At the Centre of the MWC is a range of advanced technologies to enhance its ability to work in high throughput mode, or at levels of detection of biological samples, only dreamt of a few short years ago. Some of this equipment is listed below with a short explanation about it's application. One important role of the Centre is to offer new technologies to other groups throughout the country, so if you are interested in learning or using any of the facilities below, please contact the name listed.
FacilitiesThe Centre has laboratory areas distributed across the University of Auckland campus. Profs. Baker, Cooper and Dunbar are located in the School of Biological Sciences while Prof. Brimble's laboratories are located in the Department of Chemistry. Prof. Hunter's laboratories are located in the Bioengineering Institute while Profs. Denny, Fraser and Shepherd are located in the School of Medicine campus in Grafton.
Q-STAR Mass Spectrometer
The Q-STAR XL Hybrid MS/MS system is designed for protein identification, characterization, and drug metabolism studies. The system generates superior quality MS and MS/MS data from both atmospheric pressure ionization (API) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) techniques. The QSTAR is coupled to a Capillary/Nano LC system equipped with a nanolitre volume autosampler. This coupling allows analysis of minute amounts of samples in LC/MS/MS experiments with zero sample loss. The QSTAR is operated as a service available to the New Zealand scientific community. Accessiing the QSTAR service is as simple as following the link.
System Gold® Complete HPLC systemThe analytical HPLC system has a temperature-controlled autosampler and sample fraction collector and can handle sample volumes ranging from several microliters to one milliliter. The computer control allows users to link up to10 methods together in a sequence. This machine is also located in the School of Biological Sciences Proteomics Facility and is available for use by researchers, subject to a small user charge.
Small Molecule Mass Spectrometer
An atmospheric pressure ionisation mass spectrometer has been purchased which is located in the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. This mass spectrometer is linked to an HPLC system which enables purification of combinatorial chemistry samples by HPLC using mass-guided fraction collection.For more information on this instrument contact Dr. Brian Palmer.
Robotic Crystallisation Facility
A robotic protein crystallisation facility contains two robotic workstations, one
which prepares the crystal screeen solutions and another which sets up
the protein drops. These robotic workstations enable researchers
to set up sitting drop protein crystallisation experiments in a 96 well
plate format in a fraction of the time that it takes to set the experiments
up manually. The robotic workstations also enable experiments to
be set up with smaller volumes of protein than is possible in manual experiments.
For more information on this facility contact either Dr. Shaun Lott or Mrs Heather Baker.
Mini-prep plasmid machine
A Mini-prep 24™ machine purifies plasmid DNA from bacterial cell suspensions. The cells are lysed and the plasmid DNA separated from the other soluble lysate
components by electrophoresis. These processes are carried out within
a disposable cassette which allows lysate from 24 different bacterial cultures
to be processed at once. The resultant DNA is reported to be pure enough
Multichannel ultrasonicator for small scale lysis of bacterial protein expression cultures, for example when screening for protein solubility. In addition to the standard large and small probes, this ultrasonicator has an optional 8 prong probe which enables concurrent sonication of 8 sample wells in a 96 well plate format.
High pressure cell disrupter uses pressure to lyse cells and is an alternative to ultrasonication. This method of cell lysis is especially useful for processing large volume bacterial protein expression cultures. The cell disrupter can also be used for other cell types.
For more information on these instruments contact Ms.Caroline Miles.
Computing facilitiesThe graphics computing facilities available in the Structural Biology Group have been upgraded to include six Linux based graphics workstations and access to a cluster of 6 rack mounted servers and data backup facilities (This resource is shared with The Bioinformatics Institute).
This upgrade has significantly increased the computational power available to researchers and enables faster processing of data. For more information on this facility contact Dr. Shaun Lott.
X-ray Protein Data Collection Facility
The Structural Biology Group operates an X-ray data collection facility. The facility consists of a Rigaku RU-H3R rotating anode generator, 2 Mar345 image plate detectors with MSC Osmic optics and Oxford 600 series cryosystems. The facility is available for use by researchers outside the Structural Biology Group. For more information on this facility contact Dr. Chris Squire.
Small Animal Magnetic Resonance Imager
This 4.7 Tesla passively-shielded, 330mm horizontal bore instrument is a shared platform enabling research groups in neurobiology, bioengineering, cancer biology, cardiovascular biology, developmental biology, metabolism and nutrition access to MRI facilities thatare readily available to their competitors internationally, but cannot, at present, be accessed in New Zealand. The instrument will provide a direct and efficient method for characterizing the effects of target proteins on metabolic function in animal models of disease. It will also provide the data necessary to validate computer models of cell and organ metabolism