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2nd Floor, New Science Building, University of East Anglia, Norwich

* * This course contributes to the Royal Society of Biology's Technical Skills Certificate


Proteins are hugely important molecules in all life sciences. Whether we are working in biochemistry, drug development, medicine, or any other biologically related science, proteins are always present and play an instrumental role in all living organisms at many levels. 

When working with biological samples, we often need to analyse proteins or mixtures of proteins to determine what we have in a sample. This is often the first step before we can do further analyses on role of function of these molecules. We may want to find out the molecular mass of proteins, how much protein we have, which proteins are present or many other things.

One of the most used techniques in analysing protein samples is gel electrophoresis. There are different types of gel electrophoresis, but they are all based on the principle that proteins can be charged (pending on the pH of the solution they are in) and can migrate in a gel matrix when electrical current is applied. The speed in which they migrate is dependent on their size (and sometimes their shape). As such, proteins that exist in a mixture can easily be separated out by using this very simple and relatively quick technique.  

SDS-PAGE is the most common type of protein gel electrophoresis. It can provide information about the quantity and purity of protein within samples, and this is how it will be used here. These types of gels consist of a “stacking gel” at the top, which helps denature the proteins, and a “resolving gel” in the lower part, which separates the proteins according to size. Separation is also dependent on the concentration of the medium used.


The broad aims of the course are to:
  • Introduce the importance of separating and analysing proteins from complex biological samples
  • Introduce the equipment and techniques used in protein analysis
  • Become familiar with setting up and running a protein electrophoresis experiment
  • Understanding the deferent types of protein electrophoresis and in the context in which each can be used
  • Practice analysing gel electrophoresis data

Who is the course for?

Individuals with an interest in life sciences, who wish to learn how to analyse proteins. No prior knowledge of gel electrophoresis is required; the purpose of the course is to offer a practical point of access to these techniques in a practical user-friendly form.

What will you gain from the course?

  • Learn how to prepare polyacrylamide gels for SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis
  • Learn how to prepare samples for protein analysis  
  • Learn how to run a protein SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis
  • Understand the information gained from an SDS-PAGE gel 
  • Learn how to analyse the results of a protein electrophoresis experiment  
  • Handy summary resources and protocols to take home

Course tutor(s)

Your course tutors will be Dr Maria Vardakou and Dr Mark Coleman

Dr Maria Vardakou is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry and Biomedicine. Dr Vardakou completed a MEng in Chemical Engineering and has PhD in Enzymology. Throughout her research career, Maria focused on the analysis of enzymes (proteins) completing various protein engineering projects. Maria worked as a researcher in various Research Institutes including the John Innes Centre and the Institute of Food Research (now Quadram Institute) that are part of the Norwich Research Park, in Norwich. A major interest has always been elucidating the relationship between structure and function of these amazing biomolecules we call proteins. In 2015, Maria joined the School of Biological Sciences at UEA as a lecturer. Since then, her main activities involve teaching and supporting undergraduate students in the school of Biological Sciences. Maria leads several practical lab sessions and teaches across all years on the topics of Biochemistry and Biomedicine. She has recently been appointed Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Biological Sciences.
Dr Mark Coleman is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at UEA. Mark has a BSc and a PhD in Biochemistry, both from Imperial College London, and a research background in molecular biology, genetics and microbiology, with a particular emphasis on the interactions of plants and microbes. Mark is Course Director for UEA's Biological Sciences degree programme, organises two modules (‘Molecular Biology and Genetics' and ‘Plant Biotechnology'), and delivers lectures and leads practicals and seminars across the academic years.


The laboratories and building is fully accessible and there are chairs and moveable benches available in the lab. The university can also provide the use of electronic pipettes if your dexterity is impaired. If you have questions surrounding this, please contact the training team.

Technical skills and continuing professional development

This practical based course contributes to the RSB Technical Skills certificate, which can support applications to our professional registers. 
This course is approved for purposes of CPD, and attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and 9 CPD points.


** Early bird additional 10% discount on course fees available until 15th June

Members - £160 + VAT
Members of Member Organisations, SCAS members - £240 + VAT
Non-members - £320 + VAT

Non-members who have completed a membership application and made payment - £160 + 20% VAT - get in touch with to access this rate.

If you or your organisation wishes to book staff in bulk for this course, please get in touch. 


For further information about the course please contact Emily Lunn, training and registers officer at or on 020 3925 3447.


Unfortunately, the Royal Society of Biology is unable to offer refunds on training courses that have been attended. We do, of course, welcome and encourage any feedback from a course and will continue to improve the service we offer.

Terms and Conditions

By booking to attend this event, you are confirming you have agreed to the RSB's Terms and Conditions which can be found here.