Expands Research Capabilities
by Lianne Carr
the Governors Venture Technology funds became available earlier
this year, Dr. James Zachary, then-interim head of the Department of
Veterinary Pathobiology, envisioned using the money to elevate the departments
The result is the new Molecular Pathobiology Core Research Facility.
Housed in this one room are many important pieces of equipment the department
purchased to increase its research infrastructure.
Laura Salto, a graduate
student working with Dr. Roberto Docampo, uses an HPLC workstation
to analyze the structure of carbohydrates in the acido-calcisome,
a structure found in the parasite that causes Chagas disease.
What we tried
to do with this facility is provide cutting-edge technology and equipment
that allows faculty to both enhance their existing research programs
as well as explore new ones, says Dr. Mark Kuhlenschmidt, professor
and assistant department head.
Among the new items are:
A laser capture microdissection scopethe only one in the
whole university. This scope uses a laser to cut individual cells out
of a sample; the cells can then undergo further molecular DNA analysis.
A real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine that can
determine the amount of a particular gene present in a given sample.
A microarray reader that uses a gene chip to perform advanced
gene expression analyses.
A carbohydrate workstation using HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography)
to give fine structure analyses, determination of sugar composition,
and sequence and linkage of a cells surface carbohydrates.
After adding these new tools to the existing facilities, the department
can now provide researchers access to virtually any piece of equipment
needed for their research. Across the hall from the core facility, an
imaging laboratory contains agarose gel electrophoresis for DNA and
RNA analysis. The nearby Satellite Biotechnology Center houses a flow
We have some of the best facilities on campus, and this is just
another example of that, comments Dr. Kuhlenschmidt.