Central Labs/Core Facilities

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The following paragraph gives an overview of the existing NAWI Graz Central Labs and Core Facilities:

NAWI Graz Central Lab Water, Minerals and Rocks

co-funded by:

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Dietzel (TU Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Kurz (Uni Graz)

The NAWI Graz Central Lab Water, Minerals and Rocks is based on an initiative started by NAWI Graz Earth Scientists and was begun in July 2011. Its research focuses on the creation and decay of minerals, but also on the age and chemistry of the Earth by investigating geochemical processes in the biosphere, lithosphere, pedosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. The analyses of these highly sensitive samples with the help of high-resolution mass spectrometry requires state-of-the-art cleanroom technology, providing ambient air with almost zero floating particles. As a result, the concentration of atoms in water, minerals and rocks can be determined.

 

NAWI Graz Central Lab Graz Cell Informatics and Analyses (GRACIA)

Partners: Ass.-Prof. Dr. Tobias Eisenberg (Uni Graz) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Harald Pichler (TU Graz)

In 2013, the first expansion stage of the NAWI Graz Central Lab Cell Informatics and Analyses (GRACIA) was begun. Bundling a high-throughput cell analysis, a cell sorter and server systems, more efficient screening methods for bioactive substances can be conducted. Moreover, using the existing disrupted-yeast strain bank for genome-wide research on aging, cell death and autophagy is feasible. Overall, the Central Lab provides a great platform to conduct systems biology research at a functional level. It also allows the quicker identification and characterization of the root causes for disturbance of the human lipid metabolism or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, on the basis of model organisms and high-throughput screens of substances or genes.

 

NAWI Graz Central Lab Environmental, Plant & Microbial Metabolomics

Partners: Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Georg Raber (interim head, Uni Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gabriele Berg (TU Graz)

Since 2012, the NAWI Graz Central Lab Environmental, Plant & Microbial Metabolomics has brought together research groups from Bioscience, Chemistry and Pharmacy. The aim of the Central Lab is the structural elucidation of microbial and herbal substances, and investigations into their metabolism as well as their biological effect and impact on the environment. The main instrument is a high-resolution mass spectrometer, capable of both quantification and accurate mass measurements, coupled to an Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (UHPLC).

 

NAWI Graz Central Lab Biobased Products

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthäus Siebenhofer (TU Graz) and Dr. Sigurd Schober (Uni Graz)

The main objective of the Central Lab Biobased Products (Chemistry/Chemical Engineering) is the development and implementation of new technologies for the production and isolation of natural substances (e.g. flavourings, colourings), active substances (e.g. insecticides, fungicides) and bulk products (e.g. ethanol, furfural) from lignocellulose-based materials.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Teaching Centre Mathematics

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Grabner (TU Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gundolf Haase (Uni Graz)

Installing the joint bachelor study programme in Mathematics required many investments starting in 2013. With the implementation of the Teaching Centre Mathematics, the expansion of one lecture hall was co-financed, learning spaces for students have been installed, and also a comprehensive virtual library (consisting mainly of E-books) for students and also teachers were established.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Nanolithography   

Partners: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Joachim Krenn (Uni Graz) and Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Hofer (TU Graz)

This Core Facility filled an important instrumental gap in 2015 by funding a modern system for nano structuring with electron beam lithography. Many central problems in nano science are concerning a scale of 1-10nm, which is difficult to access technologically. The new Core Facility with its system’s resolution <10 nm allows exploring new frontiers in research. Furthermore, the new system is able to structure bigger areas (cm2). The initiative is based on a long term inter-university cooperation in the area of nano structuring.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility CD-Spectropolarimeter  

Partners: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Keller (Uni Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Macheroux (TU Graz)

The existing pool of instruments in the area of Biophysical Methods was enhanced with the most advanced CD-Spectropolarimeter J-1500 from JASCO, which is used for the characterization of macromolecules, such as proteins, peptides and nucleic acids. This instrument allows for the fast and accurate secondary structure determination of proteins in solution, the efficient fold determination and the biophysical characterization of macromolecules in terms of thermal or chemical stability and their interactions with ligands.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Vacuum Suitcase      

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Leonhard Grill (Uni Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ernst (TU Graz)

Investigating samples thoroughly often implies having them measured by different instruments (e.g. scanning probe microscopy, photoemission spectroscopy, Desorption Spectroscopy) to have sound information about the physical/chemical characteristics. The CF Vacuum Suitcase (2015) allows measuring in ultra-high vacuum and also guarantees that the samples will not be contaminated or altered in any way when changing instrument or location.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Field Emission Microprobe     

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christoph Hauzenberger (Uni Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Dietzel (TU Graz)

The accurate analysis of mineral compositions and high-resolution imaging capabilities provided by an electron microprobe are nowadays fundamental to Geoscience research. However, this instrument is also of great benefit to researchers in all branches of science, providing point specific chemical analyses and highly detailed electron beam imaging.
The new field emission microprobe provides a quantum leap in sub-micron range spatial resolution, whilst maintaining accurate quantitative analysis. This precision will open up new fields of research in Geology, Chemistry, Material Science, Archaeology and related fields. This field emission microprobe, being an electron beam based instrument, is a game changing addition to the existing NAWI Graz Central Lab for Water, Minerals and Rocks mass spectrometer facilities (LA-ICPMS/MCICPMS).

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Photoemission Elektron Microskopy for Nanomaterials    

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ernst (TU Graz) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Sterrer (Uni Graz)

Building on the existing expertise in electron microcopy and nanostructuring, the Photo Emission Electron Microscope is a fantasic add-on in order to determine and control the chronological  sequence of processes on the lateral nanoscale. This core facility strenghtens basic research on nano and quantum materials and helps providing answers for questions as e.g.: How fast is a light irradiation on a nanostructure transformed into others forms of energy? Or: How fast does a nano structured catalyst transfer electrons to a docked molecule?

 

NAWI Graz Central Lab Analytic Methods for Bio-Molecular Interactions (AMBIO)

Partners: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Macheroux and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bernd Nidetzky (TU Graz),  Univ.-Prof. Dr. Karl Gruber and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kroutil (Uni Graz)

The origin of diseases, the way drugs work, or the efficiency of enzymes in biotechnology are determined by the interactions of proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes and their substrates and other biomolecules. The central lab "Analytic Methods for Bio-Molecular Interactions“ (AMBIO) combines novel optical and thermodynamic methods for the investigation of the interactions of biomolecules.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility CRYO TEM

Partners: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Günther Zellnig (Uni Graz) and Ass.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Winkler (TU Graz)

The upgrade of the existing TEM to a Cryo-TEM including a HR CMOS-camera enables both the investigation and documentation of biological samples (e.g. proteins/protein complexes, virus particles, 2D-crystals) at almost native conditions at low temperatures without chemical modifications of the samples. The cryo-TEM-system allows the testing of different sample preparation methods (e.g. buffer- and freezing conditions) of plunge frozen samples on site.

 

NAWI Graz Core Facility Ultrafast Microscope

Partners: Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Markus Koch (TU Graz) and Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Joachim Krenn (Uni Graz)

This core facility combines ultra-fast laser spectroscopy with optical microscopy, in order to investigate nano- and quantum-materials with femtosecond resolution and nanometer scaling. Understanding ultra-fast processes in condensed matter is a prerequisite for the development of applications such as solar energy harvesting by means of “green” hydrogen gas production through photocatalytic water splitting. Femtosecond dynamics also determine, for example, the development of quantum dots as efficient single-photon light sources, which form a basis for the realization of quantum technologies.

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