VSRC Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular Analysis Module      

 Pittler2  MGorbatyuk Vincenzo 
Module Director
Steven J Pittler, PhD
Associate Module Director 
Marina Gorbatyuk, PhD 
Laboratory Manager
Vincenzo Guarcello, PhD

Location & Contact
Volker Hall,  Room 370
Phone: (205) 934 6735


The primary purpose of the Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular Analysis Module is to assist the more than 70 members of the Vision Science Research Center to complete molecular biology and histology related portions of their research. This is accomplished by meeting with the researcher to define the approach to the problem, developing or modifying procedures needed, and completing the project as outlined. The module also exists to provide expertise for training and supervision of graduate students and personnel from other labs in molecular biology and histology procedures and in the use of available laboratory equipment; for solving technical problems for these personnel; and to purchase sufficient equipment and supplies for an efficiently operating lab.

Electronic Scheduler

The online scheduler is here! Reserve your instrument time on your computer  http://scheduler.vsrc.uab.edu/molbio/

Equipment Available

The combination of the Molecular module with Histology is now real, and has become the Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular Analysis Module, located primarily in Volker Hall room 370 with additional support in Worrell building, room 310.

WORB, room 310 houses tools for histology, microscopy, water baths, a centrifuge, DNA and protein electrophoretic apparatus, as well as glassware, tubes, tips, and assorted supplies.

VH, room 370 is still the place for all molecular biology except the gel & blot apparatus, and now boasts a little bit of counter space.

MBP users are hereby empowered (and encouraged) to turn off the lab lights when they leave.And don't forget to log off Windows.  

All MBP Module users should acknowledge P30 EY03039 for funding. If you use the lab at all, please include this acknowledgment in every publication. And send Vincenzo a copy of the citation. These things will help us continue funding the core lab!  


The purpose of the Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular Analysis Module is to assist VSRC members with the investigation of gene expression, including but not limited to primer and mutant design, amplification and quantitation of RNA or DNA products, cloning, and other molecular biology techniques. The NEI P30-funded Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular Analysis Module is now up and running. The module is managed by Vincenzo Guarcello, who has extensive experience in many aspects of molecular biology, histology, and cell biology. 


  • Training in basic molecular biology techniques and equipment usage
  • Technical and experimental design advice
  • Assistance with primer design
  • Assistance with creating mutants
  • Assistance with gradient or conventional PCR and RT-PCR
  • Assistance with real-time/quantitative PCR and RT-PCR with up to 5 fluorophores
  • Assistance with gels and blots, imaging

Module Equipment

  • Bio-Rad iQ5 Real-Time PCR Detection System
  • Typhoon Trio+  Imaging System
  • Wescor 5520 Vapor Pressure Osmometer
  • NanoDrop Spectrophotometer
  • BioRad Criterion Gel & Blot System
  • Beckman TL100 Ultracentrifuge with TLA 100.3 fixed angle rotor and TLS-55 swinging bucket rotor

  • Eppendorf 5810 refrigerated centrifuge with several rotors and adpaters for well plates and assorted tube sizes
  • Bioptigen Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Micron III Fundus Scope
  • LI-COR Odyssey Fluorescent Imager
  • Wallac/Perkin Elmer 1420-041
  • Cryostats Leica CM3050 S

  • Zeiss Axioplan 2 Microscope
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Mini-spin benchtop centrifuge
  • Thermomixer
  • Pipetters, freezer bricks, tube racks, tips, tubes, etc.

Analytical Software

  • Beacon Designer 
  • DeCyder 
  • SameSpots


  • Sample data from the MBP ( click on the photos to enlarge them )







Useful links (some links may be available on campus only)

Primer design links: