Main Lab & Equipment


Lab Space and Equipment
The lab located on the fifth floor of the Duffy Research Centre forms the base of operations for bacteriology and chemistry oriented research in the Kerr Lab.  The lab houses a wide selection of equipment need for microbiology, molecular biology and chemisty research. To support our natural products chemistry research the lab is equiped with eight fume hoods,  four  rotary evaporators, two vacuum evaporators (GeneVac), an automated flash chromatography system (Teledyne Combiflash Rf), a Thermo Scientific GCMS and four HPLC systems, one of which is connected to a mass spectrometer to enable  mass-guided fractionation. The crown jewels of the lab are two Thermo Scientific Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometers (Exactive and Velos models), which are both connected to ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) systems. For natural product structure elucidation a 600 MHz Bruker NMR (housed in the Duffy Research Centre) is made availabe via an agreement with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. To support molecular biology research, the lab is equiped with two gradient-capable PCR thermocyclers, a UVP molecular imager, a Bio-Rad Duo-Flo FPLC system and a variety of electrophoresis supplies.  Microbiology-related equipment includes three New Brunswick Innova 44 shaking incubators, a large ambient temperature platform shaker, two laminar flow hoods, a type II biosafety cabinent, a variety of microscopes and a Steris autoclave. The lab is also equiped with common general use equipment including multiple balances, centrifuges and stationary incubators, two ultralow temperature freezers, two dishwashers and a Millipore MilliQ deionized water system.  A graphical represenation of the lab layout and pictures of various spaces and equipment are shown below. 
Our HRMS instruments are the crown jewel of the lab!  The instrument on the left is the Thermo Scientific Exactive HRMS. This instrument is coupeld to a UPLC chromatography system as well as a PDA detector and a universal evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD). This instrument provides an ideal platform for the rapid screening of natural product extracts. The instrument on the right is the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap LTQ-Velos. This instrument is also coupled with a UPLC and PDA detector. Using either ESI or APCI ionization sources, this instrument is ideal for the quantification and identification of natural products from pure samples or mixtures.  This instrument can also perform tandem mass spectrometry MS(n) experiments to assist researchers with the structure elucidation of unknown molecules. 
Our GCMS instrument is a Thermo Scientific Focus GC, which is coupled with a Polaris Q quadrupole ion trap mass analyzer equiped with electron ionization source. This system is ideal for characterizing non-polar metabolites not compatable with reversed-phase LC.


A recent addition to the lab is a Waters HPLC system coupled to a mass-guided fraction collector.  The system consistes of  two Waters HPLC pumps, a Waters 3100 single quadrupole mass spectrometer and a Waters 2767 fraction collector. This system is designed for both analytical and semi-preparative separations.


A second Waters HPLC system is also available for analytical and semi-preparative separations. This system features a manual injector, a Waters 1525 binary HPLC pump, a Waters 2489 dual channel UV/Visible detector, a Waters 2424 ELSD and a Waters 2767 fraction collector.


Our Thermo Scientific HPLC system features a Finnigan Surveyor Autosampler Plus, LC Pump Plus, and PDA Plus detector.  It is also conntected to a SEDEX 60 LT ELSD. The system is designed for both analytical and semi-preparative separations.
The latest model in medium-pressure chromatography from Teledyne Isco, the CombiFlash RF, is compact and user-friendly.  The system is equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to allow for automation of parameters for purification and fraction collection.


Evaporation is a common occurence in the purification of any natural product. To facilitate rapid evaporation of samples, the lab is equiped with four rotary evaporators (top photo) and two GenVac vacuum evaporators. The GeneVacs are ideal for drug discovery applications as the GeneVac EZ-2 Plus is capable of evaporating all commonly used solvents and most acids quickly and effectively.


To facilitate bacterial fermentation, the lab is equipped with four shakers. One is a large ambient temperature platform shaker (bottom photo). The other three (top photo) are temperature controlled Innova 44 shaker incubators. One of these is a refridgerated unit, which allows us to explore the effect of temperature on natural product production.


The molecular biology room (Rm 517) contains two gradient-capable thermal cyclers (Eppendorf and Bio-Rad), electrophoresis equipment, an incubator and a laminar flow hood.


To support molecular biology activities the lab is equiped with a Bio-Rad Duo-Flo FPLC (top photo) system, which is used to purify proteins and other biomoleculres. Molecular imaging needs are met by the UVP BioSpectrum imaging system (bottom photo).


A multitude of equipment is avialable for general use in the lab including (clockwise from top right) a compound microscope, a -80oC freezer, a Beckman Coulter Allegra 25R centrifuge, a freeze dryer and type II biosafety cabinet.
Room 509 is a common area that houses the autoclave, as well as the dish washers and the Millipore MilliQ deionized water system.