A Brief introduction of Comprehensive Research Laboratory in Birjand University of Medical Sciences and the Most Important Activities of the Laboratory

Comprehensive Research Laboratory in Birjand University of Medical Sciences is dependent to research and technology department of the university aiming at creating suitable setting to develop research projects in science and clinical fields; this laboratory is established to implement research plans confirmed by faculty members, PHD and M.A students' doctoral thesis and dissertation, and also research plans for clinical assistants in different fields of study in this university.

The first plan for establishing this laboratory by Birjand University of Medical sciences in 2001 was presented to Management and Planning Organization and after approving this plan, the laboratory was equipped in 2002. Then, it turned to be a member of "Comprehensive Laboratories Network of Medical Sciences in the Country" and in this way, the laboratory shares its facilities by presenting specialized services to applicants and researchers other than academic staffs of the university.

Equipment and advanced devices in different fields of research are provided in this laboratory which cost almost 20 billion Rials. Currently, the most important activities of Comprehensive Research Laboratory of the university are done in biochemistry, medicinal herbs, cellular and molecular biology, new technologies (biotechnology, nanotechnology and genetic engineering), and also cell culture (animal cell culture and cancer studies) and based on physical space and the available facilities in this laboratory, there are five specialized department which are divided as follow:

  1. Biochemistry and Medicinal Herbs Research Laboratory: This laboratory is equipped with essential devices to extract, to concentrate, and to freeze dry different samples of medicinal herbs; by the way, advanced and specialized facilities are provided in this lab including Gas Chromatography Device, HPLX, different types of Spectrophotometer Devices and so on to analyze effective compounds of medicinal herbs, to study the antioxidant, anticancer, and antifungal effects of medicinal herbs locally grown in this region. There is some storage space in this laboratory in which -80 C freezers are kept.

    biochemistry and medicinal herbs research laboratory

  2. Biochemistry and Medicinal Herbs Research Laboratory: This laboratory is equipped with necessary facilities to study changes in level of genetic material (DNA and RNA) including Thermal cycler PCR and Real-Time-PCR, Nano Drop Device, Electrophoresis Equipment, Gel Documentation System and so on and it aims to study differential gene expressions in different diseases.
    we can mention to some of actions that are done in this laboratory as different types of extracting genetic material [extracting DNA] from serum samples, tissue samples, tumor samples from patients with cancer, cell culture samples and also microbial and parasitic samples separated in medical laboratory and special clinic. 

    molecular biology research laboratory

  3. Modern Technologies Laboratory: In this laboratory, researches are conducted in different fields such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology and cellular and molecular biology. This laboratory is equipped with advanced devices like flow cytometry, TGA, flowmeter (citation), electerospinning and different systems of electrophoresis, so, in the above mentioned fields, different projects have been worked on.

    modern technologies laboratory

  4. Modern Technologies Laboratory: This laboratory is equipped with specialized facilities including Laminar flow hood for cell culture, CO2 incubators, inverted fluorescent microscopes and other necessary facilities to culture animal cells for studying purposes and students' thesis that are on progress in this labolatory and it can be mentioned as follow: studying cancer cells, sensitization and increased inducing cell death in cancer cells that resist to effects of drugs and also gene therapy using stem cells to utilize them as expression vectors for anticancer drug combinations and using them in anticancer studies.

    cell culture laboratory

  5. Cold Room Department: In this department, there is a room that its temperature is 4°C and it is capable of storing laboratory materials in its prepared stores and it contains nitrogen tanks to store cell samples in -196 °C temperature. There is another room that its temperature is -40°C. Samples are stored in this part in different temperatures and meanwhile tests that require low temperature condition can be performed in this place.

    cold room department

The most important actions done to improve and empower the Comprehensive Research Laboratory of Birjand University of Medical Sciences during last three years are as follow:

  1. Creating an intranet network as the infrastructural internal network in the laboratory that includes:
    • buying and installing closed-circuit television cameras to increase the possibility of surveillance in different spaces and increasing safety in laboratory

    • creating an internal communication network between computers in the laboratory that aims to increase safety of sensitive devices considering virus infections and also to improve safety with information

    • setting up an access control system by using a card or fingerprint information to control people who enter and leave Comprehensive Research Laboratory

  2. Optimizing internal spaces in the laboratory that includes:
    • changing all windows in different laboratory spaces to upvc windows in order to save energy and decrease temperature changes that damage sensitive devices which are used in different departments of Comprehensive Research Laboratory

    • equipping all laboratory spaces with air conditioners to create pleasant atmosphere that leads to more efficiency of the researchers and it decreases the damages caused by heat stroke on expensive and sensitive devices such as Flow cytometr, real time PCR, -80°C deep freezers, …

    • separating Flow cytometr rooms, flow meter room, Gel Documentation room, TGA, … to have more surveillance on how these sensitive devices are utilized and also to create a dark room to use devices such as gel doc,Transilluminator, and western blot.

    • adding a rest room for women
    • adding a space for changing shoes and slippers and storing them, designing a rest room located in the entrance part of cell culture laboratory.

  3. Increasing the work time to render service in Comprehensive Research Laboratory:
    • following the requests made by researchers and higher education students and for rendering more services in Comprehensive Research Laboratory, this lab works in the evening in workdays until 8:00 P.M and on Thursdays, this lab is open in the morning.

  4. Buying and launching specialized devices including:
    • flow cytometer, TGA, flow meter, particle size analyzer, two laminae hoods class II, full package of western blot device, semi-industrial freeze dryer, thermos mixer with shaker, thermos cycler PCR (PEQ Lab), spray dryer, two compact precision balances, -80°C deep freezer, sterilizer, three power supplies, vacuum pump, two portable UV devices, serology water bath, two hematology mixers, three lab shakers and vortexes, 15 fixed volume samplers, deionized water maker, Erlen shaker, incubator shaker, autoclave, three micro centrifuges, water bath, three vertexes, eight different types of metal racks, bath without water, water bath and two computers.

  5. Creating a warehouse by supplying usable materials:
    • Agaros, dehydrated sodium citrate, Tris base, Tris HCI. LB Broth, LB Agar, providing glassware and plastic ware required in laboratory

  6. Connecting Comprehensive Research Laboratory of the university to the network of Comprehensive Research Laboratories of Medical Sciences Universities in the country.

  7. Providing and confirming the plan for improving quality and quantity of Comprehensive Research Laboratory using 400 million Tomans credit supplied by research deputy of the ministry and completing 50 percent of related works

  8. Applying an expert who is working in Comprehensive Research Laboratory based on a contract
  9. Providing and confirming the plan for empowering Comprehensive Research Laboratory using 100 million Tomans (educating the staffs, paying the salary of two experts for one year, paying the salary of a co-worker expert for one year, buying materials and usable wares, paying for repairing tools and specialized devices).

  10. Providing and confirming and complementing the plan for organizing spaces needed for freezer after buying 15 units of -20°C freezers.

  11. Proposing the plan for formation of a technical council for Comprehensive Research Laboratory to deputy of Research and Technology Department of the university and confirming the plan. To do so, many meetings have been held continuously by the presence of university deputy, research manager, the manager of comprehensive laboratory and other advisors to brainstorm their thoughts and make effective decisions to improve the ways that Comprehensive Research Laboratory aims to work.

  12. Actions done to improve biological safety of the Comprehensive Research Laboratory

    • providing a number of CO2fire extinguishers to extinguish fire based on the number of laboratory spaces

    • buying, installing and launching 2 eye wash and emergency shower
    • providing two first aid kits and keeping them in laboratory spaces

    • providing a special room for autoclave devices
    • providing and installing a sterilizer to bio-filtrate different buffers
    • providing face shields to improve safety when the staffs use nitrogen tanks
    • holding biosafety workshop for higher education students
  13. holding workshops for students in Comprehensive Research Lab and paying visits that are as follow:

    • workshops for workplace safety in research laboratories
    • workshops to recognize the principles of cell culture
    • workshops for studying cell death in the in-vitro environment
    • workshops for absolute quantitative Real Time PCR
    • routine workshops for higher education students
    • practical workshops for western blotting
    • lab meeting to discuss how Nano-drop device works
    • cooperation in holding Nano Medicine winter school with deputy of the university for a week
    • visiting the ministry related to biotechnology board, molecular medicine, hematology, toxicology, Nano-technology, and research centers for cardiovascular board, drug abuse and different types of poisoning

    • visiting innovation and flourishing committee of science based company "Nik Gene Eugene,"

    • visiting the laboratory by new students coming to the university of medical sciences in each semester

    • visiting the laboratory by students of nearby universities in South Khorasan Province

    • visiting the laboratory by students of special schools in South Khorasan Province

  14. Proposal, approval and implementation of coding system that is related to stored samples in -80°C spaces and cold room in which temperature is 4°C, -30°C.

  15. Serious actions to reconstruct some spaces and to repair specialized devices such as -80°C freezers, cold room in which temperature is -30°C, laboratory compact precision balance, …