Shared Research Support Services

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Machine Shop

The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences maintains a centralized machine shop in next to Old Engineering Hall in the Van de Graaff Building, also known as the "Nuclear Physics Laboratory" - NPL. Tom’s office is in 105 NPL.

To discuss projects and request fabrication of materials, please contact Tom Gasmire (; 412-624-8412;

Electronics Shop

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Core Facilities for Department Members

Computing Lab

Located in 446 Crawford Hall, this computing lab is available to all faculty, staff, graduate students and select undergrads for use. This lab contains 3 PCs with Windows 7, an Apple iMac (OSX 10.8), and an Apple G5 (OS X 10.4). The lab also contains one color printer, one black and white printer and three scanners. For additional information, including software on these computers, please email Matt Trybus at


Coherent Laser

Drs. Stephen Meriney and German Barrionuevo in the Department of Neuroscience are using laser-based fluorescence imaging, with fast temporal gating (sub-millisecond), to examine synaptic events in dissected whole mounts (neuromuscular junctions), and slice preparations (rat hippocampus). Full field epi-fluorescent images are collected following very brief laser illumination of dye loaded cells that is timed to coincide with synaptic stimulation. This set-up consists of two separate microscopes that can alternate use of an Innova Spectrum 70C laser (wavelengths for excitation include 457, 476, 488, 514, 520, 568, 647, and 676 nm). An AOTF is used to gate the laser illumination to very brief times.


A 440 square foot laboratory serves as a common histology facility for the Department.  It contains equipment and supplies appropriate for in situ hybridization and immunocytochemisty.  The equipment includes a vibratome, slide racks and slide warmer, centrifuge, heat block and water baths, microwave oven, electrophoresis unit, refrigerator, freezer, and a UV transilluminator with digital camera.  A cryostat is also available for use but is housed in another laboratory. 



A 125 square foot darkroom houses equipment and supplies for the development of radiographic film, processing of radioactive in situ hybridization, and enlargement printing of archival film. The darkroom contains a Durst Laborator L1200 enlarger with opal and point source bulbs for light and electron microscopic film, as well as lenses and condenser sets suitable for printing 35 mm, 3¼ x 4, and 4 x 5 negatives. Proper light exposure is controlled by a Durst Compulux metering device, Uniblitz VS45 shutter, and variable power transformer. Prints are developed using a Mohr Pro8 dry-to-dry print processor that accommodates any standard printing chemicals and paper. The darkroom also has a sink with built-in water temperature controller, red and yellow safelights, print dryer, and a standard dipping tank for radiographic film development.

Electron Microscope

The Department has access to an electron microscopy suite that is shared with the Department of Biological Sciences.  It contains two transmission electron microscopes:  a traditional analog Zeiss 902 system with computerized coordinate relocation system, goniometer controls, and energy loss spectrometer and a digital FEI Morgagni multi-user system with computerized coordinate relocation, motorized specimen stage, Z-axis tilt, automated exposure sequence, and external monitor.  The Morgagni microscope is equipped with an XR-60 digital camera from Advanced Microscopy Techniques.  An ultramicrotome is also available for specimen preparation.  A new scanning electron microscope is currently being installed. 

Molecular Biology

The Departmental Molecular Biology Common Facility enables departmental labs to apply standard molecular protocols.  Equipment in the Molecular Biology Common Facility includes: 3 centrifuges (including a Supra-speed, refrigerated centrifuge); PCR thermal cycler; UV/visible scanning spectrophotometer; bacterial incubator; facilities for preparing, running, and documenting DNA gels.

Cell Culture

Located in 471 Crawford Hall, this cell culture facility is available to all faculty, postdocs, graduate students and select undergrads for use. This facility contains a biosafety cabinet, incubator, water bath, and inverted microscope. For additional information contact Dr. Steve Meriney at 412-624-8283 or