Chemistry of Life Processes

The Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) is under the umbrella of the Center of the Developmental Therapeutics (CDT). The Center of the Developmental Therapeutics was established to rapidly and efficiently advance novel therapeutic interventions from basic research to the clinic. The CDT is one of the first academic-based drug development centers that bridges all aspects of translational research in a single entity including early drug discovery, mechanistic research, pre-clinical development and translation into the clinic. The Mission of Center encompasses the following tenets:

  • To fill the void left in late discovery and early drug development by pharma and biotech by advancing academic therapeutic projects to the clinic. Projects continue to be supported and de-risked by NIH commitment and peer review. NIH and other sources of funding are evolving to focus on translation and deliverables and the CDT is positioned to be a leader in developing a new model of academic drug translation.
  • To build a NU drug translation pipeline off of core academic strengths at NU including:
    • Basic science strengths
    • Therapeutic area strengths
    • Unique centers and cores
    • Early clinical development interests
  • To provide an operational vehicle for translational projects. Our approach is proactive and we will work side by side with investigators to advance their ideas to the clinic and toward commercialization. The CDT provides a single portal of entry into the drug development process regardless of the stage or source of a project. We will work with internal or external translational projects of interest to Northwestern investigators; assist with virtual company and spin-out formation; and pharma and biotechnology interactions. This will be accomplished by accessing existing university resources (e.g. Cores, Centers) using a matrix approach and establishing new university resources as necessary to fill gaps. For example, the Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC, formerly known as the Tumor Biology Core) was set up to carry out animal disease models and early drug development functions.
  • To work across NU with the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) and the Innovation and New Venture Office (INVO) to identify and enter into partnerships with investors and pharma and to proactively identify and advance projects from the pre-IP space into the community.


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 ( 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 Biological Imaging Facility (BIF) is a shared-use research and training resource available to all NU researchers. BIF is organized so users can prepare samples, capture and analyze images, and create final presentations in one facility. Training for all instruments is available on a regular basis so users can acquire data quickly and efficiently. We are continuously looking for new ways to enhance existing equipment, acquire new tools, and keep pace with current techniques. For more information about this facility, click here.

For the Research Newsletter article featuring BIF, click here

The High Throughput Analysis Laboratory (HTAL) provides academic, industrial, and private researchers with equipment and expertise for the development and execution of high throughput biological analysis and screening. The facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art liquid handling, plate detection and automated microbial culture handling capabilities. 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. 



The Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry Core (ChemCore) provides synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and computational chemistry and molecular modeling services. For more information about this facility, click here.

CAMI staff

The Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI) provides access to imaging modalities ranging from the nanometer scale to whole animal imaging. These include MRI, nuclear imaging (PET, SPECT, and CT), in vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, animal housing and prep spaces, and tissue culture.  Image analysis services are available, as are software packages (JIM, Amira, Matlab) and a workstation for users to perform their own data analysis.  Imaging services can be provided for investigators' own animal models, or animal models can be supplied by the Developmental Therapeutics Core.

CAMI also houses a 2 photon confocal microscope operated by QBIC and atomic force microscopes operated by NIFTI.

The Recombinant Protein Production Core (rPPC) provides quality controlled recombinant proteins for researchers within the Northwestern Community (WCAS, McCormick, Feinberg) and also serves academic and industry researchers outside of Northwestern University. rPPC operates based on the two service models: (1) aTraining model where Northwestern researchers use specialized bioreactor systems and participate in hands-on-training activities and (2) a Production model where staff carry out expression (mg to gm scale) and purification of recombinant or synthetic biologics, including potential therapeutic proteins and peptides, among others. Currently, the main focus of rPPC is to be a user-facility; the facility has parallel bioreactor systems for multiplexed lab-scale cultivation of microbial, insect, and mammalian cells. rPPC also serves as a production facility, providing low-cost recombinant biologics for researchers at Northwestern University. For more information about this facility, click here.