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Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Houston, Texas

BCM has 25 departments and more than 90 research and patient-care centers.
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology
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Departmental Research Services & Resources


The Department has a Biosafety/Shared Resources Officer, Steve Halvorsen. He is responsible for issues involving biosafety and shared resources within the Department and interfaces with the College offices that deal with these items. Steve maintains a collection of video and book titles dealing with biosafety for loan within the Department. Additional safety training is available through the Office of Environmental Safety. Radiation safety training and blood-borne pathogen trainin are required by OSHA, the College and the Department, and can be arranged as needed.

Departmental Computer Network

The Departmental computer network is maintained by Christopher Barone, our Computer Resources Officer. The Department local area network is tied to the College network and the World Wide Web. The network runs at 100 MB per second transfer rates, is a switched network and is suitable for high speed data transfer. Email, internet access and data storage are provided, with routine back-up of stored data. Shared computers, printers and scanners (flat-bed and 35mm film) are available. Some books such as Current Protocols are provided on the Departmental network. Access to the TMC library, electronic journals and other resources are available through the College network. Archiving data in several formats is possible. Each laboratory and office has connections to these networks.

Administrative, Financial and Secretarial Services

Secretarial and financial personnel provide preaward grant preparation support, post-award financial management, scheduled reviews of faculty accounts, and secretarial support with manuscripts, correspondence, and other clerical needs as time allows. We have a cadre of secretarial support people who are assigned to multiple faculty as well as two dedicated financial offices, one on the 2nd floor and one on the 7th floor. We also have a dedicated Student Coordinator who works with our graduate students on a daily basis. Contact: Barbara W. McKinley, Administrator.

Grant Services

The Department provides financial and secretarial support for grant preparation. In addition senior faculty in the department also work with young investigators to hone their skills in grantsmanship. The Office of Research provides a website devoted to information pertaining to grant applications and regulatory issues and the school offers opportunities for courses devoted to writing grants. After an award, Departmental financial staff assist with administration of finances.

Media Preparation

The Department maintains and staffs a media preparation facility. This facility prepares common buffers, media and reagents for use throughout the Department. This facility will prepare batches of custom media and plates for labs by request, if cost effective

Glassware Washing

The Department provides glassware cleaning and preparation facilities and staff for glassware handling. The staff circulates through the Department during the day and collects glassware that is ready to be cleaned. They then wash, prepare, sterilize and return the glassware to the laboratory. This team will also process contaminated glassware if it is properly handled and prepared in the individual laboratory. Contaminated disposables will be decontaminated and disposed of by staff if it is properly handled and prepared for decontamination by the individual laboratory.

Shared Equipment

The Department provides a number of larger items of equipment required to do molecular biology and work with infectious agents. The Departmental shared equipment includes autoclaves, cold and warm rooms, darkrooms with film processors, fluorescence microscopy rooms, an electron microscopy suite, and liquid Nitrogen storage. Equipment rooms throughout the Department contain ulta-, high- and low-speed centrifuges and a large selection of rotors, shakers, gel documentation systems, dry ice storage, ice machines and other items. The Department also has several conference rooms, kitchen-lunchrooms, and a library. Several LCD projectors are available for presentations from computers