The Ashton lab occupies 1000 sq. ft. in a multi-investigator shared lab suite in the newly constructed Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Building. Dedicated Ashton lab space entails 700 sq. ft. of wet bench space that includes two 5-ft Vortex II chemical fume hoods with lattice rod assemblies, a 200 sq. ft. room for BSL-2 cell culture that includes three 4-ft biosafety cabinets, and a 100 sq. ft. microscope room which houses the lab’s A1R confocal microscope equipped with a Piezo-Z stage. In addition, the suite’s shared space includes an 87 sq. ft. cold room, a 200 sq. ft. autoclave and glasswash room, an overflow 200 sq. ft. BSL-2 cell culture room, and a 200 sq. ft. shared equipment room that includes an automated Nikon TiE epifluorescence microscope with a Tokai Hit stage incubator system, a Accuri C6 flow cytometer, and a BioRad Versadoc Imaging system. Also, all lab spaces within the suite are plumed with air, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and vacuum lines supplied by the building.
The lab’s cell culture facilities include a Nikon TS100 Eclipse microscope and camera, a Sorvall ST-16 Centrifuge, a Locator Jr. Plus cryogenic storage vessel, and two Forma II Series water jacket CO2 incubators with one able to achieve 0-19% hypoxia conditions. The microfabricaton and chemistry facilities include a Harrick Plasma PDC-001 expanded plasma cleaner and a precision micro-contact printing system composed of an Epson LS3 SCARA robot and an EPSON Vision Guide high-resolution camera system. Plus, one of the lab’s fume hoods is equipped for standard organic chemistry reactions, and supplemented with a Thermo-Scientific P100 Direct-drive pump to obtain extremely low vacuums. The protein synthesis and purification facilities include a Thermo MaxQ 4000 bench-top orbital shaker, a GloMax multifunctional microplate reader, an Akta Prime Plus chromatography machine from GE Healthcare, and a refrigerated CentriVap concentrator from Labconco for preparing recombinant protein samples for storage. Additionally, there is a shared Labconco lyophilizer unit. To perform molecular biology and cloning procedures, there is a dedicate benchtop for RNA work, two Legend micro21 centrifuges and one refrigerated micro-centrifuge, a Sorvall RC6 high speed centrifuge, a Heratherm heated incubator, two BioRad gel electrophoresis (DNA and protein) units and power supplies, an Eppendorf Mastercylcler Pro for PCR reactions, a Thermostat plus for temperature sensitive incubations, and a Biophotometer plus for spectrophotometric analysis of biological samples. Finally, the Ashton lab contains a 23 cu. ft. deli fridge, a 50 cu. ft. Fisher Isotemp -20°C freezer, and a 28 cu. ft. Fisher Isotemp -86°C freezer for cold storage. Also within the WID, we have access to a 1000 sq. ft. industrial machine workshop with rapid prototyping capabilities.
The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID) building houses UW Madison’s public WID, the private nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research, and the Town Center, which offers ongoing programming to engage the public in science, all within a 330,000 square foot facility named the 2012 Laboratory of the Year by R&D Magazine. The facility is located in the heart of the UW-Madison campus, adjacent to the College of Engineering and the departments of Microbial Science, Biochemistry, Genetics/Biotechnology, Medical Sciences, Chemistry and Computer Sciences. The dual research institutes contain over 20 different research groups organized as interdisciplinary and synergistic research themes such as Regenerative Biology, Systems Biology, Epigenetics, Bio-Nano-Composite Tissue Engineering Scaffolds (BIONATES), Core Computational Technology, Virology, Optimization, and Pharmaceutical Informatics. The WID creates a highly collaborative environment that is ideal for supporting cutting-edge biotechnology research, and provides world-class shared research facilities distributed throughout lab suites dedicated to each research theme.
The University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center (UW-SCRMC) is a campus-wide center under the joint direction of the School of Medicine and Public Health and the Graduate School. It broadly links over 88 stem researchers across the UW Madison campus, and organizes them into focus groups (e.g. Basic Stem Cell Biology, Neural Regeneration, Heart Regeneration, etc.) to help foster research collaborations and disseminate research findings. The SCRMC also sponsors a weekly seminar series and an annual research symposium that attracts stem cell research leaders from around the world. As a member of the SCRMC, the Ashton lab enjoys discount rates for use of core immunology and pathology, nonhuman primate, cellular and molecular imaging, and small animal imaging services, as well as a host of discounted reagents, human pluripotent stem cell lines, and services for stem cell research provided by the WiCell Research Institute.
The Biotechnology Center (BTC) at the University of Wisconsin Madison is located across the street from the Ashton Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. It provides a diverse and impressive set of tools and services to assist researchers:
1) The DNA Sequencing Facility provides DNA sequencing, DNA genotyping, and DNA extraction. Both Sanger sequencing and next generation sequencing platforms are available, providing inexpensive sequencing of isolated fragments or massively parallel sequencing of random fragments.
2) The Gene Expression Center in conjunction with the DNA Sequencing Facility offers next generation sequencing services. Next generation sequencing applications for TruSeq Small RNA, directional RNA sequencing, and TruSeq RNA are available on Illumina's HiSeq 2000. The Gene Expression Center is also a state of the art microarray expression facility. It is a fully equipped molecular biology laboratory with appropriate equipment including computers (7) with software (Microsoft Office, Microarray suite 5. 0, MicoDB and DataMining tool, Spotfire, GenePix Pro, QuantArray), refrigerator, freezer, spectrophotometer, centrifuge, balance, pH meter, gel electrophoresis tanks and power supply, incubators, heat blocks, and pipettes. In addition, the Gene Expression Center houses a number of specialized pieces of equipment including an Affymetrix Chip GeneChip hybridization station and a GeneChip scanning instrument, an Agilent 2100 BioAnalyzer, Packard Biochip Scan Array 5000 Scanner with 4 lasers, an Axon GenePix 4000B array scanner and an Omnigrid microarraying instrument. The center occupies a central laboratory, two instrument rooms, and four offices. The Gene Expression Center serves the campus as well as the Genome Center and will thereby help to integrate scientific interactions across the campus.
3)The Bioinformatics Resource Center (BRC) provides bioinformatics support for high-throughput nucleic acid sequence data. The BRC assists researchers with a wide variety of projects, including genome assembly, SNP detection, ChIP-Seq and expression profiling using RNA-Seq, RIP-seq, and small RNA analyses. In addition, they provide basic computational support for analysis of the data produced by next generation sequencers at the UW Biotechnology Center DNA Sequencing Facility so that it can be delivered to researchers in a usable form. The UW Biotechnology Center also provides project-specific advanced bioinformatics analysis for researchers with high throughput sequence data.
4) The BTC has several mass spectrometers for the analysis of biomolecules, including proteins, peptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides and other small organic and inorganic molecules. In addition to measuring the molecular weight of compounds, the instruments are designed to perform MS/MS so that the structure of a selected ion can be deduced from the fragments. This is particularly useful for peptide sequencing and post-translational modification mapping. The ESI-MS are equipped with HPLC systems which are used with reversed phase (RP) nanobore / capillary columns for LC/MS/MS experiments. The BTC also has a LC-MALDI spotter for combining separations with MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis, and also perform proteolytic digestions of proteins, which can be further analyzed by HPLC, MS, LC/MS and MS/MS for peptide mapping and peptide sequencing.
The Rapid Prototyping Consortium is a university-wide, service for fee facility, and is located in the basement of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, i.e. home of the Ashton lab. It contains a repertoire of machines to support 3D printing, electron beam melting, fused deposition modeling, laminated object manufacturing, selective laser sintering, and stereolithography techniques.
The Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics (WCAM) is a shared research core facility, which provides instrumentation for micro- and nano-scale fabrication. The Center is located within 6,700 square feet of cleanroom space including 1,280 square feet of Class 10 space. It is a university-wide shared facility, and is housed in the Engineering Centers building beside the UW Biomedical Engineering Department. The Center’s lithography capabilities include an I-line stepper, a nano-imprinter, and several contact aligners. Numerous plasma etch systems are available including three ICP systems, one ECR system, and two RIE systems. LPCVD furnace tubes and oxidation tubes are available along with a rapid thermal annealing system. Deposition resources include three e-beam evaporators and two sputtering systems. Numerous wet chemical hoods are located throughout the cleanroom. A critical point dryer and a wafer bonder provide unique solutions for MEMs processing. Two wafer saws, a diamond scribe, a die attacher, and two wire bonders provide a means to package devices. Specifically, WCAM contains a CHA 600 Telemark Electron-beam evaporation system applicable for depositing nanometer thick layers of various metals.