Integrated Molecular Biology Laboratory

British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, British Columbia
What the facility does

Conducts applied research in the areas of cancer vaccines, biomarker discovery and immune-based inflammatory processes in tumour development

Areas of expertise

The Integrated Molecular Biology Laboratory (IMBL) enables research faculty to conduct applied research in the areas of cancer vaccines, biomarker discovery and immune-based inflammatory processes in tumour development. Researchers are also investigating chemical and enzymatic processes to generate biofuels from biological and waste materials.

Researchers at IMBL have diverse expertise in the areas of cancer biology, immunology, molecular biology, protein and lipid biochemistry, plant cell biology. Biotechnology applications include cell line engineering for controlled gene expression and protein production, cell-based assay development (with a focus on inflammatory processes) and biofuel production.

Research services
  • Molecular biology: gene-expression analysis (RT-PCR), protein purification and analyses
  • Cell biology: animal cell culture, cell line engineering (CHO, HEK-293), tumour biology using cell-based assays that assess morphology, migration and invasion of cells
  • Plant biotechnology: cultivation of plant cells, embryos, seedlings and cultivars; histology
  • Biofuels: algae propagation, biofuel production from waste materials using chemical and enzymatic processes
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized facility



Level II Cell Culture Lab

Four biological safety cabinets

Culture of Level II cell lines or tissues


Four laminar flow hoods

Culture of plant or rodent cells and tissues


Four CO2 incubators

Culture of animal cells


Three inverted microscopes

Routine viewing of cell-culture flasks, dishes or plates under visible light


Three epifluorescence microscopes

Viewing fluorescently labelled cells


Epifluorescence imaging system

Capturing images of cells labelled with fluorescent probes

Molecular Biology Labs

Multilabel (Envision) plate reader

Plate-based assays involving fluorescence, UV or visible absorbance


Bioanalyzer instrument (Agilent)

Nucleic acid or protein quantification and quality assessment


Real-time PCR (ABI 3130) instrument

Quantitative PCR in microtubes or 96-well plates


Flow Cytometer (Guava)

Analysis and quantification of fluorescently-labeled cell populations


Microarray scanner

Comparative gene-expression analysis



Liquid chromatography system for protein purification


Beckman DU800 spectrophotometer

Kinetic or static measurement of biological samples by UV or visible absorbance


Nanodrop spectrophotometer

Measurement of 1 uL to 2 uL of biological samples by UV or visible absorbance

Plant and Food Material Preparation

Plant growth room

Controlled light and temperature for propagation of seedlings


Greenhouse (appx 150 sf)

Cultivation of plants


Supercritical CO2 fluids extractor

Preparation of biologically active cellular fractions from plant (or other) tissues


Large-volume speed vacuum system

Concentration and drying of biological samples (0.5 mL-50 mL volumes)

  • Proteomics Core Facility, Centre for High-Throughput Biology, The University of British Columbia
  • iPROGEN Biotech Inc.
  • Novation Pharmaceuticals
  • Lignol Energy