Institute of Metabolic Science-Metabolic Research Laboratories (IMS-MRL),
University of Cambridge
General Purposes Committee
Minutes of the meeting held at 10.00am on Thursday 16th January 2014
Denise Fernandez-Twinn (Chair, [email protected])
Katie Ketteridge-Lowe (Committee Secretary, [email protected])
Sofia Papadia (SF Group)
Alessandra Stangherlin (AR Group)
Robert Heavens (MRL Level Co-ordinator)
Brian Lam (GY Group)
Dave Withers (Genomics/Transcriptomics Core)
Conny Gewert (RS Group)
Vivian Peirce (Student Committee)
Greg Strachan (Purchaser)
Christine Riches (ME Group)
Wendy Cooper (MC Group)
Sergio Rodriguez-Cuenca (Deputy Chair, TVP Group)
Keli Phillips (Histology)
Erik Schoenmakers (KC Group)
Jonathan Fort (MRL Laboratory & Facilities Manager)
Gosia Wilinska (RH Group)
1) Approval of Previous Minutes
Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 7th November 2014 were approved.
2) Matters Arising
2.1 Temperature on levels 4 & 5
No new temperature concerns throughout the IMS.
2.2 Energy concerns
Should any member of the IMS-MRL have an interest in the environment or energy
matters, please contact Jonathan to see how you could help improve the IMS-MRL.
2.3 Confocal Microscope
The Leica confocal microscope is currently located in lab 1 but will shortly be moving to
the laser capture room on level 4 and it should be ready for use on 4 th February.
ACTION: GS to update Committee
2.4 Tissue Culture Rooms
On Monday 10th February there is a seminar arranged for all IMS tissue culture users on
using containment facilities and microbiological safety cabinets (Dr Vinnell), which is
mandatory. Following a series of contamination concerns in the tissue culture rooms,
please could all tissue culture researchers attend this 1.5 hour seminar.
Ordering is now running as follows: Conny checks stocks, Denise places order and
Alessandra puts them away.
The Committee asked each GPC representative to please remind their groups to turn off
hoods, clean them and close the lid. Please also turn off microscopes. Denise will
organise a booking diary for the primary cell culture hood in TC2. Denise reminded users
to please ensure different lab coats are worn for tissue culture and cloning. Swiss
Laundry did not collect the lab coats last time but they have now done so and the lab
coats are due back soon. It was suggested that Swiss Laundry could make collections
every 2 weeks as currently monthly is not regular enough.
Conny ensures that every incubator in TC3 is deep cleaned on a 3 monthly basis. The
Committee agreed that it would be a good idea if this could be arranged for each TC
room. Please could users also put their initials on flasks inside the incubators. Greg is
currently in discussions with Gene Flow regarding mycoplasma testing kits.
ACTION: GS to update Committee
3) Updates from other MRL Committees
3.1 MRL Management & PI Committees
Nothing to report.
3.2 Safety Committee
The next IMS H&S Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday 27 th January.
3.2.1 Fire Extinguisher Training
Fire extinguisher training is to be rearranged for spring time.
3.2.2 H&S Inspection
The annual IMS H&S inspection took place last week and the results will be made public
3.3 MRL IT Committee
Nothing to report.
3.4 MRL Student Committee
Noting to report.
4) Announcements from Level Coordinator
4.1 Jonathan Fort
4.1.1 Generator testing
January’s generator test is scheduled for Sunday 19th January and February’s is on
Sunday 16th. The full schedule of the monthly generator tests can be found on the MRL
4.1.2 Cleaning issues
The IMS back stairs are managed by the NHS cleaners (not the University cleaners). JF
has discussed lack of cleaning of these stairs with Medirest, who have agreed to clean
them fortnightly.
5.1 Robert Heavens
Nothing to report.
6 Any Other Business
6.1 48 Capillary Sequencer
Dave has added a note to the capillary sequencer stating when it was last
serviced/reagents replenished.
6.2 Seahorse
Greg will shortly be doing some costings to determine a charge for external users to
cover future service contracts.
ACTION: GS to update Committee
6.3 Mobile Phone Signal
Roman Hovorka’s group had requested that the mobile phone signal issued be raised
again as patients are struggling to contact researchers regarding studies etc.
The old mobile phone booster that was installed in 2009 was illegal following an OFCOM
investigation into the supplier. Consequently we faced prosecution unless we switched it
off. It was illegal because we did not have a licence for the booster. Unfortunately
licences that amplify all mobile phone networks (like the one we had) are not available.
All PIs were notified well in advance of the situation, prior to the booster being switched
off. Both the MRC and University preferred supplier for mobile phones including boosters
is 02. Therefore booster boxes were installed in the MRC and IMS for 02. Should we
purchase additional boosters for other providers then the signals would distort. The
result to clinical staff has been addressed as the removal of the booster would result in
clinical risks. Therefore IMS staff who work in the Hospital were given the opportunity to
be supplied with NHS pagers or University mobile phones on the 02 network.
Addenbrooke’s are fully aware of the issue regarding signals and are trying to rectify the
Greg encouraged members of the IMS to use their landline desk phones.
6.4 -80 Freezers
To improve the lifespan and efficiency of freezers, especially minus 80s, please could
groups carry out defrosting of their units. Temporary units can be made available to
groups wishing to defrost their units – please contact Jonathan for more information. As
David Ron’s lab have now moved to CIMR, there is a freezer available for temporary
storage – please contact Robert to organise a rota.
Greg is currently in discussions with companies offering a service to monitor the freezer
temperature and if there are any problems, the list of contacts would automatically be
phoned or texted until a contact is reached. There would also be a live temperature
report that could be accessed online.
6.5 IT upgrades
Sofia queried whether computers that were running on Windows XP would be upgraded
by CSCS as from April Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. Greg suggested that
anybody with this concern needs to find out whether their computer was purchased by
their group or if it is a departmental computer. Computers will either need to be
upgraded or replaced.
Date of next meeting: Thursday 20th March 2014

General Purposes Committee