University of Texas Medical Branch
- Institute for Human Infections and Immunity
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Keck Grant Funds New Facilities

New research facilities are being developed for infectious disease research on campus as a result of a $1.7-million grant (Scott Weaver, PI) from the W.M. Keck Foundation, as well as matching funds from the the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, an HRSA grant, and UTMB.

The W.M. Keck Center for Virus Imaging will include two high-containment (BSL-3) facilities. The first, to be located on the first floor of the Blocker Medical Research Building, will consist of a JEOL JEM-2200FS high-voltage (200 kV), high-resolution transmission cryoelectron microscope with energy filtering, including a cryotransfer system, cooling control unit, CCD camera, remote control operating system and operation computer.

This instrument is the first of its kind to be placed in a BSL-3 environment in the U.S., according to Dr. Scott Weaver. The Sealy Center for Structural Biology and the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology will jointly manage the facility, which is scheduled for completion in February, 2006. Dr. Michael Sherman, a highly experienced microscopist who trained with Dr. Wah Chiu at the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging at the Baylor College of Medicine, will manage the cryoEM lab.

The second facility features an Olympus FV1000 Spectral Confocal microscope system, which was purchased and installed in the Keiller BSL-3 suite in March of this year.

Both of these imaging instruments will be available to qualified UTMB researchers with appropriate security clearance and training, said Dr. Weaver. Further details can be obtained by contacting Dr. Weaver (sweaver@utmb.edu).

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