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New instruments for collaborative research in cellular biophysics and molecular biology

Dr. Armin Kargol (Physics) and Dr. Kimberlee Mix (Biological Sciences) have received a $112k grant from the LA Board of Regents Support Fund Enhancement Program for the acquisition of two instruments, the Port-a-Patch (a compact patch clamp system to study electrical properties of cells) and the Nucleofector (a computerized device for cell transfections). These instruments represent the newest trends in biology and biophysics research instrumentation and will enhance the research capability of Kargol and Mix's labs. In addition, they will create a “research pipeline,” that will enable students to modify ion channel receptors and nuclear factors by site directed mutagenesis, transfect the altered genes into relevant cells, and study the functional impact of these changes at the level of electrophysiology and gene expression. Both instruments will be used in collaborative research and in courses taught by Dr. Kargol and Dr. Mix.