Clinical Research/Challenge Unit

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

This clinical unit, located in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, is available for in-patient or out-patient research. The research includes, but is not limited to, studies of infectious disease transmission, antimicrobial effectiveness, vaccine challenges and pharmacokinetics.

Area(s) of Expertise

The Clinical Research Unit is a 5 400-square foot, state-of-the art in-patient and out-patient research facility located in the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Research Services
  • Preparation of ethics/regulatory submissions,
  • statistical and data management support,
  • nursing support for in-patient and out-patient data collection,
  • protocol-specific interventions,
  • full hospital services from the IWK Health Centre

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

The unit:

·   10-bed inpatient unit with single isolation rooms

·   examination room

·   nurses station

·   meeting room

·   HEPA filtered air exhaust & negative-pressure rooms

·   kitchen

·   controlled access


Infectious diseases/Microbiology lab

Serology/Immunology Lab

Molecular Lab

4°C vaccine cold room: clean cold room dedicated for storing vaccines and similar products (placebo)

-80°C ULT freezers, -30°C freezer, 4°C re-agent cold room, 4°C fridges,

Nitrogen tank: refrigeration/freezing equipment specifically designated for samples (whole blood; serum; PBMC isolates; breast milk; NP specimen; urine), bacterial and viral strains, nucleic acid extracts, cell lines, re-agents at different stages (before, during, after processing according to protocol).

Biological safety cabinets:

·  Clean work hoods: for PBMC harvesting, cell culture and other sterile work

·  Non-clean work: infecting cell cultures, bacterial cultures

Bench top centrifuges: serum separation, PBMC harvesting



ELISA reader

Roche MagNa Pure Extractor: Total nucleic acid (TNA), DNA or RNA extraction from samples or virus and bacterial culture

PCR workstation/hood: setting up PCR assays; setting up extraction re-agents

ABI 7500 Thermocycler

Bio-Rad C1000 Thermo Cycler (x2

Electrophoresis units

Incubator, CO2 incubator

SDS-PAGE electrophoresis

Various types of liquid handling equipment (pipettes, repeater pipettes, automatic multi-channel, etc)

Basic lab equipment (eg. scale, vortex, spectrophotometer)

  • Baxter Canada Inc.
  • Roche Canada Inc.



Canadian Center for Vaccinology