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Vision Science Research Center School of Optometry | School of Medicine

Molecular & Cellular Analysis Core

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Core Director
Steven Pittler, PhD
Laboratory Manager
José Luis Roig-Lopez, PhD


The primary purpose of both the Ocular Phenotyping and Molecular & Celluar Analysis Cores is to support vision research at UAB. 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 in a timely manner. The core also exists to provide expertise for training and supervision of graduate students and other personnel in molecular biology and histology procedures and in the use of available laboratory equipment; and for solving technical problems.

Electronic Scheduler

Reserve your instrument time on your computer using the online scheduler  http://scheduler.vsrc.uab.edu/molbio/
Reservation of your instrument time is required for all listed instruments

Equipment Available

The Molecular and Cellular Analysis Core is housed in Volker Hall room 370.

The core users are encouraged to turn off the lab lights when they leave especially after hours. And don't forget to log off the computers.  

All core users should acknowledge P30 EY003039 for funding. If you use the lab at all, please include this acknowledgment in every publication, poster and other scientific presentations. Please send a copy of any published works that cite the core and include in NCBI. That will help us to successfully compete for renewed funding.


The purpose of the Molecular & Cellular Analysis Core is to assist users with the molecular and cellular analysis of ocular tissues, 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. To accomplish that, the core acquired a comprehensive array of instrumentation. Day to day activities of the core are handled by laboratory director Dr. José Luis Roig-Lopez, 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
  • Assistance with bright field and fluorescence microscopy and basic image analysis.

To facilitate the availability of these Core services, the Core has acquired comprehensive equipment

Core Equipment

Analytical Software


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





Example of image stitching. Image acquired with the Zeiss Axioplan 2 IRIS9 camera. Red rectangle shows the postiion of one image. ImageJ/FIJI micromanger 2.0 software with a stitching plugin was used to stitch 64 images together. On the left is the raw result showing shading variation. On the right is the same image after cropping and shadow correction in Adobe Photoshop.


stitched image sample tn stitched image sample tn2

Fluo-1 test slide (bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells)

Fluo 1 3 color test slides

The image was captured with µmanager V.2 software multi dimensional acquisition module controlling a Zeiss Axioplan 2 upright fluorescence microscope with a 20x objective, Excelitas LED120Boost light source, and a photometrics IRIS 9 MP CMOS camera with FITC, CY5, and DAPI filters. Exposure times were optimized manually.

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

Primer design links:


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