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Dr. Nicole Osier at the BioBehavioral Lab

BioBehavioral Core

The BioBehavioral Core is a resource within the St. David’s CHPR. It provides resources and support for investigators who include or who plan to include biobehavioral data in their studies. It also provides consultation services and administrative assistance for faculty and graduate students for developing their research programs.

Contact Information

You may email Dr. Nicole Osier or call at (512) 232-4755.

BioBehavioral Lab


The School of Nursing’s BioBehavioral Lab provides state-of-the art laboratory services for researchers. These services are available to faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. The facility opened in October 2011 to support research investigating the links between behavior and physiological factors. In 2017-2018, the BioBehavioral Lab moved to the Health Discoveries Building in the Dell Medical School. The laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment to do many kinds of testing: immunological, endocrine, as well as genetics.

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Goals of the BioBehavioral Lab

Consistent with the National Institutes of Health’s Roadmap, the BioBehavioral Lab supports initiatives for interdisciplinary research, and linking bench scientists and clinicians to work together to improve the health of underserved populations.

Goals of the BioBehavioral Lab are to:

  • Provide education and training opportunities in biobehavioral research for undergraduate and graduate nursing students, as well as students in other disciplines.
  • Consult with faculty who are extending their research programs to incorporate biological measures.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary research teams that study the intersection of biological, behavioral, emotional, and social issues.
  • Increase biobehavioral research activity within the School of Nursing and across disciplines at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Laboratory Description

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s BioBehavioral Lab is classified as a Biosafety Level 2 facility. Support equipment includes microcentrofuges, ultra- and refrigerated centrifuges, chemical fume hoods, and updated computer software support. Sample storage in a controlled environment is accomplished by -20°C and -80°C freezers and 4°refrigerators. Long-term secure storage of biological samples is achieved using a locked and monitored CryoCube freezer connected to the network.

Major equipment includes:

  • SMCxPRO (MilliporeSigma) for ultrasensitive (femtomolar-level) protein quantification
    ***The BioBehavioral Lab is one of only a few in the nation with this technology***
  • BioPlex200 (Luminex) for multiplex analysis of proteins, DNA, and RNA
  • Sorvall Legend XTR Centrifuge for temperature-controlled sample and reagent processing
  • CFX-96 (Biorad) RT-PCR system for analysis of gene expression
  • CryCube (Eppendorf) freezer for secure storage of biological samples at -80°C

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Analytical Techniques

The BioBehavioral Lab offers analysis of biomarkers in various human tissues including saliva, plasma, urine, and mucosal membrane secretions. Analytic techniques employed by the lab include:

  • Ultrasensitive Immunoassays capable of single molecule counting (SMCxPRO)
  • Standard Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Luminex-based multiplexed assay (up to 100 protein, DNA, or RNA targets)
  • Gene expression analysis using RT-PCR

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Contact Information

The principal investigator for the BioBehavioral Lab is Dr. Nicole Osier. Dr. Osier is the Director of the BioBehavioral Core of St. David’s CHPR. For questions regarding the BioBehavioral Lab, please use the contact information listed below. If you are directed to voicemail, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned.

Nicole Osier, PhD, RN
(512) 232-4755 | Email Nicole Osier

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