The MBRL is a fully equipped research facility occupying approximately 1000 square fee. The lab contains four computers and a complete OsteometricsR bone histomorphometric analysis station. The lab is completely equipped for cell and tissue culture, molecular studies (particularly gene expression), advanced light microscopy including Nomarski DIC-phase contrast microscopy, inverted phase contrast, polarization and fluorescence imaging. Rotary and Jung Polycut E microtomes permit the sectioning of bone and cartilage specimens that are either decalcified or undecalcified. Major equipment such as high speed ultra-centrifuges, cryostat, nano-pure water filtration systems, sterilization equipment, isotope counting equipment, and low temperature freezers are conveniently located adjacent to the laboratory. A darkroom is adjacent to the laboratory. Animal housing, animal surgical suites and procedure rooms are located in an adjacent building on the campus, as are the facilities for scanning and transmission mode electron microscopy and confocal imaging. The resources of the Biomechanics Laboratory are conveniently located across the campus in the Hines VA research facility for studies that merge cell biology with biomechanical analyses.
Resident research is a fully mentored experience from the time of initial project identification through the development of abstracts and manuscripts resulting from the effort. Residents join the lab staff and Director at weekly lab meetings, participate in the regular critical analysis and discussion of relevant journal articles, Residents engaged in research attend the monthly Research Meeting of the department at which they present a summary of their recently acquired data. Residents also compete for research awards at both the local and national level, develop research posters for display at medical center events and national or local research meetings, and attend national meetings to present data.