R I S E    T E A C H I N G    L A B

The MBRS- RISE Teaching Lab is available to all graduate students at PSMHS.

The RISE Lab: Resources and Equipment for you!


Open to all graduate students at PSMHS the MBRS-RISE Teaching Lab offer:

  • A full time laboratory technician for technical assistance and support in the operation of the equipment.

  • Training and assistance in basic laboratory techniques such as preparation of solutions, pipetting, lab management, etc. Training sessions in molecular techniques like cloning, Western Blot, PCR, qPCR, RT PCR, RNA, DNA and protein purification, plasmid preparation and transformation.

  • Equipment available upon request and reservation




Course Description

A Practical Approach to Molecular Biology (BSG 774) is a 2-credit elective course that will provide first-year graduate students with specific technical skills that (regardless of their final field of research) will benefit them throughout the duration of their graduate education. The course’s “hands-on” nature will promote good general laboratory skills from the outset, ensuring that those who attend will be better able to contribute and adapt to their current research laboratories. Among the skills students will learn are making clear written laboratory reports, reading and interpreting relevant scientific papers, and predicting experimental outcomes. Students will perform multiple techniques in a laboratory setting while gaining an understanding of the theories behind those techniques—including technical limitations. As a result, they will be better prepared to participate in and learn from the small group discussions in other courses and in the journal clubs within the rotation laboratory. These activities will augment their critical thinking and analysis skills as well as result in improved English writing and oral presentations; in addition, attendees will profit by improvements in their proposal writing skills, an increase in publications, and an enhancement of their overall competitiveness.

This new research course complements the existing Ph.D. curriculum and will further the goals of the RISE Program “to provide continuing new and enhanced professional development and career skills training for MBRS-RISE trainees at PSM in order to strengthen their future competitiveness”. As science moves towards an ever greater use of multidisciplinary research approaches, such cross-training provides essential skills for future scientists.


Course Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate fundamental safe laboratory practices
  • Relate the general knowledge of the techniques learned in the course to specific experimental studies
  • Handle and manipulate nucleic acids and proteins employing basic laboratory techniques
  • Use standard procedures to analyze nucleic acids and proteins
  • Set up laboratory equipment safely and efficiently
  • Plan and carry out experimental procedures and, when necessary, identify possible sources of error
  • Interpret data and report (both orally and in writing) the experimental data and results
  • Utilize their newly acquired foundational knowledge of general laboratory practices and molecular biology to develop and/or further their careers in biomedical research
  • Use and apply technical skills with a high level of competence, leading to long term success in their future careers in biomedical research
  • Communicate effectively with others
  • Recognize the value of commitment to professional responsibilities and research integrity
  • Work both independently and in a team with others


Laboratory Equipment
  • PCR chamber, thermocycler
  • Electrophoresis (agarose and SDS-PAGE)
  • Thermomixer, water bath, stir plate
  • Balance, pH meter, pipettors and micropipettors, platform shaker
  • Hybridization oven, UV crosslinker, microwave
  • Refrigerated centrifuge, mini-centrifuge
  • Autoclave, refrigerator


  1. Abcam:
    1. Scientific webinars
    2. Protocols and troubleshooting tips

  2. BioRad
    1. Applications & Technologies

  3. Nature
    1. Nature events directory
  4. Promega:
    1. Teaching and training
  5. Qiagen :
    1. Webinars and seminars









Questions or comments:


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Vanessa Rivera Amill, PhD

Ivelisse Rivera Roman, MS

Assoc. Professor /Course Coordinator

Laboratory technician/ Teaching assistant

Research Building Office 204

Research Building 2nd floor

M-F 8:00am-4:30 pm by appointment

M-F 8:00am-4:30pm

(787)840-2575 ext.2210

(787)840-2575 ext.2153