UCL Division of Biosciences


Darwin Research Facility (DRF)

The Darwin Research Facility was established in 2004 by funding from the Wellcome Trust, HEFCE and UCL which transformed the derelict sub-basement of the Darwin building into a suite of state-of-the-art research laboratories.

At present, the infrastructure of the facility provides a diverse range of equipment, expertise and training in the field of biochemistry, molecular, structural and cellular biology. The facility consists of several research laboratories and support areas.

Adolfo Quinones Lombrana
Darwin Research Facility Manager

Email:  a.quinones@ucl.ac.uk

Telephone:  020 7679 2728  (internal: 32728)

Sub-basement Floor
Darwin Building
University College London
Gower Street

a) Centrifugation area (SB01)
A range of low, medium and high speed centrifuges are available for a diverse range of applications, including:

  • Beckman Optima MAX 130000 & TL-100 benchtop ultracentrifuges
  • Beckman Avanti J20 J26 medium speed centrifuges
  • Beckman Optima-L-100XP ultracentrifuges
  • Beckman L8 ultracentrifuges

b) Bioanalytical and Biophysical instrumentation laboratories (SB02 and SB05)
A wide range of high-tech equipment is available for biochemical and biophysical analysis, including:

  • Packard Tri-Carb 2900TR radioactivity counter (β-emissions, Cerenkov) (e.g. 3H, 14C, 32P, 33P, 35S)
  • Fujifilm LAS-1000 scanner
  • Fujifilm FLA-2000 scanner
  • LiCor CLx infra-red bed gel scanner
  • LiCor Fc infra-red gel doc camera system, providing detection for chemiluminescence, IR700 IR800, and 600 channels

BMG-Labtech platereaders:

  • Fluostar Optima (absorbance, chemiluminescence and fluorescence/time-resolved fluorescence modes). PherastarFS (modules: 485 520 FI; 485 520 520 FP, HTRF, BRET). 96-well, 384-well formats
  • Varian Cary 100 Bio UV/visible spectrophotometer
  • Gene Genius Bio Imaging System for DNA and protein gels

c) Microbiology area (SB06)
Equipped with preparative instruments and medium and large scale shaking incubators:

  • Thermo Electron French Cell Press
  • HT infors Multitron shaking incubators with heating & cooling
  • Uniscience UNIVAP centrifugal evaporator
  • Edwards Modulyo Freeze Drier

d) Molecular Interactions Laboratory (SB16)

  • Two Beckman XL-1 Analytical Ultracentrifuges
  • One Beckman XL-I equipped with fluorescent detection
  • Farfield Dual polarisation interferometer
  • Biacore X100 surface plasmon resonance
  • Three AKTA protein purifiers

e) Protein-purification lab (SB03, 4°C)

  • 2x GE Pharmacia ÄKTA Purifiers and related equipment

f) The microscope suite

  • Zeiss epivert fluorescence microscope, fitted with 12-bit monochrome Retiga camera, and Q-Capture Pro 7 Imaging software

g) Support areas

  • Freezer room (SB14) - contains a range of -80°C freezers
  • Dark room (SB12) - Optimax Automatic Wet chemistry X-ray film developer, and UVP transilluminators

Researchers from SMB and GEE departments. Equipment is available to other UCL sites.

Subscription rates: £4,970 per postdoc/per year/per grant application.
Itinerant use: £20 per am or pm session.