Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sontheimer Lab, University of Alabama at Birmingham

This week's Images from Around the Lab takes us south to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The Detecto 6550 is a folding, portable wheelchair scale.

NIH ARRA funding is supporting members of the Sontheimer Lab team (from left to right): Lindsay Moore, Tiffany Dy, Brian Haas, Tia-Tabitha Barclay, & Vishnu Cuddapah. One line of study the lab is working on is glioblastoma multiform - a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer.

Harald Sontheimer and Tia-Tabitha Barclay

This is the electophysiology rig, which is used to look for electrical properties in cells. By examining biopsied cells from patients (or samples of cells that have been implanted in the brains of mice), scientists hope to develop therapeutic targets. Because the settings need to be exactly right to get a good look at the electrical signals, there's a lot of "voodoo" about using the rig. After a lab member had a particularly good reading, a nearby Spiderman action figure became a good luck charm and is now secured to the rig for continuing good mojo.

This week's Images from Around the Lab were contributed by Harald Sontheimer's team in the Functional Neuroimaging Lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Special thanks to Research!America's Stacie Propst for taking the photos and to Vishnu Cuddapah for explaining the equipment and the use of action figures in the lab.

We want to see images from your workspace too! Email hbenson at to share your photos in New Voices Images from Around the Lab.

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