Facilities of Physiology and Biophysics Department

In addition to the wide range of instrumentation and technical centers available on campus, the Department of Physiology and Biophysics is well equipped with major research instrumentation for physiological, metabolic, and biochemical studies. The department houses a Molecular Biology Core which has scintillation counters, ultracentrifuges, amino acid analyzers, protein sequencers, and a wide variety of chromatographic, electrophoretic, and spectrophotometric equipment. Also available are a peptide synthesizer, and a laboratory for chemical synthesis of low-molecular-weight compounds. NMR instrumentation is available through collaboration with other departments. Tissue culture services, including monoclonal antibody production, are also available. Specialized equipment used in studies of membrane physiology and biophysics (e.g., membrane electrophysiology and patch-clamp studies on ion channels) are in routine use in several faculty laboratories. The department also houses an imaging center containing two confocal microscopes with image acquisition and processing systems.     

Molecular Biology Core
The molecular biology core was established to provide students and faculty ready access to DNA/RNA recombinant technology. Departmental facilities include a 37-degree environmental room, a DNA synthesizer, and an automatic DNA sequencer, large orbital shakers, an array of incubators, DNA sequencing gel set ups (IBI), electrophoretic apparatus and power supplies, an IBI gel reader and a software package which permits the reading of DNA sequencing gels, a selection of restriction enzymes, and a number of cDNA expression libraries. 

Molecular Modeling
Computational molecular modeling and visualization are valuable tools for the study of signal transduction systems and protein structure/function. Some current applications of faculty affiliated with our Biophysics Program include examining the physical factors involved in protein/membrane, protein/protein, protein/DNA interactions, studying the specificity of ligand and substrate binding to enzymes, and building models of proteins using domain structures from homologous proteins. Several departmental members have access to the University’s Supercomputing Center.

Computing Facilities
Access to the campus-wide wireless network is available.. All computers are connected via Ethernet to a local area network.