Lab Mascot

The official lab mascot of the Whitehead Lab is the honey badger. The honey badger has few natural predators, owing to its thick skin and impressive defensive abilities. It is quite intelligent and excels at manual labor (e.g. digging, which is not unlike pipetting). The honey badger is notorious for its strength, toughness, and perseverance in the face of experimental setbacks.

The Whitehead Lab is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary research team working within the Biomolecular Engineering Lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering at CMU. Our researchers have the unique opportunity to train in a lab shared with other bioengineering- focused groups within the department. This environment maximizes experimental capacity and enhances collaborative efforts while exposing trainees to a wide variety of chemical, molecular biology, and engineering techniques.


Our 5,000 square foot shared lab includes four fume hoods, bacterial and mammalian cell culture rooms, and a cold room. There is access to a variety of organic chemistry, molecular biology, analytical, and characterization equipment. This includes a Schlenk line and rotary evaporator, flash chromatography system, inverted fluorescence microscope with camera and environmental chamber, qPCR machine, benchtop flow cytometer, gel imaging system, DLS/zeta potential system, electrophoresis equipment, two HPLCs, lyophilizer, and several spectrophotometers, thermocyclers, centrifuges, and plate readers.

Through core facilities, we also have access to the CMU vivarium equipped with a Perkin Elmer SpectrumCT imaging system & surgical suite, 4 high-resolution NMR spectrometers, three mass spectrometers (ion trap, MALDI-TOF, and ESI), three confocal microscopes (including an inverted and a spinning disk) and a sorting flow cytometer.