Characterization

Mission

The mission of Northwestern Proteomics is to develop new proteomics technologies, to apply them to timely questions in basic, translational and clinical research, and to educate researchers throughout the Chicagoland area and communicate our research findings to the scientific community at large.

At Northwestern Proteomics, we're committed to providing the best proteomics research on a budget.  We're scientists first, so we will work with you to review each project as it comes in and offer consultation to ensure that everyone's expectations are managed.  That way, the experiment that we perform has the best chance for success.  Proteomics is not a simple technique; so we're both a University Research Center and service-oriented core, handling multiple projects large and small.

Within the Northwestern Proteomics core facility, we offer multiple types of experiments from simple protein identification to protein quantitation (both relative and absolute).  We also perform both traditional bottom-up proteomics, where proteins are digested with an enzyme prior to analysis and intact, top-down proteomics analyses.  The ability to perform top-down proteomics within our core facility distinguishes from many other proteomics cores across the world.

How do you start work with us? 

  • If it’s your first time performing proteomics, we should sit down and chat about your system and the questions that you want to answer.  The diversity of method for proteomics can be overwhelming and we’re happy to help narrow down the best experiment for you.  The first step is to go to our Northwestern Proteomics website (http://proteomics.northwestern.edu) and submit a Collaboration Request.  Someone will be in touch to schedule an in-person or telephone conference.
  • If you’ve worked with us before and already know what you want, head over to our Northwestern Proteomics website and fill out a Sample Submission Form.  Once that’s completed, drop off your sample at either of our dropoff locations Monday through Thursday 8:30-5:00pm and Friday 8:30-12:00pm. 

Drop Off Locations

            Chicago: Olson 8305
            Evanston: Silverman B550

The Clean Catalysis (CleanCat) Core at Northwestern University is dedicated to aiding investigators in the advancement of understanding the catalytic function of materials for environmental and energy processes. We provide students with the necessary tools for testing the catalytic properties of materials and obtaining insight into reaction mechanisms occurring on surfaces. Not only do we provide the neccessary equipment for these studies, but also the guidance of an experienced lab manager who takes a hands-on-approach to educating students about experimental design and proper technique so they become experts themselves. We don't merely train students to use equipment, we teach students how to collect data that answers their research questions.

For more information about this facility, click here. 

 

Atom Probe Tomography (APT) produces a three-dimensional (3D) atom-by-atom image of a sample, with sub-nanometer spatial resolution and a typically 150 x 150 x 500 nm^3 analyzed volume, by simultaneous high resolution imaging and time of flight mass spectrometry. APT is particularly suited to study nano or nanostructured materials. The same samples can also be characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), in a correlative study. To compare these experimental results with atomistic simulations on the same size scale, ab-initio calculations and Monte-Carlo simulations can be performed at our facility. NUCAPT operates a CAMECA LEAP 4000 XSi tomograph. Specimen tips can be prepared by electropolishing (metals) and from almost any material by FIB ( Focused-ion beam milling ). Ion beam sputter deposition creates thin film structures that aid with APT specimen preparation. Vacuum arc melting systems are available for syntesizing alloys and compounds. Thermocalc and MEDEA software packages are available for thermodynamic calculations and materials simulations.  For more information about this facility, click here.

The Keck-II Center was established in late 2001 through the support of W. M. Keck Foundation. Keck-II also has received some support from Northwestern's Institute for Nanotechnology's NSF-sponsored Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center (NSEC) as well as from the State of IL and Northwestern. Keck-II facilitates research, collaboration, education and outreach in all science from soft biological matter to hard physical matter, specializing in surface analysis and nano-scale characterization. 

Keck-II hosts Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Confocal Raman System, High Resolution Stylus Profilometer, 3D Optical MicroscopeSpectroscopic Ellipsometer, and Zetasizer.

Keck-II is open to all the faculty and students at Northwestern University as well as the researchers at the nearby academic institutions and related industrial companies. The Keck-II Center operates and functions like its sister facilities (SPID and EPIC)-based on the core philosophy of open-access, hand-on training, collaboration and assistance from our able staff. Training is offered on a periodic basis, both as “crash courses” or part of hands-on structured courses, as well as individual ad-hoc training as need arises.

SPID was created to drive interdisciplinary research bridging the gap between hard nanostructures, soft materials, biological sciences, quantitative mechanical and electrical analysis and nanopatterning. SPID provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for atomic to molecular imaging. It supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology characterization needs at nanoscale by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff. Research at SPID encompasses physical and chemical sciences, engineering and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Every week, several new users coming from NU campuses, academia, industry, and government laboratories learn to use tools available in the center to carry out their research projects.

The primary focus of SPID is to provide both quantitative and qualitative scanning probe microscopy and biomaterials nanopatterning based highly advanced instrumentations to enable materials, nanopatterning and biomedical research by a diverse group of scientists, industries and clinicians representing numerous disciplines. SPID works in partnership with several industrial partners and specifically Bruker Metrology Surface Division to develop advanced instrumentation for quantitative analysis. SPID serves as a hub for numerous global partnerships both in terms of facility development and research.

For more information about this facility, click HERE

NU Fabrication (NUFAB) has cleanroom facilities in Cook Hall and the Tech Institute. The Cook facility contain class 100 and 1000 cleanrooms and provides microfabrication and thin film processing capabilities. It is devoted to materials processing, growth, device fabrication, characterization and electronic & photonic  materials. The facility provides microfabrication tools for general use by the Northwestern community, government and industrial researchers. Various techniques are available for the growth, preparation and processing of a wide range of thin film materials including in-process characterization. Training of equipment and assisted use within the facility is available to provide the necessary expertise.

This provides a centralized resource for the deposition of metal, semiconductor & dielectric thin films, photolithography, and processing. Standardmicrofabricationprocesses have been established. Available techniques include plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, e-beam evaporation, atomic layer deposition, reactive ion etching, photolithography, bonding, rapid thermal processing, Hall Effect Measurement and some characterization instrumentation.

For more information about this facility, click here.

The Materials Characterization and Imaging Facility (MatCI, formerly OMM ) offers a broad range of characterization and sample preparation equipment for use by internal as well as external users to Northwestern University.  Characterization techniques include optical microscopy, thermal imaging, thermal analysis (DSC, TGA), hardness testing (Vicker’s, Knoop, Rockwell), electronic characterization (Hall Effect, Impedance Spectroscopy, Kelvin Probe, Charge Transport) and rheological characterization.  Sample and surface preparation capabilities include mounting (castable mounts, hot pressure mounting, vacuum impregnation), cutting, sectioning and wafer dicing, polishing/grinding, electropolishing, ion beam milling and cross-sectional polishing.  Tube and box furnaces are available with temperature range up to 1700C for thermal processing.

 For more information about this facility, click here.

The recognition of the complexity of flow cytometric analysis has caused many journals and granting organizations to scrutinize flow data. Thus the core flow lab is becoming an important research resource as well as service provider and a prudent investment for academic institutions. The challenge for the academic core facility is to meet both the scientific and technical mission by providing high quality services in a cost-effective and timely manner. Serving 175+ investigators on the Chicago and Evanston Campuses, with 3 sorters and 6 benchtop analyzers with 16+ color capabilities, we have developed a paradigm to balance productivity with quality to minimize the cost per research project, keep overall costs contained, and provide the necessary scientific support. Central to this paradigm is a close working relationship with investigators to define their projects in the early stages of development to make optimal and efficient use of flow cytometry..For more information about this facility, click here.

The Quantitative Bio-element Imaging Center (QBIC) provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art imaging and quantification instrumentation while supporting its use with an expert technical staff that offers a range of services, including instrument training, sample preparation and analysis, experiment design, and grant proposal assistance.  The combination of both extremely high sensitivity elemental analysis and high resolution imaging enables QBIC customers to perform cutting edge experiments with ample staff support. For more information about this facility, click here. 

 

Stem Cell Core Facility Lab at Northwestern

The stem cell core facility was founded in 2009 by Dr. Jack Kessler, Ken and Ruth Davee Professor of Stem Cell Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine. This was immediately after President Obama signed an executive order repealing a policy that limited federal tax dollars for embryonic stem (ES) cell research and the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by Shinya Yamanaka. Being a long-time enthusiast of human stem cell research and one of the pioneers in the field at Northwestern University, Dr. Kessler foresaw the growing interest of basic researchers and medical doctors in this rapidly developing and highly promising research area.

The mission of the stem cell core facility is to engage scientists at Northwestern University and the greater Chicago Biomedical Consortium and enable them to do stem cell-based research. The facility is currently funded by an NIH P30 grant and Feinberg School of Medicine.

The facility is situated on the 10th floor of the Lurie research building (#10-232). It encompasses approximately 800 square feet of lab space that is perfectly equipped to allow for the culture of human ES and iPSCs. It offers technical support in basic culturing techniques of human ES and iPS cells, including focused training sessions; it provides lab space and equipment for researches that want to engage in stem cell-based projects; it generates iPSCs through a range of different techniques; as well as providing general consulting and support for iPSC-based disease modeling projects.