At the heart of experimental biomolecular science is structural biology and SCMB has led the way at UQ in structural investigations of small and macromolecular systems. Recently acquired X-ray crystallography, and cryo-electron microscopy facilities in addition to state of the art NMR and mass spectrometry equipment underpin all of our investigations in molecular science.

Our cutting-edge proteomics facility enables high-throughput analyses of complex mixtures of proteins using a variety of separation and quantitative visualisation techniques. We also have led the way in real time PCR analysis which underpins many of our molecular genetics research programs.

Our experimental studies in structural biology and protein chemistry are linked to programs in computational biomolecular science which include studies of molecular dynamics of protein folding and structure.

SCMB Scientific Facilities are supported by professional staff with extensive experience and include those listed below.

Maintained by the Faculty of Science, a separate UQ Science Research Facilities Portal lists resources available in a variety of Schools, Institutes and Centres at UQ, including SCMB.

Scientific Facilities section


Diagnostics e.g. detection and quantitation of pathogenic bacteria or virus sequences in tissue or environmental samples. RT-qPCR: measurement of transcript (messenger RNA) abundance in RNA samples after reverse transcriptas...

Analytical Ultracentrifugation

Analytical ultracentrifugation is the study of the behaviour of macromolecules in solution under the influence of a strong gravitational force.


Surface plasmons are surface electromagnetic waves that propagate in parallel along a metal/dielectric (or metal/vacuum) interface.

Cellular and Subcellular Imaging (IN Cell Analyser)

This instrument is a flexible, modular, cellular and subcellular imaging system for fast, automated imaging in fixed and live cells.

Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy

The plane polarization of light is a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has polaroid sunglasses or a glare-reducing polarization filter for a camera lens.

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy

A popular mode of optical microscopy in which a focussed laser beam is scanned laterally along the x and y axes of a specimen in a raster pattern.

Elemental Microanalysis for C,H,N,S,O

The technique used is based on a modificationof the classical Pregl and Dumas method.

Epifluorescent and Light Microscopy Facility

A research technique in optical microscopy that relies on excitation of fluorescent molecules with a specific wavelength region to produce an image generated by the secondary fluorescence emission at longer wavelengths.

Flow Cytometry

FACS is a specialized type of flow cytometry. Using laser beam to interrogate the flow, cytometer analyses the specific light scattering and fluorescent characteristics of individual cells. Following the cytometry, a stream of cells brakes into drop...

Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography

X-ray crystallography is the most universal method for the determination of three-dimensional structures of molecules at atomic resolution.

Magnetic Circular Dichroism (MCD) Spectroscopy

The MCD spectrometer was built in collaboration with Lastek Pty Ltd. and is based on a high through-put / high resolution Jobin Yvon 750s monochromator and an Oxford Instruments SpectroMag superconducting magnet.

Mammalian Tissue Culture Facility

A collection of equipment available to SCMB staff and research students.

Mass Spectrometry - Chemistry

Mass spectrometry has emerged as one of the most valuable tools in chemistry and biological chemistry.

Mass Spectrometry - Molecular Biology

Mass spectrometry has emerged as one of the most valuable tools in modern biology.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a physical phenomenon based upon the quantum mechanical magnetic properties of an atom's nucleus.

Photochemistry and Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy

Ultrafast spectroscopy is used to measure the kinetics for a variety of important photophysical processes in chemical and biological research, including electronic structure, photoisomerizations, energy and/or electron transfer, charge transport, optical non-linear effects, and many other processes.

Protein Expression

There is no central facility for protein purification within the Faculty. The UQ Protein Expression Facility (PEF) located at AIBN delivers proteins for diverse applications in the areas of structural biology and chemistry. PEF also offers training for staff and students in all aspects of protein production.


The core technology of the proteomics facility can be divided into the more broadly-applicable imaging equipment and more specific electrophoresis equipment.

Real-Time PCR Facility

Quantitative "real time" PCR (qPCR) measures the accumulation of fluorescent DNA amplification products as they are generated during each cycling step of a polymerase chain reaction.

Small Molecule X-ray Crystallography

The School operates a single crystal X-ray crystallography facility tailored for the determination of molecular structures of organic and inorganic compounds of modest molecular weight (typically less than 2000 Da).

Workshop Facilities

Mechanical, Electronic and Scientific Glassblowing workshop services.
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