Research Infrastructure

At UCD Charles Institute, research infrastructure supports the requirements of contemporary dermatology research.


UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology is developing the first Irish skin biobank. This facility for future skin-related research brings together contemporary research facilities at UCD Charles Institute, UCD affiliated teaching hospitals and the patient-related Irish Skin Foundation.

The biobank will store skin-related biological samples from patients with skin conditions including rosacea, psoriasis and epidermolysis bullosa, as well as samples from volunteer healthy control subjects. Sample-related information will be stored electronically in a purpose-designed secure database. 

The development of this valuable research resource will enable future researchers to access biological material that will facilitate dermatology studies. The impact of this research will be the improved understanding of skin diseases that will ultimately produce better therapies for patients. Together with the international collaborator research network being established at the Institute, this skin biobank will make it possible for patients both in Ireland and abroad to be treated more successfully.

Laboratory Facilities

UCD Charles Institute contains thirteen laboratories, purpose-built for a variety of functions and occupying over 1000 sqm. Two large open-plan laboratories, each with an adjacent instrument room, provide bench space for up to seventy researchers. The open-plan laboratories are equipped with general and high-specification equipment reflecting the interests of the research groups in molecular and cell biology and polymer chemistry. The facilities are maintained by a laboratory manager and a part-time laboratory attendant. 

  • Instrument & specialist rooms
    Several rooms are designated and equipped for specific applications. A further instrument room contains two PCR hoods and thermocyclers, to provide space for PCR applications separated from other laboratory activities. 

  • Tissue culture suites
    Two tissue culture suites, each containing two Class 2 laminar flow cabinets and two humidified C02 incubators along with other equipment, are in use. A third tissue culture suite is designated for Class 2 viral research and is self-contained for safety purposes with its own -80°C freezer, top-loading autoclave and Sorvall MX120 microultracentrifuge.

  • Equipment
    A SpectraMax M3 platereader for absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence measurements in 96-well plates, an Olympus SZX16 stereomicroscope and an ultracentrifuge are available. Polymer chemistry equipment includes three Agilent gel permeation chromatography (GPC) machines, freeze dryer, vacuum evaporators and rotary evaporator. Shaker incubators and water baths are in place for bacterial culture and transformation. The laboratories are well equipped for DNA and protein gel electrophoresis, with a Syngene Chemi XRQ gel documentation system, along with an X-ray developer in a fully enclosed dark room. 

Shared Facilities

The Institute operates in co-operation with the UCD Conway Institute and Systems Biology Ireland in the adjacent buildings. Orders of laboratory supplies and equipment are processed through Conway Labstore, and ordering of basic supplies is co-ordinated across the Charles Institute laboratories and research groups. Researchers have convenient access to the genomics, proteomics, flow cytometry and imaging core technologies in UCD Conway Institute.

Melvin Fleming, Facilities Supervisor
UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research
T: +353 1 7166709