About Immunohistochemistry

The mandate of the Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Pathology Core is to facilitate immunohistochemical and molecular genetic analyses of tumor materials by:

  • Performing routine immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses of normal and tumor sections.
  • Performing IHC analysis of normal and tumor tissue arrays.
  • Develop and share protocols for IHC and molecular analysis.
  • Perform section-based FISH analyses for genomic copy number.
  • Collaborate with members in microdissection and extraction of DNA and RNA from tumor sections.
  • Perform genomic mapping onto metaphase chromosomes of human and mouse DNA clones.



Routine Immunohistochemistry Staining
Standard protocols have been developed for a number of antibodies (see list). Sections of paraffin-embedded tissue to be stained should be brought to the Core laboratory, 2340 Sutter Street, Room S-241, between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday-Friday. The tissue must be accompanied by a completed work order form. If tissue sections are not available, the paraffin block may be brought to the Core laboratory for sectioning. Services are ordered online through the MyCORES website. 

Protocol Development for Novel Antibodies
The laboratory assists in the development of protocols for novel antibodies. Investigators should meet with Core Manager (415.476.8825) and/or Director Dr. Rick Baehner (415.885.7301) to discuss this service. The investigator should be prepared to provide the antibody, references of its use in immunohistochemistry, positive and negative controls, information from Western analyses, and sections of the tissues to be stained.

Molecular Pathology

Preparation of Metaphase Spreads for Cytogenetic Analysis
The laboratory can culture and prepare metaphase spreads if cultured cells are provided. Although the laboratory will accept slides, preferably the lab will prepare the metaphase spreads and the user need only supply the growing cell line. Cell cultures should be delivered to the lab within 24 hours after passage. Bring cell cultures to the lab no later than 12 noon Monday-Thursday.   Contact Director Dr. Rick Baehner (415.885.7301) for more information.


For a fee, training in IHC techniques is informal and hands-on, and takes place as time permits. Contact 415.476.6977 to schedule a session. Core personnel are also available to train researchers in molecular cytogenetic techniques, comprising both didactic sessions and hands-on laboratory experience.

Additional Resources
A searchable database of core facilities at all UCSF campus locations, provided by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, is available here.

This unit is supported by a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (5P30CA082103). Any publications related to work done by this core should reference grant number 5P30CA082103 and must include a PMCID as required by the NIH. For complete instructions on how to acknowledge funding sources, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/acknow.htm. For more information on how to obtain a PMCID, please see http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process.htm.

For more information on the CCSG, please contact Kate Shumate at kate.shumate@ucsf.edu.