Facilities and Equipment

Facilities and Equipment

Howard University, Department of Biology, is uniquely equipped to facilitate enriching student learning experiences by providing enriching tools for both academic and research practices and instruction. Facilities include animal holding rooms and a dedicated greenhouse on the roof of the building. Our research laboratories provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in computational mathematics, biophysics, genomics, proteomics, basic cell biology, molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary sciences.

Greenhouse Facility 

In 1957 the Biology – Greenhouse building opened. It was a state-of-the-art facility designed by Dr. Marie C. Taylor (Head/Chairman – Botany department 1947-1976) and Dr. Harold E. Finley (Head/Chairman Zoology department 1947- 1969). Since its inception, the greenhouse has been extensively renovated and modernized, with a new series of modifications slated over the next decade. It is directed by Drs. Janelle Burke and Mary McKenna. 

Equipment for Life Science Studies

Equipment includes flow cytometric analyzers, fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS), transmission electron microscope, several inverted fluorescence microscopes, a Nikon confocal microscope, several RT-PCR machines, Luminex multiplex machines, several Licor Odyssey Fc and Bio-Rad nucleic acid and protein blot imaging systems, fluorometers, a Synergy HT fluorescence-absorbance-luminometer microplate reader, DNA sequencers, and cryosectioners.

Active, participating Departments, Colleges and Schools of Howard University that share the Department of Biology's core-research facilities include: College of Arts and Science’s Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics, and Mathematics, the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Science’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, and College of Medicine.  Each represents a strong commitment to improving the quality and expanding the depth of research, both for scientific advancement and in the integration of research and education. 

Major Research Instrumentation in the Department of Biology

Olympus FSX100 Microscope

The FSX100 all-in-one microscope provides a compact, innovative plug-and-play solution for bright field, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy. The FSX100 combines the highest quality, state-of-the-art hardware and smart and intuitive user-friendly software that guides the user to brilliant images. The intuitive nature of the software means that the FSX100 is an ideal multi-user microscope. From automated, to motorized, to closed-box, the FSX100 suits a variety of different system configurations.

Greenhouse Facility

The Department of Biology Greenhouse at E. Just Hall located at 415 College Street, NW Washington, DC  is located on the 4th floor. In 1957 the Biology – Greenhouse building opened. It was a state-of-the-art facility designed by Dr. Marie C. Taylor (Head/Chairman – Botany department 1947-1976) and Dr. Harold E. Finley (Head/Chairman Zoology department 1947- 1969).

Zeiss Libra 120 Transmission Electron Microscope

The Libra 120 TEM was purchased in 2010 through HHMI grant monies by Winston Anderson. The instrument is an Energy Filter Transmission Electron Microscope that provide superior results in the field of ultra- and nano-structure research in a faster and more reliable way, ready for documentation.  LIBRA® 120 combines an improved 120 kV column together with the well proven elements of the versatile In-column OMEGA filter, the patented Koehler illumination system, and the digitally controlled electron optics. These elements combined with new, completely redeveloped electronics and the innovative WinTEMTM Graphical User Interface (GUI) makes LIBRA® 120 an outstanding EFTEM for better results in imaging, element analysis, low dose, and remote controlled 3D experiments.

BD FACS Verse - 405nm, 488nm, and 640nm Lasers - 10 parameters | 4-blue, 2-red, and 2-violet

The BD FACSVerse™ flow cytometer is designed to support cell analysis for research applications using up to 10 parameters. BD FACSuite™ software delivers a seamless workflow from system setup, through data acquisition, analysis, and shutdown.  The compact optical system uses free-space lasers to concentrate intensity at the flow cell. It is designed to minimize light loss and maximize resolution for multicolor applications. A number of innovations built into the optical system—including patented automated laser alignment, smart filter-mirror units for the detector arrays, and a stainless steel flow cell—are designed to maximize reliability and improve system performance.  BD FACSVerse™ analyzer offers best-in-class optical detection, sensitivity, and flexibility for multicolor applications.

BD FACSJazz™ - 488nm and 640nm Laser, 4 parameters, 2-way sort

The BD FACSJazz™ is a cell sorter that features dependable BD performance, a benchtop fit, and simplified operation at an affordable price. Factory-optimized settings, intuitive alignment, real-time video monitoring, BD FACS™ Accudrop technology, and BD FACS™ Sortware sorter software provide comprehensive control during acquisition, sorting, and analysis. Together these capabilities make the most commonly used sorting applications accessible to researchers with limited flow cytometry experience. Based on extensive experience developing and supporting high-speed cell sorters, the BD FACSJazz delivers operational efficiency and high performance. The stability of the fluidics system provides reliable sorting performance from day to day, all day long. A number of system features ensure a trouble-free sorting experience—empowering quick and easy sort setup and operation.

Licor Odyssey Fc Infrared Laser-Scanning Nucleic Acid and Protein Imaging System

Get clearer answers with accurate, reproducible Western blots and DNA gels. Image your near-infrared (NIR) and enhanced chemiluminescent (ECL) Western blots, detect multiple targets on the same blot with two channel multiplex fluorescence, and document DNA gels all on the same imager, without juggling multiple instruments.

Real time PCR Instruments

Real time PCR is a technique used to monitor the progress of a PCR reaction in real time. At the same time, a relatively small amount of DNA, cDNA or RNA can be quantified. The Department has several real-time PCR machines in our faculty's laboratories, with instrument brands from Roche, ThermoFisher, Bio-Rad and more. 

ThermoFisher Cryostar NX70

Designed for both research and clinical laboratories, The Thermo Scientific™ CryoStar™ NX70 Cryostat offers innovative design, a form-fitting shape for user comfort and excellent sectioning quality. Unique – Rapid Response Temperature Control adjusts quickly to settings changes and maintains temperature through periods of high-volume use • Functional – Color touch screen and joystick control ensure a quick and reproducible set-up • Intelligent – Integrated LCD display serves as a single reference point to monitor all instrument settings.