NEWS
The Facilities
The Lab

Benedum Hall

Little Lab has relocated to the newly renovated, landmark building, Benedum Hall. Benedum Hall is home to the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and the George M. Bevier Engineering Library. The 14-story building offers 419,000 square feet of laboratories, classrooms, offices, conference and seminar rooms, and an auditorium. Benedum Hall's $100 million renovation is one of the most ambitious transformations in Pitt's history, and has further advanced the Swanson School's rise among the nation's top engineering programs.

Benedum Boasts

A new 42,000 square foot, $16 million LEED designed structure for the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation connects Benedum's auditorium to the main towers.

Benedum Hall's renovations included several green upgrades. The building is now equipped with sensor lights that adjust indoor lighting to the level of incoming natural light, high efficiency, long lasting LED lights on the exterior that contain no mercury, specialized money saving mechanical controls on laboratory equipment, and TWO green roofs!

As engineering is a highly collaborative discipline, researchers in Benedum's new labs are mixed together to foster collaboration. This arrangement enables open communication among faculty and students and promotes a team-friendly environment.

Study areas have been built into the hallways to accommodate student's personal studying needs and offer groups a common meeting place.

Little Lab in Benedum

  • Little Lab accounts for nearly 2,500 square feet of Benedum Hall's renovated lab space.
  • The laboratories include multiple tissue culture rooms equipped with laminar flow hood and incubators.
  • The space, also, contains a dedicated microparticle fabrication and characterization room with freeze drying.
  • Release detection is enabled by state-of-the-art equipment including GPC, HPLC, and advanced spectrometers.

Additional Lab Space in BST3

BST3 at Night

Directly adjacent to the Starzl Institute for Transplantation Research, the Biomedical Science Tower 3 (BST3) is the University of Pittsburgh's newest, and premier biomedical research facility. The 10-story building is specifically designed to foster a culture of collaboration among experts in today's more highly specialized disciplines, who, because of the increasingly complicated nature of biomedical science, must work more closely together in order to advance scientific discovery. As such, the BST3 is a new kind of building for a new kind of science.

BST3's Bravado

  • One of only nine federally funded Regional Biocontainment Laboratories in the United States
  • The largest zebra fish colony in the world

  • One of the few university-based drug discovery programs capable of high throughput screening of up to 100,000 molecular compounds using 20 different approaches

  • A whole-body 7 tesla magnetic resonance imager, the strongest such imaging devices available anywhere in the world, for use in clinical research

Facts and Figures about the BST3

  1. The BST3 is a $205.5 million, 10-story, 331,000 gross-square-foot steel frame structure with an aluminum curtain wall and masonry-reinforced limestone exterior
  2. Each of its 10 floors and basement level has approximately 29,000 square-feet of laboratory space
  3. For stability, sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines weighing up to 5 tons each, are positioned on bedrock and floating cement slabs to compensate for vibration from traffic along 5th Ave.
  4. The basement’s ceiling is nearly 40 feet high to protect highly sensitive cryo-electron microscopes from even the slightest vibrations from the street above as well as to keep the magnetic field surrounding the NMR equipment well within safe distance from the first floor and street level.
  5. In recognition of the many ways that mice have helped uncover some of the complexities of human biology—the building’s floor treatments are modeled after the linear sequence of the mouse genome, making use of different colors to represent organizational bands of individual chromosomes. Each floor’s main corridor represents a different chromosome.
  6. When lit at night, the color scheme of the stairwell visible on Fifth Avenue renders itself as a DNA double helix.

The Center for Biologic Imaging

The Center for Biologic Imaging (CBI) is an internationally renowned center for the application of all aspects of microscopic imaging specifically for the study of molecular, cellular and tissue biology.

Website:

http://www.cbi.pitt.edu/

Article:

http://www.pittmag.pitt.edu

Center for Vaccine Research in Biodefense and Emerging Infections

The Center for Vaccine Research in Biodefense and Emerging Infections is a major new initiative at the School of Medicine that will focus on the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for viruses and other infectious agents of global importance. Some of these agents occur naturally and can pose great health risks, particularly in developing countries, and some also can be used as agents of bioterrorism. The center’s research will encompass both basic immunology and the development of candidate vaccines for human use. An international search is under way for an outstanding, visionary scientist with broad experience in vaccine development to direct this innovative, interdisciplinary endeavor.

Article:

http://www.chronicle.pitt.edu

Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR)

The Office of Research, Health Sciences (OORHS) fosters the animal-based research enterprise at the University of Pittsburgh through administrative oversight of the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR). The Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) encompasses several facilities and supports research across the six schools of the Health Sciences. The mission of the DLAR is to provide quality, humane animal care and services in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and to support existing and future animal research programs at the University. This mission is accomplished through quality animal husbandry and veterinary care, facility maintenance, and education and training of the University biomedical community and the public about laboratory animal science. OORHS staff members work closely with the DLAR director and personnel to carry out these activities by obtaining funds for DLAR infrastructure upgrades and by conducting educational workshops for investigators and the public.

Drug Discovery Institute

The process of drug discovery relies on uncovering the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for disease processes, followed by the design of drugs that specifically target and interfere with those mechanisms. As researchers learn more about the human genome and the human proteome, they should be able to develop drugs that are much more specific than those available today.

The new Drug Discovery Institute will focus in large part on developing drugs for treating so-called orphan diseases—those that typically afflict fewer than 200,000 people—and neglected diseases—often highly prevalent in underdeveloped countries— that do not attract interest from industry because of the high risk and cost of drug development. The effort is headed by pharmacologist John S. Lazo, Ph.D., the Allegheny Foundation Professor of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, and will take advantage of close ties with the schools of Medicine, Arts and Sciences and Pharmacy. Peter Wipf, Ph.D., University Professor in the Department of Chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences, is co-director. The Institute encompasses the University’s Molecular Libraries Screening Center, one of nine NIH-funded centers that will create ultra-sophisticated methods for rapidly assessing the therapeutic potential of hundreds of thousands of biologically active compounds as well as for creating new compounds. This capacity has until now been limited almost exclusively to pharmaceutical companies.

Website

http://www.upddi.pitt.edu/ 

Article

http://www.gradbiomed.pitt.edu

NanoScale Fabrication and Characterization Facility

NanoScale Fabrication and Characterization Facility (NFCF) is a user facility in 4,000 ft2 clean-room environment (class 100, 1,000 and 10,000 areas), located in the sub-basement of Benedum Hall.

NFCF is designed to support fabrication and characterization of nanoscale materials and structures, and integration of devices at all length scales. The facility houses advanced equipment with core nano-level (20 nm or below) capability for fabrication and characterization, including electron-beam lithography system, dual-beam system, plasma etching, thin film deposition, TEM, multifunctional scanning probe station, and modular XRD. 

The BST3 NMR Core Facility contains several 600MHz, 700MHz, and 800MHz, and 900MHz units.

For stability, sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines weighing up to 5 tons each, are positioned on bedrock and floating cement slabs to compensate for vibration from traffic along 5th Ave.

The basement’s ceiling is nearly 40 feet high to protect highly sensitive cryo-electron microscopes from even the slightest vibrations from the street above as well as to keep the magnetic field surrounding the NMR equipment well within safe distance from the first floor and street level.

Whole-body 7 tesla magnetic resonance imager, the strongest such imaging devices available anywhere in the world, for use in clinical research

Proteomics Core Laboratory

The set of proteins encoded by an organism’s genome is that organism’s proteome. Unlike the genome, the proteome is time-dependent; that is, not all proteins encoded by the genome are produced at a given time. Thus, highly skilled technical support is critical for the generation of proteomic data and for analysis of the massive amounts of data generated. The Proteomics Core Laboratory provides University investigators with access to expert research scientists, technicians and the state-of-the-art equipment necessary to probe the proteome. It offers technical expertise and support with experimental design, protocol development, data analysis and interpretation, as well as assistance with budget and grant preparation. The Proteomics Core Laboratory is directed by Billy W. Day, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, whose group's major research interest is the study of the chemical and molecular mechanisms of anti-tumor agents, particularly those with activity against solid tumors. His lab also has a major interest in the molecular effects of carcinogens.