Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

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Research facilities

  • 6000 m2 of laboratory areas
  • Extensive hardware and software
  • 600, 500 and 400 MHz NMR including a biophysical NMR centre
  • Molecular modelling workstations
  • Extensive tissue culture facilities
  • Flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • Concord fluorescence imaging
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Dual laser confocal microscopy
  • Intra-cellular/patch clamp electrophysiology
  • Real-time PCR analysis
  • Bioscience services building used by researchers in the departments of Biology & Biochemistry and Pharmacy & Pharmacology, completed in September 2007, at a total cost of £4M, including state-of-the art facilities for transgenics and for in vivo pharmacology including behavioural studies

Labs and equipment

Our buildings provide world-class, cutting-edge facilities to our students and staff with all laboratories purpose-designed to a high standard.

Many of our facilities are centrally managed by the Microscopy and Analysis Suite (MAS)  and the Chemical Characterisation and Analysis Facility (CCAF) with a wide range of techniques available and staffed by dedicated research officers.

Undergraduate facilities

Resources in the department include a new facility that is set up like a real pharmacy, with a dispensary and patient consulting rooms. Students are filmed whilst role-playing encounters with patients, played by teaching staff or professional actors. The facility also has a clinical skills area where students can practise taking a blood pressure or listening to a chest using SimMan 3G - a life-like robotic patient that can be programmed to have a range of medical conditions. SimMan is currently used in both our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

These facilities ensure that University of Bath pharmacists have the best possible vocational education to equip them to meet the needs of their profession.

NMR Suite

NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) is the principal method for the characterisation of small molecules. The technique allows for checking on the purity of samples, for confirming the identity of reaction products and can be used to identify unknown samples. More complicated experiments are used to determine the three-dimensional structure of proteins, and to study the interaction of drug molecules with short stretches of DNA.

We have three NMR spectrometers, located in a dedicated Biomedical NMR Spectroscopy Suite in 9 West 0.03.

For information on training and using the NMR suite please contact Dr Tim Woodman:

  • Office number 9 West 0.03a
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1225 385 555 (internal 5555)
  • Fax: + 44 (0)1225 386114
  • Email:


The NMR suite is equipped with three spectrometers, operating at 400, 500 and 600 MHz. The 400 and 500 are mainly used for small molecule work and are both fitted with 60 position sample changers, allowing multiple samples to be queued on the instruments and thus giving the potential for 24 hour operation. The 600, with a three channel, triple-resonance HCN probe, is set up for structural analysis of small strands of DNA, and proteins.

Bruker 400 MHz Avance III Spectrometer

The 400 is the walk-up instrument for the NMR suite. Once trained, users obtain routine NMR data on samples, typically 1H spectra to confirm the identity of compounds. The spectrometer has a BBO probe, which can be tuned automatically to any nucleus between 15N and 31P (~ 40.53 MHz to 161.92 MHz at this field strength) allowing the seamless acquisition of data. Typically short acquisitions are performed in daytime hours (9 am to 6 pm), while longer experiments such as 2D HSQC or HMBC are submitted to run overnight. This arrangement allows for quick access to spectra during the daytime. This is often useful for following the progress of reactions.

Sample submission is via IconNMR, a simple to use program that allows the set-up of experiments to be very rapid, whilst still allowing for flexibility in experimental choice.

Bruker 500 MHz Avance III Spectrometer

The 500 has two available probes. The BBFO+ allows for observation of nuclei from 15N to 31P, and both 1H and 19F, including 1H{19F} decoupling (and so 1H-19F HOESY, and HMBC experiments). The second is a TXI probe, equipped for 1H, 13C, 15N operation. This type of probe is configured for biological experiments, such as protein or DNA structure investigations, and boasts a very high intrinsic sensitivity for 1H experiments as the proton coil is closest to the sample.

The 500 uses the same TopSpin software as the 400, although there are some key differences in operation, particularly in the standard experiment sets. The 500 is the instrument of choice for more demanding samples, and is frequently used for the full characterisation of samples where tiny amounts of material are available.

Besides the standard experiments, the 500 is used for kinetics, diffusion and variable temperature investigations, and for the first implementation of new pulse sequences.

Varian (Agilent) Inova 600 MHz Spectrometer

The 600 MHz spectrometer is primarily used for biological structural analysis. With three channels and a triple resonance HCN probe the instrument allows investigation into protein folding and DNA-drug interaction. The intrinsically high sensitivity and spectral resolution can also be useful in situations where the 400 and 500 have not achieved sufficient dispersion.