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How to Manage a Biotech Lab Ellyn Daugherty SM Biotech Career Pathway www.SMBiotech.com www.BiotechEd.com www.emcschool.com/biotechnology www.sargentwelch.com/biotech.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Manage a Biotech Lab Ellyn Daugherty SM Biotech Career Pathway www.SMBiotech.com www.BiotechEd.com www.emcschool.com/biotechnology www.sargentwelch.com/biotech."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Manage a Biotech Lab Ellyn Daugherty SM Biotech Career Pathway

2 Things to Consider: Lay-out/Workflow/Storage Lab Stations Common Work Areas Chemicals/Chemical Storage Refrigerator/Freezer Storage Student Sample Storage Waste Disposal Other Safety Issues Inventory/Ordering Managing Time Other Issues Setting up and Managing a Biotech Lab

3 Consider student movement, bottlenecks, & time constraints Set up at individual lab stations vs. common work areas, or vice versa Replicate work areas - avoid long waits and long distance Strategically placed tables, carts, deionized water, sinks Gas/Bunsen burner placement (needed only in hoods) Storage areas - immediate, short- term, and long-term Facility Lay-out/Workflow/Storage

4 Students work at lab station in pairs (lab partners) 2 pairs at a lab station (lab table) A minimum on the lab table > 1 hot plate stirrer/lab station > 1 spectrophotometer/lab station > a trash bucket/lab station > 1 (serological) pipet rack/table > 1 micropipet stand/table > a box of gloves/table Strategic use of drawers and cabinets > Small instrument drawer (pipet pumps, micropipet tips, pen, tape, scissors, goggles, etc.) > Student storage drawer > Small equipment & reagent cabinet (gel boxes, power supplies, large volumes of buffer, etc.) Lab Stations

5 Common Work Areas In strategic locations – common work stations > electronic & analytical weighing stations > pH meter/pH adjustment station > centrifuge station, UV spec station > refrigerators and freezers (mini-?) > gel staining and visualization station > incubation ovens, water baths, heat blocks, microwaves > deionized water (dH 2 0) > autoclaves and drying ovens > supply tables/supply carts Hoods > Laminar flow hoods vs. bio-safety cabinets (for sterile work, protect user and samples) > Chemical fume hoods (for dispensing organics, caustics, flammables, noxious)

6 Chemicals & Chemical Storage

7 Refrigerator/Freezer Storage Most samples are labeled with storage temp Virtually all protein, DNA, and cell samples must be stored at 4°C (refrig) or at -20°C (lab freezer) > Store lyophilized (powdered) protein or DNA samples at -20°C, unless otherwise labeled > Store protein samples alphabetically > Record the date on reagents upon arrival, then record when the sample is first opened > Certain cell lines must be stored at -70°C or below or lose competence or viability Do not use defrosting (cycling) refrigerator/freezers Repeated freezing/thawing compromises most samples (aliquot samples on receipt into more usable volumes) If possible, have designated refrigerators and freezers for different courses

8 Student Sample Storage Room Temp Storage > chemicals, many buffers Refrigerator/Cooler (4°C) Storage > most protein or DNA student samples Freezer (-20°C) Storage > some protein or DNA student samples > glycerol stock/cell samples for IR (?) (some required -80°) The more you can separate student samples the more time is saved > Consider separate lab refrigerators and freezers (4.0 cu ft models) or different shelves in large volume coolers or freezers

9 Most districts have specific policies for waste disposal (find out about yours) Most hazardous waste must be collected and disposed of by professionals Need biohazard bags for biological hazards = plates (no sharp items), fill only ½ full Autoclave bio-contaminated items psi before trash Bio-contaminated loops and tubes can be soaked in 10% bleach for 30 min before regular trash Many chemicals may not go down drain (see district rules), ie. CuSO 4, silver nitrate, EtBr?, etc Label waste with type/concentration/date Waste Disposal

10 Gloves and goggles at every lab station and workstation, for all chem work No gloves for work with Bunsen burner or microwave (burn hazard). Explore silicon gloves. Use hot hand protectors or lab mitts for hot bottles/beakers Disinfectants at each hood (1x Lysol® or Amphyl®), where bacteria is used Use of 10% bleach or 70% EtOH, where plant tissues are used Use of lid-locks for 1.7 mL tubes and hot heat blocks Safety shower, eyewash Broken glass cartons, fire extinguisher at several places Other Safety Issues

11 Keep a record (Excel® spreadsheet with vendor, manufacturer, description, package size, part number, etc.) of all materials used and received. Use inventory sheets to help keep areas clean and organized Assign student groups the responsibility to maintain/inventory a particular area > Chem Stockroom A-G> Weigh Stations > Darwin Refrigerator> Watson, Crick Freezers Have inventory sheets at each lab station and require inventory sign-off at the beginning and end of class (Biotech Live Ch 3) Have a place that students can record when a last bottle is ½ full (use to amend orders) Make time for inventory and lab station/workplace maintenance Inventory/Ordering

12 Decide what is really important for YOU to do > what things should you really grade and how should you grade them > what task others can do for you (students, administrators, committee members) > how many jobs do you actually have (teaching, coaching, dept chair, etc.) Start learning some of the faster, better, cheaper ways of doing some of the lab techniques. > faster agarose gels (LB buffer system) > faster protein PAGE gels (UV-gel system) > DNA visualization dye in the loading dye > faster restriction digestion enzymes > using high-efficiency competent cells for transformation Start thinking like a CEO (of your biotech company) Managing Time

13 Computers – keep them away from chemicals and water Not enough space – portable items? Alphabetized small items drawers or containers Cable-lock down balances, computers Designated hand-washing sinks? Lots of paper towels used Crushed ice needed/preferred Post emergency numbers Biotech teacher in charge of facility Keep getting professional development Network with other biotech educators and ask them questions (especially about new methods, techniques, equipment) Other Issues

14 Other Issues – Getting the Support You Need Financial – Books, Lab Manuals, CDs, etc. – Equipment/Supplies (Grants, Donations, Giveaways, Bio-Link Depot, BABEC, Partnerships, etc.) – Computers – Release Time Curriculum/Professional Development – Books, Lab Manuals, CDs, etc. – Workshops and Conferences Moral – Reasonable expectations from Admin – From Counseling, Clerical, and Admin – Designated Classroom – Reasonable amount of Preps – Reasonable amount of Students – Reasonable Budget

15 Get even more help! Ellyn Daugherty SM Biotech Career Pathway


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