Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition (CBTC)

Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition (CBTC)

Institution
University of Toronto
Address

325 Huron Street

Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
General contact
John Peever
Associate Professor

Department of Cell and Systems Biology

T: (416) 946-5564
E: john.peever@utoronto.ca
Research contact
John Peever
Associate Professor

Department of Cell and Systems Biology

T: (416) 946-5564
E: john.peever@utoronto.ca
Published date: May 23, 2014
Last updated: Dec 05, 2016
What the lab/facility does

Molecular and cellular basis of brain function

Sectors of Application
Health care and social services; Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Area(s) of expertise

The Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition collaborates with researchers from academia, hospitals, and industry to advance research in sleep (disorders), hypoxia, circadian rhythms of disease, and neurogenesis. Its broad array of instrumentation, from long-term animal monitoring and dialysis (to collect samples from moving live animals), to molecular characterization, enables a researcher to observe a phenomenon in a controlled environment and then probe the molecular landscape using analytical techniques. With training, most instrumentation is available for independent use. This provides students with a space that is akin to their laboratory. The experienced staff is always available to provide guidance, experimental design, and mentoring. 

Research Services

Confocal microscopy, tissue sectioning, bio-analysis - HPLC, CE, mass spectrometry, animal behaviour testing, method development, experiment design, technical assistance   

Specialized labs and equipment

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment

Description of function 

Imaging & Electrophysiology

Spinning disc confocal system with FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) and FRAP (fluorescence resonance after photobleaching)

High-resolution, 3-D images of thick specimens – great for live cell applications of molecular diffusion, and active movement of cell component

 

Deconvolution and live cell imaging system on upright  microscope dual camera

 

 

Deconvolution and live cell imaging system on inverted microscope single camera

 

 

Two stereo microscopes with fibreoptic illumination

 

 

Two patch clamp systems for brain slice on automated microscopes – dual cameras

Electrophysiology, micromanipulation, for example, to measure the electric current passing through single membrane channels in cells

 

Calcium imaging system for cell physiology on automated microscope – dual camera

Used to illustrate the calcium status of a cell, tissue or medium

Histology – Leica equipment

Motorized cryostat (CM 3050S)

Cutting cryosections, rapid conversion of fresh tissue into microscope-ready sections; can prepare samples for laser capture microdissection

 

Floor standing tissue processor (300S)

Routine and research histopathology of up to 300 cassettes while minimizing carry-over

 

Motorized microtome (RM 2255)

Sectioning of paraffin- and resin-embedded specimens

 

Modular tissue embedding station (EG1150)

Can arrange embedding work flow in either direction

 

Vibrating blade microtome (VT1200S)

Fully automated fresh and fixed tissue sectioning

 

Programmable slide stainer and cover slipper

 

Microdialysis – bioanalytical systems

Eight stand-alone portable stations

Low-volume sampling for live animals

Surgical suites

Multiple digital stereotaxic and anesthesia stations – portable and stationary

 

Animal behavioural testing – Coulbourn Instruments

Acoustic startle – eight stations

 

 

Place preference – two stations

 

 

Elevated plus maze

 

 

Eight arm radial maze

 

 

Open field activity system – four stations

 

 

Shuttle avoidance system with shock – eight stations

 

 

Self-administration – four stations

 

 

Six Ccamber ISS system – six stations

 

 

Self-stimulation – four stations

 

Long-term animal monitoring and recording systems – respironics Minimitter and Coulbourn

Animal monitoring for 96 subjects

 

 

Core body temperature

 

 

Heart rate

 

 

Gross motor activity

 

 

Running wheel turns

 

 

Drinking/licking frequency

 

 

Feeding behavior

 

 

480 channels for activity monitoring

 

 

40 stainless steel isolation units

Light cycle control

Pathogen-free animal colony

864 mouse cages

 

 

324 rat cages

 

 

STERIS cage and rack washer

 

 

Medium STERIS sterilizer

 

 

Six animal change stations

 

Electrochemistry – GMA and Quanteon

Two complete stations

Chronoamperometry and amperometry

Human testing labs

Behavioural testing, including E-Prime (v1.2, v2.0Pro)

 

 

High-density (128 channels) EEG/ERP – two on-site and one mobile

 

 

SR Research Remote Eyelink II eye-tracking – two on site

 

 

Virage driving simulator

 

 

Online survey (Opinio)

 

Mobile human testing vehicle

Behavioural testing

 

 

EEG/ERP

 

 

SR Research eye-tracking

 

Molecular characterization

Mass spectrometer- Thermo Orbitrap Discovery

Proteomics, metabolomics, method development

 

Accela LC

Liquid chromatography

 

Gene expression analysis – Beckman Coulter GeXP

Gene expression, DNA sequencing, SNP, STR, oligonucleotide purity, AFLPs

 

2D fractionation – Beckman Coulter PF 2D

Mostly for complex mixtures of biomolecules, e.g. proteins, glycosylated compounds, lipids, etc.

 

Capillary electrophoresis – Beckman Coulter PA800 with UV and LIF detection

Separation of biomolecules using electrophoresis; can be an off-line fraction collector for mass spectrometry

 

Beckman HPLC with UV and EC detection

Chromatographic separation and quantitation using UV or electrochemical detection

 

Beckman 880 microplate reader

Reader for proteins assays

 

UV spectrophotometer - Beckman

Built-in programs for protein assay, kinetics, micro cuvette available

 

Centrifugation including ultra-

 

 

electroporator/multiporator

 

 

Thermal cyclers

Amplify segments of DNA via polymerase chain reaction

 

Informatics software – Proteome Discoverer, MaxQuant