LARGE EQUIPMENT GRANTS

Confocal microscope

Late in 1993, a lengthy process of applying for special funding to purchase an inverted confocal microscope finally went to completion. The applications were made by a group from the Department consisting of Max Bennett, David Allen, David Cook and Dave Davey. Late in 1992 the group succeeded in obtaining a $100,000 seeding grant from The University, and based on that commitment obtained a further $60,000 from the Ramaciotti Foundation which provided sufficient total funding to purchase a Leica inverted confocal system. This instrument was ordered in early 1994, and a system based on an upright microscope was immediately put in place to be converted to an inverted system when the inverted microscope is available later in 1994. At the time of the order, this system was the first inverted one to be purchased within the University.

Anderson Stuart Molecular Facility

Despite the fact that one laboratory in the Department was the first on campus, if not in Sydney, to engage in recombinant DNA and molecular cloning work (in 1979/80), the use of these techniques has until recently been confined to the Molecular Biology & Hypertension Laboratory. However, the situation has now begun to change, not just for the Department, but for the Building as a whole. The Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory came into being just over a year ago with the appointment of Bill Phillips as a Lecturer in the Department, but even before that there were small projects being attempted by others involving recombinant DNA and related approaches. Most recently, the desire to use complementary DNAs and oligonucleotides as probes for localization of gene expression at the tissue and cell level has seen a considerable expansion is needs in this general area. In recognition of this the Building successfully began what is envisaged as a series of successful applications for funding under the above title. In 1993 $40,000 was awarded by The University as an equipment grant, and enabled the purchase of a Beckman rotor for purification of recombinant DNA through caesium chloride, replacement for the aged orbital incubator for growing up bacterial cultures of recombinant plasmids, an additional DNA thermal cycler for conducting polymerase chain reactions, two hybridization ovens, a polaroid copy camera for photographing gels, additional electrophoresis equipment, a more sensitive balance and a pH meter.