RISE is a self-supporting operation that depends heavily on donations of instruments from industry, contributions from individuals and grants from foundations. Modern science in areas such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and physics—all of which we cover in RISE—require sophisticated laboratory equipment that must be carefully calibrated, maintained, supplied and serviced. Students gain valuable experience working with our instruments. They learn not only how to use them safely and effectively but also how they can be used to advance their particular research projects. Examples of our current instruments and special facilities include:
Waters, Micromass LCT, LC/MS
This instrument has an Agilent 1100 HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatograph) with a diode array UV detector, connected to a Waters Micromass LCT TOF MS (time of flight mass spectrometer). It allows one to separate components of a mixture by the HPLC, then identify the components by the UV and MS detectors. This instrument is used to characterize newly synthesized organic compounds and quantitatively determine the amount and identity of compounds in biological samples.
Waters, Micromass QTOF LC/MS
This instrument has a Waters 2695 HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatograph) with a variable wavelength UV detector, connected to a Waters Micromass QTOF MS-MS. This is a tandem mass spectrometer (MS) consisting of a TOF (time of flight) MS as the first sector and a quadrapole MS as the second sector MS. Greater structural information can be obtained from a tandem MS than from a single sector MS. This instrument allows one to separate components of a mixture by the HPLC, and then identify the components by the UV and MS detectors. It is used to characterize newly synthesized organic compounds and quantitatively determine the amount and identity of compounds in biological samples.
Waters Autoprep, preparative LC/MS system
This instrument consists of a Watersfour pump 2525 HPLC (with a maximum flow rate of 200 mL/min), a dual channel UV detector, a Micromass ZQ mass spectrometer and a Waters 2767 sample manager. It is used to rapidly and automatically separate mixtures on a preparative scale by following both the UV and mass spectra of the components. Only fractions with the correct mass spectra will be collected in separate tubes. All other fractions will be directed to waste. Repeated injections of crude sample are made automatically.
Agilent 1100 HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatograph)
This instrument is an HPLC with an auto-sampler and diode array UV detector. It is used to quantitatively determine the components of a mixture. It also has an external injector so the instrument can be used for preparative separations.
Agilent 1100 HPLC (tandem diode array/UV and refractive index detectors)
This instrument can quantitate residual sugars (e.g. glucose) present in microbial culture medium during a microbial growth experiment. It can also quantitate the products of microbial growth including ethanol and organic acids which may be products of interest or indicative of the state of the culture at particular time points of the growth cycle.
Zeiss Axiovert 200M Microscope
This inverted microscope has motorized functions for focusing and other purposes and an attached camera. It also has two light sources which allow for a wide range of applications.
Students working on producing renewable fuels/chemicals and antibiotics using microbes have access to two incubator/shaker units (with refrigeration) for shake-flask culture growth, an autoclave for medium and supply sterilization, a -80°C freezer for stock culture storage, a HEPA air filtered laminar flow hood for culture manipulation and additional incubator and bench-top equipment.
Tissue culture laboratory
To support our oncology drug discovery efforts, we have a fully equipped human tissue culture laboratory. The room utilizes a HEPA air filtration system to assure a contaminant free environment. There are several dedicated instruments in the lab, including a carbon dioxide incubator for growing human cell cultures, a variable temperature centrifuge for separating cells from cultures. The requested grant from the Merck Research Laboratories Grant Program will be used to partially cover our ongoing expenses for supplies, maintenance, repairs and training for these and our other instruments. During the current fiscal year our total expenses of this kind are projected at $20,000-$25,000.
Bruker 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer
NMR is a technique used to determine the structure of organic compounds. Drew’s NMR spectrometer has a superconducting magnet and two quad-nuclear sample probes capable of detecting NMR signals from proton, carbon, fluorine, phosphorous and nitrogen nuclei. It also has a variable temperature unit which can adjust the sample temperature to study dynamic molecular processes such as conformational change and reaction kinetics.