Welcome to the Center for Molecular Biology (CMB) at Smith College!

Gel Light

The CMB was established in the fall of 2002 with funding provided by Smith College and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  It contains a multitude of state-of-the-art molecular biology instrumentation as well as instructional support and expertise from the Center’s Instruments and Techniques Instructor (ITI), Lou Ann Bierwert.  The goals of the CMB are to provide first-class support for molecular biology research, training, and education of all interested faculty, staff, and students at Smith College as well as educational outreach in local schools.

The activities of the CMB are currently focused on the following three target areas:

Facility Services and Consulting

The CMB currently provides DNA Sequencing and Fragment Analysis service, as well as equipment and support for Next Generation Sequencing, Bioinformatics, Digital and QRT-PCR, Spectrophotometry, Fluorimetry, Microarrays, Gel and Blot Imagery and more to all Smith students, faculty, and staff. Please refer to our ‘Services” and  ‘Equipment’ pages for more information.
In addition to the facility services, faculty and students can receive assistance in experimental design and troubleshooting upon request.

Training and Education

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The CMB provides technical support in molecular biology and bioinformatics to the Smith community. Orientations are held throughout the year to assist faculty and students in the use and application of the Center and it’s instrumentation.  Individualized training is always available upon request.  The information on the orientations will be announced in emails to faculty and staff at the beginning of each semester and SURF.


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The CMB acts as a center of intellectual exchange for Smith’s community of scientists and serves to promote collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches to specific research initiatives.  The ‘Protocols’ page provides a series of protocols for performing molecular biology methods (Note* Next-Generation Sequencing protocols can be found on the ‘Next-Gen Sequencing’ page).  If you have successfully developed a new protocol that you think would be useful to the community, you can send it to the ITI, Lou Ann Bierwert, at lbierwer@smith.edu for posting in this section to share.

The CMB is also involved in collaborations with the educational community outside of Smith College, such as local high schools.  Our outreach endeavors are posted in the ‘Outreach Program’ page.

This website is intended to inform you and make it easier for you to communicate with us. Visit often to take advantage of upcoming events. Any suggestions to help us improve the development of the CMB are welcome.  Just email the ITI, Lou Ann Bierwert, at lbierwer@smith.edu.