Research Facilities

OutsideCRF250x180The Islet Biology/Metabolism/Nutrition research group is located in the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Division of the Department of Medicine in the Colchester Research Facility (CRF), a five-minute drive from the main UVM campus.

The consortium consists of Drs. Leahy, Kien, Gupta, and Jetton. The investigators’ main laboratory areas are adjacent to each other with ~2,400 sq. ft. total of general lab space. Dr. Kien’s laboratory is across the hall from the main Endocrine laboratory.

Our general lab space is equipped with numerous thermocyclers, gel electrophoresis rigs, an ABI qPCR machine, UV and visible light spectrophotometers, a NanoDrop, and several Macintosh and PC networked computers. Adjoining the main laboratory area are

  • a state-of-the-art tissue culture facility with separate, dedicated rodent and human tissue rooms and hoods
  • an advanced microscope/imaging facility with microtomy equipment, a digital microslide scanner, inverted and upright fluorescence photomicroscopes, several stereoscopes, a state-of-the-art imaging/morphometry workstation, and several Macintosh G5 imaging workstations
  • a nearby cold room, fully equipped darkroom, and an autoclave room
  • specialized rooms dedicated to radioisotope usage, pancreatic islet isolation, UV light box and gel documentation workstation, a microplate reader, low and medium speed centrifuges, and ultra-low freezers

In the second floor of the CRF building is a modern animal care facility for the general housing and breeding of rodents. Across the hall from the main lab, our group shares a state-of-the-art ~400 sq. ft. animal procedure room with four surgery bays equipped with Snorkel vents, an anesthesia machine, Olympus microsurgery scopes with fiber-optic lighting, specialized procedure benches, and recovery stations. Adjoining this room is a 144 sq. ft. specialized procedure room, institutionally approved, for long-term experiments such as chronic rodent infusion, metabolic, feeding, and drug studies.

Major Equipment

Our research consortium has specialized instruments including

  • an ABI 7300 quantitative PCR workstation
  • a Leica embedding workstation for routine light microscopic preparation
  • an Hitachi visible light and UV spectrophotometer workstation
  • several Olympus stereoscopes with darkfield/transmitted, and reflected light capabilities for pancreatic islet isolation and purification
  • an imaging workstation consisting of a Zeiss Universal and a research-grade Zeiss inverted photomicroscopes for widefield epifluorescence and phase contrast analysis equipped with a Spot RT digital color CCD camera
  • a “floating” Nikon-TiE multi-channel fluorescence imaging/morphometry workstation for both live cell and fixed tissue quantitative analyses. This workstation is equipped with a Retiga-SRV ultra-sensitive CCD, Ludl motorized stage controllers driven by Nikon Elements software, and an array of Plan Apo objectives with appropriate filter sets for UV to far-red excitation/emission
  • G5 Macintosh imaging workstations running the latest image analysis software
  • Dr. Kien’s laboratory houses a metabolic cart (indirect calorimeter) configured for both continuous flow-through (canopy) studies and exercise studies (mouthpiece) Vmax 29, (Sensor Medics Corp), an Agilent 6890N Network Gas Chromatography System with autoinjector module, autosampler tray, and ChemStation software, and a Savant Speed Vac refrigerated concentrator.