Since 2008 over £3 million has been spent on the School's research infrastructure at the heart of which are three state-of-the-art and centrally managed research facilities. Each of these facilities, which are supported by an experienced manager and technical staff, provide an important resource for all research staff and students, with training provided by the managers.
The School has a programme of continued development and upgrading of these and other research facilities in order to maintain a "state-of-the-art‟ research infrastructure.
The Biomolecular Science facility provides a range of separation technologies (including FPLC, HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, GC-MS), spectroscopy (CD, UVvisible and fluorescence) and mass spectrometry (ESI and MALDI-ToF/ToF including new instrumentation in 2013). Other in-house services available include peptide synthesis, protein identification and characterisation, and glycan analysis.
Facility manager: Kevin Howland (K.Howland@kent.ac.uk) .
The Protein NMR facility houses a 600MHz NMR spectrometer that includes a 4th channel deuterium decoupler and NMR probe for the detection of 1H, 13C, Co2+ and 15N. An upgrade in 2011 included a new console and cryoprobe. Computation for NMR data processing and analysis is supported via ten UNIX workstations and the facility supports and tests packages for the BBSRC-funded Cambridge University Collaborative Computing Project for NMR.
Facility manager: Dr. Jose Ortega-Roldan (J.L.Ortega-Roldan@kent.ac.uk).
Cell Image Analysis
The Cell Image Analysis facility has confocal microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. This facility also supports two state-of-the-art fluorescent microscopes and a Video Microscopy Suite for fully automated live cell imaging. The facility carries out analysis of microbial and mammalian cells as well as biomaterials and biofilms.
Facility manager: Ian Brown (I.R.Brown@kent.ac.uk).
In addition, the School benefits from a number of specialised facilities, that are hosted and managed by specific research laboratories.
ambr®250 bioreactor system
An advanced bioreactor facility for automated, industry-aligned production of high-value proteins
As part of the 17Alert call from the BBSRC, the University of Kent (Prof C. Robinson, Prof M. Smales, Prof M. Warren), in collaboration with the University of Essex (Prof M. Hough, Dr B. Reeder) and Imperial College London (Prof A. Dell, Dr S. Haslam) have been granted funds for an ambr®250 bioreactor system. The ambr®250 is a bioreactor system for parallel fermentation or cell culture using 100-250mL single-use bioreactors controlled by an automated liquid handling platform. The system can be used for either fed-batch bacterial growth or fed-batch mammalian cell culture.
The equipment will be housed in the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent and will be available to external users. Applications for access will be invited once the ambr®250 is in place (likely by summer 2018).
Enquiries should be directed to Dr Tanya Knight (facility manager):
Fast Reaction Kinetics
Includes stopped-flow, quenched-flow, flash-photolysis and pressure-jump systems. Every two years this laboratory hosts a highly successful EMBO Practical Course “Application of Transient Kinetics Methods to Biological Macromolecules”. This facility is hosted in the research laboratory of Professor Mike Geeves (M.A.Geeves@kent.ac.uk).
This facility allows for anaerobic extraction and spectrophotometric analysis of metabolites and proteins and includes a specialised crystallisation unit. It is hosted in the research laboratory of Professor Martin Warren (M.J.Warren@kent.ac.uk).
Class 3 Containment
This facility is available for the manipulation of pathogenic organisms. It is hosted by Dr. Tasos Tsaousis (A.Tsaousis@kent.ac.uk) and Dr. Jeremy Rossman (J.S.Rossman@kent.ac.uk).
The School maintains several constant temperature rooms and has facilities for the handling of radioactive sources. For further information contact Sarah Reed (S.E.Reed@kent.ac.uk).
Our facilities are also made available to external users from academia and industry on a short-term contract basis, longer-term collaborative grants, one-off sample analysis, provision of custom biological reagents or on-site training in key techniques. Research facility managers are happy to discuss the specific services they are able to provide external users. Should you want to make use of these, please contact the relevant Facility Manager directly.