Services

Cell Biology Facility

This facility is designed to allow for the isolation and culture of primary cells and cell lines and the visualization of proteins and cell structures. It is certified for BSL2 containment and is equipped with three biological safety cabinets and six CO2 incubators. To experimentally up- or down-regulate gene expression the facility has acquired an Eppendorf Microinjection system, an Amaxa Nucleofector, and the Invitrogen Neon system. This facility is also equipped with a comprehensive microscopy suite including multiple fluorescent microscopes as well as electron microscopy. This facility features a spinning disk confocal microscope with four laser lines, a high resolution ORCA camera, and two EMCCDs for the simultaneous acquisition of two fluorophores. This microscope allows for the rapid acquisition of images in 3-dimensions and is capable of photoactivation and photobleaching techniques. The facility also includes transmission and scanning electron microscopes and a dedicated suite for the preparation of samples for EM. A full time EM expert is employed by the CNS and can assist with sample preparation and imaging. Two dedicated analysis computers are available within this facility featuring powerful 3D reconstruction and analysis software, including Perkin Elmer’s Volocity and Bitplane’s Imaris.

Molecular Biology Facility

This facility is designed for the isolation, manipulation, tagging, and identification of genes and proteins of interest. This facility includes high-speed centrifuges required for the preparation of subcellular fractions. The facility also features a four-colour real time PCR for precise measurements of gene expression.

Single Particle Tracking and Super-Resolution Imaging Facility

This facility is designed to allow for the visualization of dynamic events within live cells at enhanced spatial and temporal resolution. This facility is equipped with a cutting-edge Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscope with four laser lines and dual EMCCD cameras allowing high speed simultaneous acquisition of two fluorescent species. The high sensitity EMCCD cameras allow for the detection and tracking of single molecules and the integrated Borealis module permits super-resolution imaging techniques such as STORM and PALM in 3-dimensions.

Intravital Imaging Facility

This facility is designed for simultaneous deep tissue imaging and photostimulation within live animals. This facility is equipped with the latest resonance scanning multiphoton microscope from Olympus (FVMPE-RS) permitting visualization of multiple fluorophores at high frame rates in vivo and providing the capability for simultaneous photostimulation using genetically encoded opsins or caged compounds. This system features two 2-photon lasers including the new Spectra Physics Insight® laser with transmission to 1300nm, a visible light laser for optical stimulation, and four high sensitivity GASP detectors. This facility also contains a certified BSLII surgery room.

Neurophysiological Facility

This facility is designed to allow for the manipulation and recording of the neural activity at the level of the single cell. This facility includes a Zeiss Axioskop 2 microscope system featuring micromanipulators and fluorescence cameras for concurrent cellular imaging and electrophysiological techniques such as macro patch and patch clamp. This facility also includes tissue sectioning and perfusion equipment for the preparation of brain slices for electrophysiological measurements.

Field Research Facility

This facility is dedicated to the neurobiology of stress in natural populations. It will include a laboratory at the Arctic Institute of North America, Kluane Lake Base, Yukon and a mobile field laboratory. This facility features a complete electrophysiological suite to examine the effects of stress on site, equipment for collection of sensitive brain tissue, and basic services such as an ultracold freezer, -20Cº freezer, +4Cº fridge, and an ultrapure water system.