On January 25th, under the direction of Dr. Hector Rasgado-Flores, Rosalind Franklin Medical School awarded Lab Certifications to six CRSM students. This certification will allow our students to work in labs. This will provide access to higher wage jobs during college, offer the opportunity to work with healthcare professionals and help them determine what disciplines might be of interest.
This was a comprehensive course on basic and modern techniques useful and pertinent to most laboratory settings. It consisted of 8 theoretical and practical (wet laboratory) sessions scheduled during Saturdays from October to December 2019. Each session lasted 4 hours. The successful completion of the 32 hour course means that our students now have an assessed theoretical and practical understanding of basic laboratory techniques such as pipetting, osmolarity, pH measurement, buffer preparation, protein measurement, electrophoresis, tissue culture and centrifugation.
1) Introduction to the Scientific Method
- What is Science?/The Scientific Method
- Basics of washing laboratory glassware
- Measurement and statistics
- Use of pipettes. Pipetting errors and reliability
- Use of statistics to discuss reliability of pipette dispensing by each student
2) The physiology of osmolarity
- Design, preparation and measurement of osmolarity in solutions
- Discussion of the importance of the appropriate osmolarity of solutions
- Measurement of osmolarity with an osmometer
- Calculations and measurement of expected osmolarities mixing solutions with different osmolarities/serial dilutions
3) The physiology of pH.
- Why is pH important?
- Calculations of pH. Why do we use logarithms?
- Use of buffers and titrations
- Calibration and measurement of pH with a pH-meter
- Titration of solutions in the absence and presence of buffers
- Discussions of the selection and concentrations of buffers
4) Proteins in life
- Why are proteins important and how can they be quantified?
- Measurement of protein concentrations
- Discussion on the composition of proteins and their structural consequences
- Measurement of protein concentrations using a spectrophotometer
- Practical demonstration of gel electrophoresis
5) Basics of Light Microscopy and Histology
- Correct use of light microscopes
- Observation and analysis of various tissues slides
6) Tissue culture basics: theory and practice
- Why use cultured cells?
- Practical demonstration of sterile techniques/Use of hoods and autoclaves.
- Feeding of cultured cells
- Proper use of the microscope to see cultured cells
7) Use of centrifuges
- Why use centrifuges?
- Molar Mass
- Molecular weight
8) Skills wrap-up and evaluation
- Assessment of students
- Assessment of the course