse, case manager, and/or PI whenever there is a discrepancy. Additionally, the Data Manager will schedule and manage all study monitoring visits and/or external audits.

IRB Coordination - The IRB coordinators are responsible for all aspects of Internal Review Board compliance, including:

  • completing the appropriate paperwork
  • submitting new IRB applications
  • yearly renewals
  • amendments
  • revisions
  • final reports
  • safety reports
  • protocol deviations
  • serious adverse events
  • advertising/ recruitment materials

Regulatory Maintenance - The Regulatory Specialists are responsible for submitting the initial regulatory packet to the sponsor, which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • 1572 form
  • CV's and licenses for the Principal Investigator and all Sub-Investigators
  • local laboratory CLIA and CAP
  • lab director's CV and license
  • delegation of authority log
  • the signature log
  • other sponsor specific regulatory requests

The Regulatory Specialist is responsible for maintaining compliance with the federal regulatory requirements and will maintain the regulatory binder and handle all regulatory requests throughout the course of the study.

PK/ Central Lab Submission - This service provides for pick up and processing (centrifuging, pipetting, etc) of any central lab submission/ PK sample. This service can store and/or ship specimens per protocol instructions and in compliance with hazardous materials shipping requirements. Lab service can include management of study lab supplies (ordering, storing, and discarding of expired supplies). Please note that this service cannot draw blood.

Financial Management - The Financial Manager can provide the following:

  • study budget negotiation
  • grant start-up (opening a grant)
  • contract review for financial language considerations
  • ongoing management of the study grant
  • invoicing the sponsor
  • monitoring of grant expenses
  • patient care costs
  • check requests for patient stipends, etc.

The Financial Manager will meet with the PI periodically to provide updated information on the status of the grant.

For more information, or to request services, please contact Tiffany Pearce at (313) 916-1784 or

Public Health Sciences Core

Purpose:To conduct and promote investigator initiated population and clinical research studies within the HFHS, and to provide expertise in biostatistical analysis, epidemiological methods, computer programming, data collection and data management.

Goal:To advance biomedical knowledge that will lead to an increased quality of health care resulting in disease prevention and overall improved health status.

We Value:

  • Responsible conduct in research
  • Studies that are expertly designed, managed, and analyzed
  • Responsible, effective and ethical use of HFHS population-resources
  • Patient confidentiality
  • Public domain research
  • Local, national and international collaborations
  • Treating all patients, collaborators and staff with respect and dignity

The foundation for the Department’s activities centers on collaboration between a team of master’s and doctoral trained biostatisticians experienced in the areas of applied and theoretical statistics. Together, the staff participates in many aspects of research:

  • Study Design: In this phase of research, the staff collaborates on designing the experiment, addressing sample size requirements and developing data collection methods.
  • Data Analysis: This is the primary activity of the Biostatistics Division, with emphasis on proper methodology and communication of the results to the investigator in an understandable form.
  • Clinical Trials: The staff has expertise in designing clinical trials, monitoring their progress, and managing and analyzing data collected from multiple sites. As members of a study group, staff serve on steering committees, participate on subcommittees, conduct data safety monitoring, statistical analysis, and collaborate on study publications.
  • Grant Preparation: The staff also has extensive experience with proposal development and the preparation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other grants. They also may assist with study design and protocol development, selection and piloting of questions, and other data acquisition tools.

The master's and doctoral trained staff members have expertise in epidemiologic methods, including genetics, and the epidemiology of cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular and neurologic diseases. Their areas of expertise include:

  • Study Design: The Research Epidemiology Division collaborates with investigators in study design and development of study protocols, particularly for observational studies. They are trained to design studies that take into account the potential biases that can occur in a non-randomized study. They also assist with the design of the forms and questionnaires, which will be used to record information in the study.
  • HFHS Database Analyses: Staff members are proficient in the manipulation of managed care databases and the databases included in Henry Ford Health System’s Corporate Data Store (CDS).  They are experienced in identifying patient populations of interest, profiling practice patterns and providing descriptive information related to specified study interests.
The programming and data management staff have expertise in the following areas:
  • The design, testing, and maintenance of research databases.
  • The design, testing, and maintenance of data collection instruments.
  • Development of consistency checks and quality control procedures.
  • Generation of schedules and ad hoc reports.
  • Querying the HFHS Corporate Data Store to identify populations that meet defined specifications.

The Department's activities also include:

  • Medical Record Abstraction: Credentialed medical abstracting staff members provide support for the epidemiologic studies.  These abstractors identify, collect and interpret specified data by reviewing documents in the medical record, including physician notes, health histories, operative notes, pathology reports, lab reports, discharge summaries, consults and inpatient stays.  Abstractors also provide expertise in abstract development, including form design and layout, piloting of new abstracts, and development of abstractor guidelines and definitions.
  • Interviews: Staff members conduct face to face and telephone interviews for research data collection. PHS research interviewers pilot and assist in the design and flow of the interview. Duties include scheduling, interviewing, tracking, coding, and editing of the data.
  • Data Entry:  Staff members are also primarily responsible for the input of data into computerized files.  To assure accuracy, they provide double-entry verification as required.
This facility supports investigator-initiated epidemiologic studies with a basic science component. The laboratory is located in the Henry Ford Health System research facilities. Several NIH funded research studies are currently underway using the Molecular Epidemiology Research Laboratory including those on allergy and asthma and prostate cancer. The laboratory offers the following areas of expertise and capabilities:
  • Sample recording, tracking, processing and storage, integrated into PHS databases
  • Nucleic Acid (DNA, RNA) isolation
  • Genomic analyses: SNP, STR, RFLP, sequencing, DNA methylation
  • Expression analyses: Reverse transcription/PCR
  • Flow cytometry for cellular markers
  • Access to additional analytical equipment at the Wayne State University Environmental Health Resources Center , where the laboratory director is a member.

Center for Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research (CAAIR)

  • Cadre of epidemiologists, allergists, bench scientists and biostatisticians conducting research since 1987 focused on the prevention and management of allergy and athma and reducing disparities
  • Research on early environmental and childhood risk factors based on two birth cohorts and one school-age cohort
  • Research on disease management strategies including the development of disease registries, web-based educational programs in the Detroithigh schools, and physician interventions
Pharmaco-Epidemiology Research Program
  • A team of epidemiologists, health services researchers, programmers, data managers, and medical record abstractors with a focus on the conduct of epidemiological studies related to the use of medications
  • Evaluate short and long term effects of medications
  • Evaluate usage of medications, including appropriateness and safety

The procedures used for determining billing rates ensure that costs incurred to PHS as a result of service to our clients are passed through as exactly as possible. As in the past, all proposal development will be free of charge.

2011 Rates

Work Description Charge per Hour
Analysis $91.00
Abstracting $50.00
Data Entry $38.00
Data Management $47.00
Interviewing $37.50
Programming $61.00
Computer facility $4,000.00/FTE/year

If you would like more detailed information, please contact Lisa King, Administrative Manager, at 313.874.4641 or e-mail
            Christine Cole Johnson Ph.D., Department Chairman
            Department of Public Health Sciences
            One Ford Place, Suite 3E        
            Detroit , Michigan 48202-3450
            Phone: (313)874-6673
            Fax: (313) 874-6656

Wayne State University

700MHz Biomolecular NMR Facility

WSU has recently announced the operational status of its new 700MHz Biomolecular NMR Facility, located in the Chemistry Department. In December 2003 the triple-resonance cryoprobe was installed, completing the original facility equipment mandate, and ending the installation phase. The facility is now available for time requests and is providing data sets, and is the primary means of biomolecular structure determination for the groups involved.

Director: John SantaLucia,, 313-577-0101


Applied Genomics Technology Center

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The AGTC is a University wide resource for state-of-the-art genomic technologies and consultation services. Core scientists interact with researchers at the design phase of projects and assist in incorporating genomics approaches by generating preliminary data, writing methodologies, analyzing cost, and performing high throughput implementation of technology.

Director: Susan Land,, 313-577-9605

Behavioral and Field Research

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The Behavioral and Field Research Core (BFRC) at Karmanos Cancer Institute is designed to facilitate the integration of communication and behavioral research across the Institute, including work in epidemiology, cancer prevention, clinical and developmental therapeutics, palliative care, and genetics.

Director: Lisa Berry-Bobovski,, 313-576-8289


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The Biostatistics Core has primary responsibility for the design and development of research databases and for ensuring that all Projects are well-planned and are using appropriate experimental designs as well as for ensuring that planned statistical analyses are suitable to the experimental design and study endpoints.

Director: Judith Abrams,, 313-576-8653

Center for Social Work Practice and Policy

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This center provides consultation and technical assistance for investigators who need guidance with content and community context for social intervention research. The center offers services such as research design, evaluation, grant development, and community building.

Director: Joanne Sobeck,, 313-577-4439

Cell Culture

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The Cell Culture Core provides Hepatocyte isolation, cell line maintenance, centrifugal elutriation, media preparation, mycoplasma testing, technical assistance and training.

Director: Tom Kocarek,, 313-963-7487

Central Instrumentation Facility

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The Central Instrumentation Facility maintains modern analytical instruments to provide routine analysis and research support. The facility consists of four major areas of emphasis - Mass Spectrometry, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, X-Ray Crystallography, and Optical Spectroscopy.

Director: Judy Westrick,, 313-577-2579

Clinical Genetics

The Clinical Genetics Core provides information about genetic diseases, availability of DNA testing, patient support groups, etc.

Director: Gerald Feldman, MD, PhD, FACMG, 313-577-6298

Clinical Imaging Research

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The Clinical Imaging Research Core capabilities include state-of-the-art equipment for anatomical imaging (e.g., CT, ultrasound, mammography), functional imaging (PET and DCE MRI), and experimental new imaging methods utilizing MR spectroscopy and acoustic tomography. Imaging efforts are aimed at a clinical and research need for quantification of these parameters to gain a fuller understanding of treatment response in order to maximize clinical value.

Director: Peter Littrup,, 313-576-9953

Epidemiology Research

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The Epidemiology Research Core (ERC), developed in December 2007, supports populationbased research by accessing metropolitan Detroit cancer cases and registry data for research. The Core also provides epidemiology consulting and collaborates with Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) members and other faculty conducting investigations in cancer prevention, etiology, treatment, and outcomes.

Director: Kendra Schwartz, MD, MSPH,, 313-578-4202

Co-Director: Fawn Vigneau, JD, MPH,, 313-578-4231 

Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Center

This facility has instrument availability to collect Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) data. Services include training and allowing use of the departmental ITC.

Director: Timothy Stemmler,, 313-577-5712

Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LS-CAT)

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The Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LS-CAT) provides macromolecular cystallography resources for those with a need to determine the structure of proteins. Mainly LS-CAT provides access to state of the art x-ray diffraction facilities at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced. Photon Source where extremely intense beams of x-rays are focused using both mirrors and beryllium lenses onto tiny protein crystals. The x-rays diffracted by these crystals are collected with giant CCD detectors that produce the images needed to calculate where the atoms in the protein crystal are. Current LS-CAT members are Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Van Andel Research Institute, Northwestern University, University Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, and University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. 

WSU Director: Domenico Gatti,, 313-993-4238

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Research Core

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The MR Research Facility is committed to the development of the MR methods and their application in the preclinical and clinical subjects to better understand human physiology and disease. The MR Research Facility will promote the use of magnetic resonance-based methods to the WSU scientific community and support the implementation of MR methods through education, assistance in experimental design, and data collection and analysis.

Director: E. Mark Haacke,, 313-745-1395  

Materials Characterization Lab - AFM and XRD

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Description coming soon.

Michigan Proteome Consortium Service

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This core provides a variety of liquid-handling robotics for assay development.

Director: Russell Finley,, 313-577-1627

Microarray and Bioinformatics

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This core uses computational and statistical methodologies to analyze microarray data and interpret the results in a biological context.

Director: Alan Dombkowski,, 313-961-4943

Microscopy, Imaging & Cytometry Resources Laboratory

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MIRL is a central microscopy and imaging facility with established administrative policies in the School of Medicine. MIRL is a designated core facility of the Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Perinatalogy Research Branch of The National Institutes of Child Health and Development and the Department of Defense Cancer Center of Excellence. The MIRL provides expert scientific consultation and access to instrumentation for investigators whose research requires microscopy and imaging resources and related techniques. MIRL offers multiple imaging modalities and associated services:

  • Conventional Light and Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy
  • Multiphoton Microscopy
  • Spinning (Nipkow) Disk Confocal Microscopy 
  • FRET and FRAP 
  • Ratiometric analysis
  • In vivo small animal fluorescent/bioluminescent and X-ray imaging
  • Three & Four dimensional image reconstruction and quantitative measurements
  • Training in microscopy and the use of the instruments
  • Consultation in experimental design 

Director: Kamiar Moin,, 313-577-2199

Molecular Signatures

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The Molecular Signatures developing Core provides detailed genetic and genomic analysis of human tumor samples to support the development and subsequent implementation of personalized cancer therapy.

Director: Ramsi Haddad,, 313-576-8857

Nano Fabrication

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Description coming soon.


Nutrition Homepage Video button iLab button

The Nutrition and Food Sciences Core provides researchers with a resource to analyze foods for dietary purposes. This includes a bionutrition kitchen which comprises of 924 sq ft. with 4 stoves, 2 microwave ovens, 2 refrigerators, food scales, 2 dishwashers, cooking utensils, instruments, and sensory testing cubby holes.

PET Center

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The PET Center Core provides PET Scanning, Cyclotron, Chemistry, Data Acquisition and Analysis.

Director: Harry Chugani,, 313-993-0000


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The Pharmacology Core supports clinical trials as well as preclinical studies by providing  specimen processing and tracking, drug level analyses and pharmacokinetic modeling, and assistance in study design and data interpretation.

Director: Jing Li,, 313-576-8258


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The mission of the Proteomics Core is to enhance research productivity of KCI members by providing the equipment and expertise necessary for analysis of cellular protein composition and protein-protein interactions. The Proteomics Core provides instruments and expertise for identification of proteins and analysis of protein interactions. These two services require different instrumentation, but they both rely on expertise in protein chemistry, separation and analysis.

Director: Paul Stemmer,, 313-961-7634

Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystems (SSIM) Service Center

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The Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystems (SSIM) laboratories are located in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University and occupy more than 12,000 square feet of core facilities and laboratories, including a major new micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) and microelectronics clean room developed jointly with Delphi Corp. The program has more than 20 full-time staff scientists, engineers and research technicians available to assist in the operation and maintenance of the equipment. The SSIM Program is a central facility in the area of research and development for MEMS, microsystems, microsensors and nano/micro integration technology.

Director: Greg Auner,, 313-577-3904

Systems and Computational Biology

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The mission of the Systems and Computational Biology Core is two-fold: to provide a technology resource and support service in systems and computational biology for KCI members, and to serve as an integrative driver for collaborative research in systems-based oncology across all five Programs. In particular, Core activities enable the application ofmolecular profiling and network modeling approaches to clinical studies ranging from the molecular to the population level.

Director: Craig Giroux,, 313-576-8927

Translational Research

The Translational Research Core services comprise the development of biochemical, molecular, or cellular assays that are tailored and validated according to the  specific and customizedtranslational research question associated with the clinical trial and the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs), including instructions for research nurses and collection logistics. 

Director: Angelika Burger,, 313-576-8302

University Pathology Research Service

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The University Pathology Research Service Core provides services for tissue based ancillary studies and technologies that encompass both the technical and the interpretational/collaborative offerings of a modern academic pathology department.

Director: Wael Sakr,, 313-576-9232

Wildman 1Cyte Service Center

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This core centrifuges blood and prepares it for subsequent tests.

Director: Derek Wildman,