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 facilityEquipmentFunction
Level II Cell Culture LabFour biological safety cabinetsCulture of Level II cell lines or tissues
 Four laminar flow hoodsCulture of plant or rodent cells and tissues
 Four CO2 incubatorsCulture of animal cells
 Three inverted microscopesRoutine viewing of cell-culture flasks, dishes or plates under visible light
 Three epifluorescence microscopesViewing fluorescently labelled cells
 Epifluorescence imaging systemCapturing images of cells labelled with fluorescent probes
Molecular Biology LabsMultilabel (Envision) plate readerPlate-based assays involving fluorescence, UV or visible absorbance
 Bioanalyzer instrument (Agilent)Nucleic acid or protein quantification and quality assessment
 Real-time PCR (ABI 3130) instrumentQuantitative PCR in microtubes or 96-well plates
 Flow Cytometer (Guava)Analysis and quantification of fluorescently-labeled cell populations
 Microarray scannerComparative gene-expression analysis
 FPLC (GE AKTA)Liquid chromatography system for protein purification
 Beckman DU800 spectrophotometerKinetic or static measurement of biological samples by UV or visible absorbance
 Nanodrop spectrophotometerMeasurement of 1 uL to 2 uL of biological samples by UV or visible absorbance
Plant and Food Material PreparationPlant growth roomControlled light and temperature for propagation of seedlings
 Greenhouse (appx 150 sf)Cultivation of plants
 Supercritical CO2 fluids extractorPreparation of biologically active cellular fractions from plant (or other) tissues
 Large-volume speed vacuum systemConcentration 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