Research Facilities and Services

The RCMI program will provide in-kind access to the cores and help the awardees to obtain skills needed to enhance the long-term success of their projects. This pilot project's program focuses on the creation of a research culture that places a priority on integration and sharing. The FAMU RCMI program has established a reputation for building research strengths by leveraging available resources. 


The RCMI program will provide research funding in Drug Discovery, Drug Delivery and Formulation, Molecular Research, Cancer, Neurodegeneration, and the Molecular Basis of Health Disparities. Investigators will be provided with faculty research development funds ($10,000 - $20,000) to enhance biomedical or behavioral research at FAMU.

The Molecular Modeling facility provides the modern modeling software suites on Windows and Linux platforms and technical assistance in performing QSAR, Protein receptor-ligand docking, Virtual screening, Cheminformatics, Molecular Dynamics, and other functions required for drug discovery. This facility will be instrumental in assisting with the research conducted in the FAMU-RCMI Cancer and Neuroscience Cores.

The Molecular Modeling facility supports a perpetual license for Sybyl-X 2.0 software suite and annual academic licenses for the following software.

  1. Cresset Computational Chemistry Software.
  2. Open Eye Scientific Software.
  3. Scalable Molecular Dynamics Software (Desmond, NAMD).

For teaching purposes, we have two dedicated Linux machines in Laboratory for Molecular Modeling, New Pharmacy Building, and for research purposes, dedicated Windows/Linux dual operating system work stations in all Medicinal Chemistry laboratories in CoPPS, IPH.


  • Lead optimization by QSAR Analysis for a dataset containing the activity values using CoMFA, Topomer CoMFA, CoMSIA, Pharmacophore based hypothesis generation, and receptor-ligand docking analysis.
  • Small molecule modeling and simulation include conformation generation and clustering, filtering, molecular mechanics, and dynamics.
  • Macromolecular modeling and simulations include protein crystal structure refinement methods, homology modeling, and molecular dynamics.
  • Lead discovery methodologies include ligand-based and structure-based methods. The structure-based methods consist of docking, virtual screening workflow, receptor-based core hopping, protein structure alignment, etc.

Dr. Suresh Eyunni (, under the supervision of Dr. Kinfe Redda (, operates the facility. Dr. Eyunni is responsible for conducting individual and group training sessions and providing technical assistance. Hands-on training of the software and methodologies would be provided to learners and staff in the College either personally or in a group upon request. Graduate learners are anticipated to learn valuable modeling principles and techniques for application in their scientific projects.  They can also utilize the facility's resources and personnel expertise to enhance their insight into modeling research tools. Most of the modeling software comes with Application Programming Interface (API) to customize their modules. Our facility will support their endeavors.

At present, the facility would not charge any fee for its services. However, the facility staff strongly encourages the learners and faculty to gain valuable experience using the software for their research purposes. The facility staff is responsible for training, troubleshooting, obtaining licenses, and implementing the requested software. If a staff member of the facility is involved in more than 50% of the computational work in a learner/PI's research, they are expected to be included as an author in the learner/PI's publication/patent or conference abstract/poster. If the staff member's contribution is less than 50%, the staff member and the facility would be acknowledged in the abstracts/posters/publications as appropriate for their services.

The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility (NMR) provides instrumentation and technical assistance for obtaining NMR spectra for liquid samples. This facility supports drug discovery research and other chemicals, biochemical research to monitor chemical reactions, identify/elucidate chemical structures, and determine the purity of synthetic products. This facility also provides basic training for graduate and undergraduate learners in the CoPPS, IPH, and chemistry departments on how to use the instrument to meet their research / experimental needs and the requirements for medicinal chemistry or medicinal chemistry organic chemistry courses.


  1. Standard1-D Hydrogen spectra, liquid samples;
  2. Standard 1-D Carbon spectra, including APT, DEPT, liquid samples;
  3. Homo 2-D experiments, COSY, etc.;
  4. Hetero 2-D experiments, HETCOR, etc.;
  5. Special observation of 15N, 31P, 19F spectrum (with advance schedule).
  6. Special experiments under temperature from -80 oC to 200 oC (with advance schedule).


The facility has one Varian NMR Spectrometer system, Mercury plus 300 MHz Spectrometer system, with ATB (Automation Triple-Resonance Broadband) PFG (Pulsed Field Gradient) probe, Carousel autosampler, and software VNMRJ 2.2D.

The facility has the Bruker Avance III HD 600 high-performance digital NMR system with SmartProbe, which can observe 15N, 31P, 19F, 1H, and 13C and BSVT, which allows experiments at temperatures from -80 oC to 200 oC.

The NMR facility will be operated by Dr. Wang Zhang, the facility manager ( (850-412-5356). He is responsible for maintenances and coordination of the routine usage of the instrument among individuals and providing technical assistance to requested operators.

We charge $7.50 for each hydrogen spectrum; $15.00 for each carbon spectrum ($20 to $30 for diluting sample, which requires an extended scan). Special experiments with other nuclear or under non-room temperature will charge extra fees determined by the time required for the service.


The Proteomics facility provides various proteomic services, including protein molecular weight determination, identification, and analysis.  This facility will enable FAMU biomedical researchers to answer pressing biological questions about the functions and roles of proteins in diseases impacting the underserved and minority populations.  With sample preparation, separations, mass spectrometry, and informatics, we will be able to provide information that drives knowledge about disease pathology, and target-based drug discovery will be realized.


  • ABSciex 4800 MALDI TOF-TOF Mass Spectrometer
  • Protean IEF System
  • TM-Sprayer
  • Bio-Rad VersaDoc 4000 Imager
  • Phospho Imager
  • Creiterion Dodeca Cell and Criterion Cell


  • Protein separation using either 2D-Gel electrophoresis
  • Gel imaging using Bio-Rad VersaDoc Imager
  • Archiving and retrieval of proteomics data for protein informatics analysis
  • Sample preparation
  • Provide consultation on experimental design
  • Provide individual/group proteomics training
  • Digest samples were analyzed using ABSciex 4800 MALDI-TOF-TOF
  • Gel spot cutting, trypsin digestion, and peptide extraction

The Proteomics facility will be managed and operated by Dr. Equar Taka ( and Dr. Tracy Womble ( under the supervision of Dr. Selina Darling-Reed (

Regarding fees, please contact either facility managers, Dr. Tracy Womble (850-561-2466) or Dr. Equar Taka (850-599-3127). At present, the facility does not charge any fee to FAMU RCMI or non-RCMI faculty members for the services provided. However, this is subject to change. The facility staff strongly encourages the learners and faculty to gain valuable experience using the software for prospective research projects. The facility staff is responsible for training, troubleshooting, obtaining licenses, and implementing the requested software. If a staff member of the facility is involved in more than 50% of the computational work in a learner/PI’s research, the staff member is expected to be included as an author in the learners/PI’s publication/patent or conference abstract/poster. If the staff member's contribution is less than 50%, the staff member and the facility would be acknowledged in the abstracts/posters/publications as appropriate for their services.

The Flow Cytometry Facility provides resources for analytical and preparative studies of cells using flow cytometry to the FAMU biomedical researchers. This facility offers critically essential technology for gaining information about normal versus disease states.  Utilizing in vivo (animals and humans) or in vitro studies to characterize structures or visualize molecular markers using various image methods is a powerful tool in clinical and biomedical research. The facility will provide resources for image data acquisition and analysis for radioactive, fluorescent, and photographic samples and digital imaging and document production. The facility also offers FACS acquisition and analysis for detecting cell surface or intracellular proteins, measuring apoptosis, cell cycle analysis and progression, and cellular physiology with biomedical and clinical applications.  The recently purchased SONY SH800 cell sorter will build upon the current technologies within this facility by allowing us to sort select cell populations from heterogeneous cell populations for subsequent analysis. Technical assistance for experimental design, interpretation, and troubleshooting will be provided for users that wish to learn the full operation of the instrumentation for self-service analysis or full service.


  • Operator assisted acquisition and analysis
  • Operator unassisted analysis and acquisition (for individuals who have attended an instructional class)
  • Off-line data analysis
  • Cell cycle analysis
  • Calcium flux analysis
  • Receptor Endocytosis
  • Sample staining and analysis
  • Cytometric Bead Arrays
  • Annexin V for apoptosis
  • Multiplexed analysis of signal transduction
  • Phosphorylation target assays
  • Detection of Cell Surface Markers
  • Detection of Intracellular Markers
  • Sorting cell populations of interest
  • Preparing specimens (i.e., Hematoxylin & Eosin Staining, Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis staining (Comet Assay), fluorescent conjugates, tissue fixing, and immunohistochemistry) image processing
  • Data acquisition and analysis for radioactive, fluorescent, and photographic sample


  1. BD Facscalibur 2.0 Flow Cytometer with dual laser (air-cooled argon 488 nm laser and a red 635 nm diode laser) and four-color detection capabilities (housed in Flow Cytometry Facility).
  2. Sony SH800 Cell Sorter with an integrated four laser (488nm/405nm/561/638nm excitation wavelength) engine and six freeform PMTs with 96 well and 384 well capabilities in a biosafety cabinet.


The Flow Cytometry facility is operated by Dr. Selina Darling-Reed, faculty coordinator (, and Dr. Ramesh B. Badisa, facility manager ( or 850-561-2896). They will be responsible for conducting individual and group training sessions, organizing workshops and seminars, and assisting operators. In addition to samples, all users must bring their supplies – namely gloves, tips, BD falcon tubes (12 x 75 mm). The facility is open on all working days by appointment from 8 am to 5 pm.

An annual fee of $300 for the FAMU-based labs is required to use the Flow Cytometry facility. Please note that the number of users per lab does not affect the charge.

The Epigenetics facility provides investigators with the tools and guidance to further understand molecular events associated with epigenetic modifications. The facility offers FAMU faculty the most advanced techniques in epigenetic research. The facility management team ensures that desired goals and objectives are accomplished using available resources efficiently and effectively.


  • Bisulfite-based DNA methylation sequencing, Global 5-mC Quantification, Methylation-Specific PCR.
  • Chromatin Biochemistry/Histone Modifications, Genome-wide chromatin immune precipitation sequencing, ChIP Quantitative PCR Service (ChIP-qPCR), ChIP-on-chip.
  • Ribosomal function, lamin organization, and localization.
  • Global miRNA epigenetic expression profiling.   
  • Histone modification enzyme: drug screening. Target Modifications: HDAC1, HDAC2, DNMT1, DNMT3A, EZH2.
  • Histone Mark Profiling, Modifications: total histone H3, total histone H4, H3K9, H3K14, H3K18, H3K23, H3K56, H4K5, H4K8, H4K12, H4K16 Histone Methylation Profiling Target Modifications: H3K4, H3K9, H3K27, H3K36, H3K79, H3R2, H3R17, H4R3.


  • Core Equipment needed to carry out these services include:
  • A basic Affymetrix Gene Atlas,
  • Biotek Multi-mode spectrophotometer,
  • Tak 3 nanodrop plate and Biorad- CFX96™ Touch System, used for Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) to identify genetic targets of DNA binding proteins by ChIP-qPCR (chromatin immunoprecipitation quantitative PCR) or ChIP-on-chip as well as diverse ELISAS and kinetic histone enzyme modification activities.

Please contact Dr. Reams ( (850-561-2672) or Dr. Elizabeth Mazzio: ( (850-694-5127) to discuss your research project goals and service options.

The miRNA global transcription profiling: human, mouse, and rat price per sample is $425. This price includes RNA isolation, quality control, sample preparation, amplification, hybridization, and analysis. Customized project costs are determined on a case-by-case basis.

The goal of the Microarray facility within the Molecular Resources Core is to establish research infrastructure to investigate various aspects of disease pathologies associated with profile changes in the global genomic transcriptome. The facility core provides a full-service microarray facility utilizing the Affymetrix GeneChip platform.


The Microarray facility processes RNA from tissue or cells for hybridization required for transcriptome (mRNA or non-coding miRNA) analysis using the power of Affymetrix microarrays.  These services enable whole-genome human, mouse, rat, and model organism expression analysis. In-house services include RNA isolation, quality control, sample prep, amplification, fragmentation terminal-labeling, hybridization, and final distribution of cell files. We can also assist with analysis using diverse analytic platforms such as partek or transcription expression console analysis by Affymetrix.


  • Affymetrix Gene Atlas with applications for microRNA and Non-coding RNA Analysis: Array strips.
  • Affymetrix® Array Strips for the GeneAtlas® System
    • Affymetrix® 3’ IVT Array Strips for the GeneAtlas® System for human, mouse, and rat whole-genome expression analysis (GeneChip® Human Genome U133, Human Genome U219, MG-430 PM, and RG-230 PM Arrays).
    • Affymetrix® Gene 1.1 ST Array Strips for whole-transcriptome analysis of human, mouse, rat, and a wide range of model and applied research organisms. Capabilities include RNA isolation, quality control, global expression profiling, and transcriptome profiling for various organisms.
    • Affymetrix® miRNA array strips for diverse organisms and species are also available.

Please contact Elizabeth Mazzio ( (850-694-5127) at the facility to discuss any planned microarray projects.

Price per sample includes RNA isolation, quality control, sample preparation, amplification, fragmentation and terminal-labeling, hybridization, and analysis at $425.00.