RECTOR & VISITORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Funds are requested to purchase an atomic force microscope (AFM) in order to establish the Core Laboratory for Biomedical Applications of Atomic Force Microscopy at the University of Virginia. The instrument purchased will be the Multimode V Scanning Probe Microscope with Nanoscope V SPM Control Station from Veeco Metrology, Inc., in Santa Barbara, CA. Accessories will be purchased to allow imaging of biological samples under physiological buffer and temperature conditions. The Core Laboratory will be centrally located in the School of Medicine and will be used by researchers from the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Pharmacology, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, Microbiology, and Medicine in the School of Medicine, and from the Departments of Chemistry and Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. The major common research themes will involve signaling processes in or on model membrane systems and the dynamics and structure of macromolecular complexes. The processes that will be studied with this instrument are fundamental to the molecular basis of cancer, endocrine disorders, neuropathology, bacterial infection, and growth and development. The Core Laboratory will be directed by an experienced AFM researcher and an interdepartmental advisory committee, and will provide training and outreach activities to enhance the utilization of the AFM in NIH-funded biomedical research programs at the University.
PROJECT NARRATIVE: The Atomic Force Microscope purchased with this grant provides a novel method of visualizing biological specimens such as cell membranes and protein complexes under physiological conditions and at high resolution. This capability will enable researchers to understand the molecular mechanisms of normal and pathological processes that occur in cells, providing new insights into methods to control disease and promote normal health.