Facilities & Equipment in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

To best prepare our students, our faculty use state of the art scientific instrumentation in their teaching and research.  At Otterbein, our students are trained and have access to all this instrumentation.   Our program is located in the 104,939 square foot Science Center which opened in 2009.  Each faculty member in BMB has individualized research space where students work collaboratively with their professors and learn the concepts and skills needed to become scientists.  Both teaching and research labs are equipped with the essentials like centrifuges, microscopes, pipettors, gel boxes, balances, incubators, dissection equipment, just to name a few!  We also have more specialized equipment in shared spaces and in the research labs, including:

  • LI-COR Odyssey Fc for image capture and quantification of gels and blots.
  • Life Technologies Step One Real Time PCR machine to examine gene expression patterns.
  • Olympus BX-40 Phase-Fluorescence Microscope with digital image capture software used in recent publications of faculty-student research.
  • Thermo Scientific NanoDrop OneMicrovolume Spectrophotometer for quantification of DNA and proteins.
  • Nicoya Lifesciences OpenSPR-2 Surface Plasmon Resonance Instrument for measurement of molecular interactions.

Science Center

Otterbein’s state-of-the-art Science Center opened in October 2009. Within the Science Center there are also more than 96,000 square feet of discipline-specific laboratories, research space and classrooms including a machine shop, electrical/electronic lab and a freshmen engineering lab.

BMB Facilities

Tissue Culture

The BMB program is home to two fully outfitted tissue culture rooms complete with CO2 incubators, laminar flow hoods and inverted microscopes. These facilities are used in several classes including Immunology, Molecular Genetics, and Advanced Biochemistry Lab. Student research in these facilities has resulted in over 80 student presentations at national conferences.

X-Ray Diffraction

The chemistry department has facilities for structure determination including X-Ray diffraction and thermal analysis for materials characterization.  Our instrumentation includes:

  • Bruker APEXII Single-Crystal X-ray Diffractometer
  • Rigaku MiniFlex II Powder X-ray Diffractometer
  • TA Instruments DSC 2010 Differential Scanning Calorimeter

Students encounter these instruments in courses on X-ray diffraction, physical chemistry, and advanced biochemistry as well as in research.

Microbiology Laboratory

Many BMB students either take a course in microbiology or work on microbiology research projects. Otterbein maintains several standard incubators and shaking incubators, two industrial autoclaves and a benchtop autoclave, and dozens of light microscopes in addition to our Olympus BX-40 phase-fluorescence microscope with digital image capture. Media preparation and stockroom areas are staffed for course and research support. This equipment supports research and laboratory courses in areas such as bioinformatics, general microbiology, environmental microbiology and microbial genetics.

Mass Spectrometry

The chemistry department hosts several instruments including our liquid chromatography mass spectrometry system (a Thermo Fisher HPLC LCQ Fleet Ion Trap MS) which is used in peptide and protein identification and characterization. In addition the program is home to several other instruments used in protein and small molecule identification and characterization:

  • Fisons Instruments GC8000/MD800 Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer
  • Thermo Finnigan Gradient HPLC with Diode Array Detector
  • GE Pharmacia AKTA Prime Protein Chromatography Workstation

As with all of our instrumentation, our students are trained on the use of the instrument and use these instruments in research.

Cell Imaging

Students use our Olympus BX-40 phase fluorescence microscope in undergraduate research in both the Bennett and Tansey laboratories. This instrument is also used in Advanced Biochemistry laboratory.