Clinical Research/Challenge Unit

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
What the facility does

The research includes, but is not limited to, studies of infectious disease transmission, antimicrobial effectiveness, vaccine challenges and pharmacokinetics

Areas 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. This clinical unit is available for in-patient or out-patient research.

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

Specialized lab


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