The Synthetic Organic Chemistry Core (SOCC) at UTMB was established in 1998 to study and develop new methods and protocols for the synthesis of modified nucleosides representing known DNA damage, and for conversion of these nucleosides into phosphoramidites that can be conveniently and site-specifically incorporated into synthetic DNA sequences. The SOCC also develops methods for incorporating lesion sites into oligonucleotides via post-synthesis methods and protocols for purifying and analyzing these defined products. The synthetic organic services provided have also been adapted and expanded over the past 18 years to accommodate the growing need for synthesis and purification of other small molecules and bioconjugates that are of interest to biomedical and environmental health researchers at UTMB and elsewhere. This area of synthesis continues to grow rapidly with expansion of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core's Exposure Assessment and Biomarker Development Facility and its focus on assay development for monitoring exposure and disease.
The SOCC fulfills two main purposes:
To provide a cost-effective, on-campus chemical synthesis facility with expertise in the synthesis of defined chemical DNA lesions either unavailable elsewhere or prohibitively expensive commercially, as well as other unavailable organic molecules, bioconjugates and biomarkers for biological, medical and environmental health research.
To reduce costs for this service by sharing these resources and their maintenance campus-wide among several research groups who use the facility. Maintenance of the SOCC's equipment is taken care of daily by trained and qualified personnel at minimal costs to researchers through charge-back fees for services.
The SOCC program for achieving these goals utilizes known literature methods and develops new methods and protocols when necessary. The SOCC specifically has expertise in the synthesis of modified nucleosides representing known site-specific DNA damage and also development of methods and protocols for purifying and analyzing these defined products.