Introduction to Mammalian Cell Culture - Laboratory Training Course

A introductory course in Mammilian Cell Culture

Mammalian cell culture is a highly regarded yet rarely taught technique for both academic and industrial research, often requested for graduate level researcher positions. Our intensive 2-day ‘Introduction to Mammalian Cell Culture’ course offers laboratory-based tuition using a range of human and animal cell lines, commonly used in pharmaceutical, toxicological, immunology and molecular biology research.

Mammalian Cell Culture Image BioGrad

During this course students will work in a Class II Microbiological Safety Cabinet to perform the following techniques on both adherent and suspension cell lines.

  • Resuspension of (human and animal) cells from cold storage
  • Sterile media preparation
  • Passaging and feeding of cells
  • Cryopreservation of cells
  • Microscopic evaluation of confluence and morphology
  • Cell counting and growth curve calculations

Students will then have the opportunity to put these new skills into practice by establishing 96 well plate serial dilutions of their cell stocks producing the first set of data for a cell growth curve (the first step for any in-vitro assay) using the commonly used reagents MTT or Alamar Blue. This will allow students to fully understand the complexities of working with mammalian cells and the range of areas where they might be able to apply their new skills. This work will also permit students to perform their own statistical evaluation of ‘cell number’ curves and understand the limits of such assays for prediction of activity and toxicity.

The course leader is Dr Natalie Kenny:

Dr Kenny is a pharmacologist who began her research career as a research assistant at the Universidad de Extremadura in Spain, then moved to the Instituto de Ciencias Neurologicas in Peru working for Johns Hopkins Medical School. After a short placement in the Ecuadorian Amazon with St Georges Medical School she returned to the UK to supervise a research team at Pfizer Global Research and Development for 3 years. Dr Kenny then moved to the Translational Medicine department at Cranfield University for 4 years before taking a fellowship position as the Institute of Environment and Health (IEH), winning a prestigious ‘CRACK-IT’ award and a number of industrial research contracts. Dr Kenny then moved to Charles Rivers to work in neurological diseases and is now an associate at IEH-Consulting and the Director of BioGrad Training.

Courses with 6 or more students are taught alongside Dr Annemieke Kok ten-Bokum, a visiting lecturer based at The University of Oxford. Both lecturers favour a relaxed and informal teaching environment, providing an optimal learning experience in very small groups.

Mammalian Cell Culture Image 2 BioGrad

Liverpool Science Park

Courses are carried out at our state of the art facilities in Liverpool Science Park and taught in very small groups to encourage questions, interaction and discussion. The laboratories are centrally located, adjacent to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and within 7 minutes’ walk of both Central and Lime Street Train Stations.

Students should report to the main reception on Mount Pleasant (at the bottom of the Cathedral steps) upon arrival at the Science Park.

BioGrad Liverpool Science Park


Refreshments, lunch and snacks are provided during both days of the course. Vegetarian options are provided as standard however please inform BioGrad of any additional dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Students wishing to bring their own food or snacks have access to a fridge and microwave during the course, plus a break room containing vending machines and sky TV should they wish to dine separately.

Clothing and PPE

Students are advised to wear comfortable clothes and shoes (ensuring legs and feet are covered when in the laboratory). We advise layered clothing as it can become warm when wearing a lab coat and gloves all day.

All personal protective equipment is provided during the course however students should bring a note book for recording their results. Students will find a laptop or tablet useful as they will be able to download their own data files and images of their cell cultures to take away at the end of the course.

Further career development

We will happily take photographs of students working in the laboratory which often serve as excellent profile pictures for work related social networking (such as LinkedIn). Our lectures will also endorse your new skills and provide a reference if requested. Many of our lecturers are also happy to review CV’s during the course so please feel free to bring yours along for constructive feedback.

If you have an interview booked our lecturers will be pleased to provide mock interviews with feedback free of charge. These must be booked beforehand to allow the lecturer time to review the job description and prepare appropriate questions. Mock interviews may be carried out during the weekend of your course or by skype at a later date.

We have active links with the recruitment agencies SRG and Network Scientific, students will be provided with the contact details of our recruitment consultants if requested, and references can be provided directly to these agencies.


This course introduces all the essential skills required for cell culture however students must already understand how to use basic laboratory equipment, make stock solutions, follow UK H&S policies including Risk Assessments and COSHH, and maintain a laboratory note book. Students without any previous laboratory experience should attend the 1 day laboratory skills course or 5 day laboratory skills course before commencing this course.


Accommodation is not included with this course however we recommend The Feathers Best Western Hotel and Hatters Hostel as they are both within 3 minutes walking distance from the laboratory.

Students can take advantage of discounted room rates at Hatters hostel. Single occupancy, en-suite rooms are £37 per night midweek and £46 at weekends. Contacting for availability and booking.

Early booking is highly recommended, especially for weekend courses.

Practical Microbiliogy Image Accommodation

Course Payment

All payments are taken securely with PayPal. All major debit and credit cards are accepted so you don’t need a PayPal account.

There are four payment options available:

  • Pay in full at the time of booking
  • Pay in 2 - 25% deposit with the remainder due 28 days before the course commences (only available if booking more than 28 days in advance)
  • Pay in 6 - 6 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 26 weeks in advance)
  • Pay in 12 - 12 equal, monthly payments (only available if booking more than 54 weeks in advance)

There is no charge for early payment, which can be made via PayPal at any time.

More Information:

For further information please contact us using this form or email us at


Current Academic Year 2021/2022
Date: 29th August - 30th August 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 3rd September - 4th September 2022
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 3 places left on this course
BioGrad Cell Culture Feedback 1

"I recently attended the courses in cell culture and drug discovery.

They were fantastic!

Great student to teacher ratio, the structure of each day was planned out so that there is enough time for everyone to get involved, with time for detailed questions and extra guidance.

Natalie and Annemeike are lovely supportive teachers, with a wealth of knowledge of the pharmaceu-tical industry and immunology/genomics. It was inspiring to learn of their journeys and experiences.

It's so difficult to gain practical experience within labs, outside of employment, that courses like these are invaluable. Natalie had such dedication to her students, ensuring they get the most out of their time at BioGrad.

I will definitely be back again! Thank you both!"

BioGrad Cell Culture Feedback 2

"I absolutely loved the hands-on, interactive practical techniques that were taught by the BioGrad professionals. They were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and most importantly, very passionate about the techniques and teaching them correctly.

I was really impressed and will be doing the drug discovery course that leads on from the cell culture.

Thank you Natalie and Annemieke for building on my current skillset. I am confident it will place me in a better position when competing against other candidates at job interviews or when applying for masters courses."



  • “My lab tutor was a skilful and talented teacher. He was able to simplify complex topics so all of the students could understand and then followed up to ensure we all fully grasped the techniques being taught. He made sure that any errors were rectified immediately so that we were always learning the correct techniques"
    Lucy - Introduction to Genetics
  • "I attended the course because I wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry but didn't have enough lab based experience. After the course I had experience in some of the most up to date techniques, taught by researchers working in the pharmaceutical industry. During the lunch time I was able to chat with all of the tutors and seek their advice for securing the job I wanted. Through the experience and advice I received I managed to secure a graduate level job in a small pharmaceutical company. I cannot recommend this course enough!"
    Josep (Graduate researcher) - Practical skills in drug discovery
  • "I received excellent tuition from a patient teacher who had an incredible enthusiasm for laboratory research. Under her tutelage and supervision, I acquired many laboratory skills in the area of cell culture techniques and high throughput screening for pre-clinical drug discovery."
    Akang (Research Scientist) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture and Practical drug discovery
  • "This was the first time I had the chance to perform practical laboratory techniques which I had only seen in lectures before this point. The tutors let us try a number of different ways to quantify cells and gave us the time and guidance to perfect our own techniques."
    Mark - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
  • "I was taught by an experienced researcher who gave us the opportunity to work with many different cell types. I was able to see the differences between the morphology and growth rates of different cells for myself. I also had the opportunity to try a number of different techniques which gave me confidence to apply for PhD's requiring cell culture experience."
    Gail (PhD researcher) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
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