ALPS stands for Arc Lémanique Plant Science.
It is a regional network between Scientists at the University of Geneva and Lausanne.
It is part of a national network, the Swiss Plant Science Web which has an additional two local networks covering most of Switzerland Universities involved in research in plant science.
Each local network follows the same goals while each of them takes a specific role in the overall running structure.
ALPS provides a networking platform to the 19 group leaders working on various aspects of plant molecular biology at the University Geneva and the University of Lausanne. ALPS regroups over 140 students, post-doctoral fellows and support personnel.
ALPS has available a number of equipments for protein analysis and spectroscopy. These include:
- In Geneva (contact: Theresa Fitzpatrick)
1) Multi Angle Light Scattering (MALS) analysis
MALS is used to determine the oligomeric state, the molecular mass Mw and the quality of a biological macromolecule or macromolecular complex. It is coupled online to size exclusion chromatography.
2) Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC)
ITC is a non-invasive technique to determine precise binding parameters (enthalpy, entropy, and binding constants) for molecular interactions between proteins, nucleic acid and chemicals. It is also a powerful method to analyse enzyme kinetics.
- In Lausanne (contact: Christiane Nawrath)
FTIR spectroscopy and microscopy analysis
FTIR is a powerful spectroscopic technique commonly used to identify chemical compounds based on their vibrations in the mid-infrared region of the spectrum. It is a non-invasive and non-destructive chemical analysis technique as samples usually require either none or limited treatment for measurement. FTIR allows analysis of a very wide range of samples: tissues (leaves, stems, roots, flowers, etc.), thin films (e.g. obtained using microtome or by evaporation of solvents), solutions/extracts, powders. FTIR microscopy (FTIRM) and FTIR imaging (FTIRI) are techniques combining light microscopy and IR microscopy. Light microscopy is used to magnify structural detail in samples, while IR spectroscopy provides information on molecular chemistry. Their combination permits chemical analysis in microscopic detail.
ALPS allows students to choose courses at either Universities which can fully be recognised in their plan of studies.
Being part of the national SPSW network, ALPS provides wider opportunities for students and scientists to attend workshop, summer schools or have access to specific state of the art equipments for molecular research.