DATE: February 2021
Harvard University | Molecular and Cellular Biology
Elizabeth May, Graduate Student
In our lab the majority of our time is spent purifying proteins, and we work hard to maximize our yields and minimize sample loss during analytical steps, which is why we prefer Hamilton syringes for loading samples on our FPLC purifiers. We also need to use glass syringes for mixing lipids for biochemical and structural assays involving membrane proteins, the main focal point of our lab’s research. The products we will receive from this product grant will help us to have higher throughput and reduce cross-contamination between projects, especially when mixing different lipids and organic solvents, which is a big challenge as we share syringes among lab members. We are also currently expanding work in our lab in a new and exciting direction involving supported lipid bilayers, for which clean and accurate syringes are vital to achieving and maintaining the desired lipid composition in repeated experiments. We have ten trainees in our lab all of whom will benefit from these products.
Our lab is at the cutting edge of membrane protein biochemistry and structural biology. We combine structural, biochemical and biophysical approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms of the proteins responsible for transmitting matter, such as essential transition metals, and information, such as intercellular signals, across the plasma membrane. We are one of only a small number of laboratories using the lipidic cubic phase technique for crystallizing membrane proteins for structure determination – a technique that we could not perform without the measurement accuracy of small volume glass syringes. Hamilton syringes directly enable our research endeavors and are a crucial part of our scientific success.