Two teaching assistants pose with a new piece of lab equipment.

Major New Instruments Installed in the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Categories: Giving, Staff, Students

Donated by Professor Brad Pentelute through the generosity of the Alumni Class Funds, the instruments are now up and running for users of the UGTL.

The Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory (UGTL) has recently acquired new, hands-on instruments that will be dedicated chiefly for use by chemistry majors and double majors in modules 5.361, 5.362, 5.383 and course 5.301. The goal of these installations was to supplement students’ lab learning by adding efficient new technologies: an easily maintained desktop temperature controlled shaker incubator; Waters e2695 HPLC with 2998 PDA Detector; Five-Mini Protein Vertical Electrophoresis systems; and a DS-11 FX+ DeNovix Microvolume/Cuvette Spectrometer and Fluorimeter.

Recently, Modules 4, 5, and 12 have attracted students majoring in chemistry and double majoring through the flex program in a variety of diverse fields including Mathematics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Material Science Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Science, Biophysics, Climate Science, Computational Chemistry, Environmental, Physics, Neuroscience and Science Policy. Each semester these students steadily do experiments in the Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Laboratory. They discuss and study across all fields. Evidence of their discussions is left written on white boards in the lab on any given day. These bench top instruments will further inspire them to think innovatively and will fortify their theoretical understanding. The new bench-top shaker temperature controlled incubator is a beautiful instrument. The spectrometer is compact, weighing in at 50lbs. The Benchmark Incu-ShakerTM ​ 10LR is currently being utilized in Modules 4 & 5 to incubate starter cultures of Abl kinase GFP fusion and subsequent mutations for protein expression. It will also be used to grow colonies of constructs that have been transformed into competent cells on Kanamycin resistant LB-Agar plates. The accurate and broader temperature control of the incubator will allow us to reach lower temperatures which will be optimal for expression of these proteins.

The portable DeNovix Microdrop/Cuvette spectrometer and Fluorimeter system can be moved around and set up in minutes in the Undergraduate Laboratory where it is needed for the students to run their DNA samples from an experiment. The DeNovix DS-11 FX+ Spectrophotometer/Fluorometer is currently being used to accurately quantify DNA concentration of plasmids and cell concentrations from cell cultures which will allow smooth progression through experimental procedures.

HPLC plays a big role in Chemistry Education and Research. In Module 12, 5.383, Fast Flow Peptide and Protein Synthesis crude peptides are treated to fold into a 3D topology, purified and collected with the Waters e2695 High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

The UGTL is very excited to have all this new beautiful equipment in place for the Fall 2020 semester, and is grateful to Professor Brad Pentelute for his effort in putting this winning grant together and assisting in the installation of this most needed equipment. Special thanks to the Alumni Class Funds for their continued generosity to the Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Laboratory, Biogen in Cambridge for giving us the five Electrophoresis systems, DeNovix and Chem Glass for their most competitive discounts, and Waters Corporation for their generosity in discounting the HPLC and providing a weeklong training session to our graduate students and lab staff. Further, the lab is grateful to the Department of Chemistry for providing matching funds for this grant which allowed us to finalize these purchases.