Facilities and Equipment

The microbiology program is housed in the Cowley Hall of Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. We have four teaching laboratories that have been recently remodeled and each is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to study various aspects of Microbiology:

  • Introductory Microbiology Laboratory-equipped with modern microscopes and equipment designed to grow, identify and enumerate microbes.
  • Food safe Microbiology Laboratory-used to teach Food and Fermentation Microbiology courses, as well as a non-major's general education microbiology course. In this lab, students can prepare and consume many of the food products produced with the aid of microorganisms.
  • Medical Microbiology Laboratory-used to teach Immunology, Pathogenic Bacteriology, Medical Mycology, and Virology. This lab is equipped with Biosafety hoods to safely study pathogenic microbes and work with tissue cultures. It also has advanced microscopes for viewing fluorescence and tissue culture samples, and modern equipment used in medical diagnostics.
  • Microbial Genetics and Physiology-used to teach Microbial Genetics, Bacterial Physiology, Bacterial Diversity, and Aquatic Microbial Ecology. This lab is equipped with equipment to conduct state-of-the-art genetic, molecular, and biochemical techniques with microbes. It also contains advanced microscopes capable of phase-contrast, darkfield, and fluorescence microscopy.

Teaching and research in microbial fermentations is possible with our Fermentation facility that houses three state-of-the-art fermentors for cultivation of large volumes of microorganisms. Growth of microbes is central to all areas of microbiology, and we are one of the few Universities in the US to offer a Fermentation Microbiology laboratory course with the facility. Microbiology is a dynamic and rapidly changing science and the outstanding teaching laboratories and equipment are the result of faculty obtaining over one million dollars in grants in recent years to ensure that laboratory education is the best available.

The microbiology laboratory program is also supported by a microbiology prep room staffed by two permanent employees and numerous student employees. Work in the microbiology prep room not only allows preparation of cultures and supplies for our extensive laboratory curriculum, but also provides an outstanding work experience for our students. We also have support rooms for media sterilization, high speed centrifugation, and visualization and photography of DNA separated by electrophoresis. A cold room set up for biochemical analysis is also available.

Each Faculty member in the department also has a research lab uniquely equipped for each member's research. Two faculty members have research laboratories in the new Health Science Center Microbiology Research Complex which also contains laboratories dedicated for use for DNA amplification by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), tissue culture, high speed centrifugation, and work with radioisotopes. The research laboratories and faculty commitment to research allow any of our students interested in a career in research to conduct research under the individual mentorship of a faculty member. For more information in research opportunities, see Research in the Department.

For more information about the Microbiology major, contact:
Dr. S.N. Rajagopal, Chair
Department of Microbiology