Home  /  Research  /  Research Centers  /  Center for Molecular Medicine

Center for Molecular Medicine

Dedicated to understanding the intricacies of cellular signaling, the Center for Molecular Medicine was built on Caltech's successes at the interface of chemistry and biology. It is focused on determining how complex systems of molecules interact to create the pathways that regulate the lives of cells and allow them to respond to their environments. Rather than just studying a complex biomolecule in isolation, an understanding of how it is part of a larger path of molecules is the purpose of its establishment. The Center was made possible by a generous grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

If use of the Center instrumentation has contributed significantly to your research, we request that you cite the Center in the acknowledgments section of your publication. For example: "This work was supported by…, and by the Center for Molecular Medicine at California Institute of Technology."

Access to CM2 Instruments

  1. Please contact the appropriate caretakers for each instrument you would like to use for the instrument training.
  2. Upon completion of training, contact Dina Malounda (malounda@caltech.edu) to get access.

People in the Facility

Faculty members: Dr. Dennis Dougherty, Dr. Jacqueline Barton, Dr. Peter Dervan, Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson, Dr. Shu-ou Shan, Dr. Alison Ondrus, Dr. Mikhail Shapiro

Safety Officer: Dina Malounda, malounda@caltech.edu

Lab Assistants: Please see the table below for instrument caretakers


Thursday afternoons
3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Online only


Crellin Room 262 (Bacterial)


Microplate reader with 5 read modes (including absorbance, fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarization, luminescence, and time-resolved fluorescence) with additional robot functionality (8-channel pipettor) to add liquid reagents.

Contact: John O. Chapman, ,jochapman@caltech.edu

Odyssey Li-Cor IR Imager

Quantitative scanning of western blots at 700 and 800 nm.

Contact: Ruilin Qian, rqian@caltech.edu

Beckman LS 6000SC Scintillation Counter

The scintillation counter is designed to provide highly accurate, automated counting of the level of radioactivity in radioactivity-tagged samples. Instrument used to count radioactive samples. Note: New users must complete Radioactivity Safety Training with Haick Issaian (haick.issian@caltech.edu), the Institute Radiation Safety Officer, before getting access to the scintillation counte.

Contact: Kausar Raza kausar@caltech.edu

Nanodrop 2000

Micro-volume full spectrum UV-Visible spectrophotometer for sample volumes as low as 0.5 µL.

Contact: Li-En Lin, lelin@caltech.edu


Fully automated sample preparation of Qiagen spin-column kits (up to 12 samples per run) for purification of DNA, RNA or proteins.

Contact: Xun Wang, xwang2@caltech.edu

I2500 KC Incubator Shaker

Floor-mounted shaker accepts up to 6-L flasks for culture.

Contact: Dina Malounda, malounda@caltech.edu

Innova 43 Incubator Shaker

Floor-mounted temperature-controlled shaker accepts up to 6-L flasks for culture. Can go down to 5°C.

Contact: Dina Malounda, malounda@caltech.edu

Avanti J-26 Centrifuge

Centrifuge up to 6 1-Liter cultures.

Contact: Alex Siegel, asiegel@caltech.edu

Ultrospec 10

Portable spectrophotometer for OD600 readings.

Contact: Terry Kim, tdkim@caltech.edu

-80°C freezer

Intended for use as a back-up of individual lab freezers.

Contact: Dina Malounda malounda@caltech.edu

Crellin Room 260 (Mammalian)

Typhoon FLA 9000

High-resolution biomolecular imager capable of detecting storage phosphor, chemiluminescence, and multiplex fluorescence with 473 nm, 532 nm, and 625 nm excitation. Analysis done with ImageQuant software.

Contact: Helena Awad, hawad@caltech.edu

Amaxa 4D-Nucleofector

Efficient electroporation of mammalian cells for transfection.

Contact: James Linton, jlinton@caltech.edu

CFX 96 Real-Time PCR Detection System

Built upon the Bio-Rad C1000 96 well Thermal Cycler, utilizes filtered LEDs for excitation and is capable of monitoring 450-750 nM excitation/emission wavelength range. This system allows for simultaneous detection of up to 5 different fluorophores per reaction and is sensitive enough to detect one copy of target sequence in human genomic DNA.

Contact: Boyoung Shin boyoung@caltech.edu and Tom Sidwell tsidwell@caltech.edu

Neon Transfection System

High efficiency electroporation transfection device for primary cells, stem cells, and difficult-to-transfect cells. It is capable of transfecting 10 or 100 µL volumes.

Contact: Raymond J. Zhang, rjzhang@caltech.edu

Nikon SMZ1000 Microscope

Used for dissections and imaging (transmitted light) with the camera attached. Zoom from 0.8 to 8X, in a clean bench to provide a sterile dissection/preparation work space.

Contact: Terry Kim,tdkim@caltech.edu

Nikon TS100 Microscope

Used for basic visualization of cultured cells at 10 and 20X, allowing for monitoring and counting cells.

Contact: Kun Mmiao, kmiao@caltech.edu

Clean Bench

Provides sterile environment for sensitive dissections or microscope work.

Contact: Terry Kim, tdkim@caltech.edu

Laminar Flow Hoods/Biosafety Cabinets

Provides sterile environment for mammalian cell work.

Contact: Alice Hsu, ahhsu@caltech.edu

Mammalian Tissue Culture CO2 Incubator

Provides a controlled CO2 and temperature environment for cells during dissection, transfection or passaging done at the Center. It is intended for temporary use, and not long term housing of cultured cells.

Contact: Kun Miao, kmiao@caltech.edu

Tabletop centrifuge that can accomodate 15 or 50 mL conical tubes.

Contact: Dina Malounda, malounda@caltech.edu

Contact: Alice Hsu, ahhsu@caltech.edu

Contact: Alice Hsu, ahhsu@caltech.edu

Instrumentation Caretakers

For training or troubleshooting, please contact the appropriate caretakers.

Equipment Caretaker Contact info
Biosafety cabinet (TC hood) Alice Hsu ahhsu@caltech.edu
Chemical fume hood Dina Malounda malounda@caltech.edu
Amaxa 4-D Nucleofector James Lilton jlinton@caltech.edu
Benchtop centrifuges Dina Malounda malounda@caltech.edu
Benchtop water bath Alice Hsu ahhsu@caltech.edu
MilliQ water deionizer Amylynn Chen ach3n@caltech.edu
Typhoon FLA 9000 gel imager Helena Awad hawad@caltech.edu
Inverted fluorescence microscope (Nikon TS100) Kun Miao kmiao@caltech.edu
Upright dissection microscope (Nikon SMZ1000) + Clean bench Terry Kim tdkim@caltech.edu
Affinity ITC Chia-Yu Chien ccchien@caltech.edu
Mammalian cell incubator Kun Miao kmiao@caltech.edu
Zeta Potential Analyzer Bill Ling blling@caltech.edu
BioRad qPCR (CFX 96 RT PCR) Boyoung Shin and Tom Sidwell boyoung@caltech.edu, tsidwell@caltech.edu
4°C refrigerator Alice Hsu ahhsu@caltech.edu
FlexStation microplate reader John O. Chapman jochapman@caltech.edu
Beckman Avanti J-26 floor centrifuge Alex Siegel asiegel@caltech.edu
-80°C freezer Dina Malounda malounda@caltech.edu
Nanodrop 2000 Li-En Lin lelin@caltech.edu
Li-Cor IR imager Ruilin Qian rqian@caltech.edu
Beckman Scintillation Counter Kausar Raza kausar@caltech.edu
Shaking incubator for bacteria Dina Malounda malounda@caltech.edu
Ultrospec cell density meter Terry Kim tdkim@caltech.edu
QIAcube Xun Wang Xwang2@caltech.edu
Neon transfection system Raymond J. Zhang rjzhang@caltech.edu
Ice maker Trixia Buscagan tbuscaga@caltech.edu

Mailing address

Caltech Center for Molecular Medicine
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
MC 164-30
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125