Cells, Tissues, and Organoids Center

The Cells, Tissues, and Organoids team provides technical and collaborative services to Stowers researchers whose research involves the development and culture of cell lines and tissues for biological investigation.

Research Services 

The Cells, Tissues, and Organoids team at Stowers comprises a group of experienced cell culture specialists who are dedicated to supporting the research staff in their tissue culture needs. The team provides mycoplasma testing, cell banking, small and large-scale cell expansion, transfection services, lentivirus production and transduction, CRISPR mutant cell line establishment, 3D organoids, and primary cell line derivation. Personal cell lines can be deposited in the Cells, Tissues, and Organoids Center library with the proper testing and IBC approval as needed. The Cells, Tissues, and Organoids team also provides training in various techniques for Stowers researchers.


Routine services

  • Small scale of mammalian cell line culture and cell banking (plates and T vessels)
  • Large scale of mammalian cell expansion (spinner vessels and roller bottles)
  • Small scale of insect cell line culture and cell banking (plates, T vessels and small shakers)
  • Large scale of insect cell expansion (large shakers and spinner vessels)
  • Fish cell culture and cell banking (plates and T vessels)
  • Mouse ES cell culture and cell banking
  • Human iPS cell culture and cell banking
  • Establishment of stable cell line by plasmids transfection
  • Mycoplasma testing, RADIL testing, STR profiling and karyotyping

Special projects

  • Mouse intestinal organoids derivation from mouse intestinal tissue
  • Human cerebral organoids (mini-brain) derivation from human iPSCs
  • Primary cell line derivation
  • Mouse ES and human iPSC mutant cell line establishment by gene editing such as CRISPR, homologous recombination etc.
  • Lentivirus production and transduction for stable cell line establishment
  • Lentivirus production and transduction for customized genome study
  • CRISRPi and CRISPRa genome screening
  • Other customized projects on tissue culture

Equipment utilized

  • Level II Biological safety cabinet (17)
  • Beckman Coulter Vi-Cell XR
  • Sanyo MCO-20A/C incubators (20)
  • Bellco Roller Bottle incubators (3)
  • Leica DMIL microscopes (2)
  • Lecia DMIL LED microscope
  • Eppendorf Multiporator
  • Beckman Allegra 6R centrifuge
  • Beckman Allegra X-15R centrifuge
  • Labnet Multigene thermocycler
  • Innova 2100 and 2300 shaking platforms (8)
  • Bellco Magnetic Stirrers (16)
  • Powers Scientific refrigerated incubator
  • Precision refrigerated incubators (2)
  • Incucyte
  • Echo
Team Contact 
Chongbei Zhao, PhD
Head, Cells, Tissues, and Organoids Center and Media Preparation

Chongbei Zhao, originally from Henan Province, China, graduated from Zhengzhou University with an MD. She earned her PhD in Veterinary Pathobiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia and followed that with a two-year Science Manager Certification from the University of Kansas. Zhao joined the Stowers Institute in 2012 as a Researcher Coordinator. In 2019, she became Head of Tissue Culture and the next year was named Head of Tissue Culture now the Cells, Tissues, and Organoids Center and Media Prep. With fifteen years’ experience in cell culture, including 3D organoid culture, primary cell culture, virus work, and gene editing, Zhao collaborates with Stowers researchers to develop new projects and technologies in the cell culture field.

Featured Publications 
Tao F, Gao X, Chen S, Hu D, Zhao C, Zhao M, Qian P, Li Z, Venkatraman A, Parmely T, Zhang D, He X,  Zeitlinger J, McMahon A.P and Li L. Stem Cell Reports, 2020  http://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.07.018.
Adams MK, Banks CAS, Thornton JL, Kempf C, Zhang Y, Miah S, Hao Y, Sardiu ME, Killer M, Hattem G, Murray A, Katt M, Florens LA, Washburn MP. Mol Cell Proteomics. Published ahead of print May 30 2020.
Banks CAS, Thornton, JL, Eubanks, CG, Adams, MK, Miah S, Boanca G, Liu X, Katt ML, Parmely TJ, Florens L, Washburn MP. Mol Cell Proteomics.  July 1, 2018, First published on March 29, 2018, 17 (7) 1432-1447.
Li Z, Qian P, Shao W, Shi H, He XC, Gogol M, Yu Z, Wang Y, Qi M, Zhu Y, Perry JM, Zhang K, Tao F, Zhou K, Hu D, Han Y, Zhao C, Alexander R, Xu H, Chen S, Li L. Cell Research. 2018. 28(9), 904–917. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-018-0072-0.
Qian P, De Kumar B, He XC, Nolte C, Gogol M, Ahn Y, Chen S, Li Z, Xu H, Perry JM, Hu D, Tao F, Zhao M, Han Y, Hall K, Peak A, Paulson A, Zhao C, Venkatraman A, Box A, Li L. Cell Stem Cell. 2018. 22(5), 740–754.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2018.04.012
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