The School of Nursing’s BioBehavioral Lab provides state-of-the art laboratory services for researchers. These services are available to faculty at The University of Texas at Austin as well as through contracts with investigators outside the university. The facility opened in October 2011 to support research investigating the links between behavior and physiological factors. The laboratory has equipment to do many kinds of testing: immunological, endocrine, as well as genetics.
Consistent with the National Institutes of Health’s Roadmap, the BioBehavioral Lab supports initiatives for interdisciplinary research, public-private partnerships, and linking bench scientists and clinicians to work together to improve the health of underserved populations.
Goals of the BioBehavioral Lab are to:
- Provide education and training opportunities in biobehavioral research for graduate nursing students.
- Consult with faculty who are extending their research programs to incorporate biological measures.
- Collaborate with interdisciplinary research teams that study the intersection of biological, behavioral, emotional, and social issues.
- Develop grant proposals to support biobehavioral research efforts.
- Increase biobehavioral research activity within the School of Nursing and across disciplines at The University.
The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s 1800 square foot BioBehavioral Lab is classified as a Biosafety Level 2 facility and is approved for the use of radioactive materials. Support equipment includes microcentrofuges, ultra- and refrigerated centrifuges, a speed vacuum lyophilizing system, chemical fume hoods, and updated computer software support. Sample storage in a controlled environment is accomplished by -20°C and -80°C freezers and 5°refrigerators. The -80°C freezers are thermally monitored via the 2DI thermaviewer system. The lab is plumbed with hot and cold water and is fitted with house vacuum lines and eye wash station.
Major equipment includes:
- Spectramax M2e Plate Reader/Spectrophotometer
- Bio-Rad Bio-Plex 200 Multiplex Array System
- Savant Speedvac Centrifuge
- Universal Vacuum System UVS400
- Sorvall RT1 Centrifuge
- Sorvall Legend XTR Centrifuge SC210A
- Perkin Elmer Wizard 2470 Gamma Counter
- Bio-Rad CFX-96 RT-PCR System
The BioBehavioral Lab offers analysis of biomarkers in various human tissues including saliva, plasma, urine, and mucosal membrane secretions. Analytic techniques employed by the lab include:
- Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
- Steroid Hormones (Stress-related and Reproductive)
- Peptide Signaling Molecules
- Drug Metabolites
- Cotinine (Urine)
- Luminex-based multiplex assay
- Radioimmunoassay (RIA)
- Corticotropin Releasing Hormone
- Genetic polymorphisms
- Telomere length
The BioBehavioral Lab is under supervision of research scientist, Joel Wommack. Dr. Wommack received his PhD and MA in Neuroscience and BA in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. He has considerable experience in immunoassay applications and training students in biochemical principles, lab techniques, and safety principles.
Dr. Joel Wommack, Research Scientist
(512) 232-4061 | Email Joel Wommack