The laboratory is well equipped for modern, state-of-the-art biomedical research using newly purchased equipment, as described below.
Microscopy and Cell Culture
All standard equipment for preparing and monitoring primary and cell line cultures, including cell culture (CO2) incubator, biological safety cabinet with laminar airflow and HEPA filters, micro- and tabletop centrifuges and Olympus CX41 inverted light microscope. Nucleofection for both gain-of-function and loss-of-function genetic approaches is achieved with the Lonza 4D-Nucleofector module.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
All standard equipment for preparing, calibrating and incubating reagents for standard enzymology and protein and nucleic acid analysis applications, including microbalances, pH meters, fume hoods, water baths, rockers, shakers, heat blocks, vortexes, sonicator, homogenizer/disruptors, chemical storage cabinets, refrigerators and freezers (-20°C and -80°C) for storing reagents and biological samples.
Animal Physiology and Human Biomedical Sample Preparation
Dissecting tools, gradient-forming equipment for separations, etc.
Molecular Biology and Physical Biochemistry
A variety of specialized analytical apparatuses are available in the lab including Invitrogen SureLock chambers for mini- and midi-SDS-PAGE, and Bio-Rad Trans-Blot Turbo rapid western transfer system, Syngene PXi 6 Touch gel documentation system, Bio-Rad CFX Connect two-color Real-Time PCR Detection instrument, Bio-Rad C1000 Touch thermal cycler with Dual 48/48 Fast Reaction Module, and other cyclers for conventional PCR, and Molecular Devices SpectraMax M3 Multi-Mode (spectrophotometry, fluorescence and luminometry) Microplate Reader with dual monochromatic optics, and Fisher Scientific NanoDrop 2000 spectrophotometer, all controlled by laptop and/or integrated computers.
Luminex MAGPIX instrument for multiplex detection of signaling intermediates and chemokines, cytokines and growth and stress factors in all types of biological samples, such as human tissue and blood plasma.
Reagents used in the laboratory are of the highest grade commercially available. A wide variety of oligonucleotides for molecular biology (cloning and gene expression analysis) are designed in-house and obtained from Integrated DNA Technologies. Antibodies for immunofluorescence and/or immunohistochemical localization of novel disease biomarkers and other biomolecules are typically from suppliers with extensive application testing and validation, such as Sigma, Cell Signaling and, especially, Abcam.
Access to Other Specialized Expertise and Equipment
The Murali Laboratory includes high-tech column chromatography equipment for automated biochemical purifications; his team has expertise in high-resolution structural determination using X-ray crystallography, as well as accurate thermodynamic measurements by the Biomolecular Interaction Analysis (Biacore) instrument using microfluidics and surface plasmon resonance principles. Murali also relocated his Nikon Eclipse Ti inverted fluorescence microscope to the Pancreatic Research Laboratory in 2014.
Computation and Structural Modeling
Ravinder Abrol, PhD, has a high-performance workstation and a small high-performance cluster for structural modeling and drug discovery projects. The current specs of this small cluster include 6 NVidia GPUs, 64 AMD CPUs, and 16 Intel CPUs. The current capabilities of this cluster include structure prediction of G protein-coupled receptors, ligand docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and virtual ligand screening to identify novel lead candidates for drug discovery. The computing cluster will be expanded with the needs of the various on-going projects.