Training

The integrated BioCryo Facility provides a comprehensive source for characterization of biological, soft matter and hybrid samples with TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), and STEM (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy) at cryogenic or at ambient temperature. This facility provides expertise and equipment for cryofixation and processing of frozen hydrated samples by high-pressure freezing, plunge freezing, cryo fracturing, cryo ultramicrotomy, freeze substitution, and turbo freeze-drying. Conventional samples can be processed at ambient temperature with chemical fixation, dehydration, and resin embedding, or critical point drying.

The BioCryo Facility also offers analytical STEM with EDS (Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy) and EELS (Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy), serial sectioning for 3D reconstruction, and immunolabeling, as well as image processing. This repertoire of capabilities is constantly expanded by implementation of additional innovative instrumentation and techniques into BioCryo workflows.

In addition to offering training on instruments and sample preparation techniques, BioCryo staff mentors new users, advises on experimental design, and collaborates with researchers in experiments with challenging and unconventional samples. Similar to the other NUANCE facilities (EPIC, Keck-II, SPID), the BioCryo Facility participates in numerous educational and outreach events, e.g. workshops, seminars, demos, and facility tours.

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Developmental Therapeutics Core Logo

The Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) provides a range of preclinical testing services that include: in vitro tumor cell assays; in vivo subcutaneous and orthotopic models for studying tumor growth, as well as for studying tumor response to therapy; exploratory pharmacokinetics; and exploratory toxicology. The DTC also assists investigators with drug formulations and initial assessments of drug stability.  A patient-derived xenograft (PDX) repository provides investigators with more than 60 tumor models representing 12 different types of cancer for in vivo testing of therapies against human tumors. The DTC also maintains a repository with more than 200 human tumor cell lines, many of which can also be used for xenograft establishment and therapeutic testing. DTC staff are proficient in all routes of treatment administration and in small animal surgery, provide consulting and training, and accelerate implementation of studies through simple modification of blanket IACUC protocols. Experienced core staff advise faculty on study design, and assist with the interpretation and presentation of results for manuscripts and grant applications.  

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
 

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The Research Shop

Located in the Technological Institute, the Research Shop consists of three elements for providing services to the Research community:

  • The Design & Engineering Shop has a professional engineering and fabrication staff providing design and engineering services that include brainstorming, design and engineering consultation along with CAD and CAM consulting (no fee), design engineering, including integration of electronics, services (fee-basis) and fabrication specification drawing development (fee-basis).
  • The Professional Shop is a machine shop staffed by professional machinists for fabricating components and assemblies of instruments (fee-based). Besides traditional machining tools, there is access to laser & waterjet cutting and 3D printing in plastics and metal (tba).
  • The Student Shop is a maker and consulting space where student users can fabricate and build their own projects. Professional engineering and fabrication consulting is available during business hours (no fee). Access is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week provided safety requirements are met. Trained safety monitors are provided during some of these hours; accompaniment by a trained buddy is required during others. Classes in machine shop tools usage and shop safety are offered for no-cost (beginning June 1st, 2017).

To make a service request, log in to NUcore.

For more information about this facility, click here.

For the Research Newsletter featuring the Instrument Shop, click here.

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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. 

 

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The  Pathology Core Facility (PCF) of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) at Northwestern University is established in 1997.  PCF is functionally divided into three divisions/units, including core lab, biorepository and clinical trials unit.  Core lab includes all related tasks of routine histology, immunohistochemistry, molecular work, and digital pathology (all aspects of a research-based anatomic pathology laboratory including formalin fixation and paraffin embedding, automated and manual immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray design and construction, and automated whole slide scanning for digital pathology applications, including advanced image analysis capabilities). Biorepository division includes tissue and biospecimen procurement (a workflow that complements clinical patient care, the consent procedures which include statement of basic, translational and clinical research and PDX studies for potential therapies), detailed sample annotation (pre-analytic variables such as cold post-surgery time, frozen section evaluation, specimen tracking, and a quality management program); and well-controlled biospecimens and procedures (ensuring that clinically meaningful and reproducible data emerge from investigation). The clinical trials unit (CTU) provides service of institution, regional and national network and prepares trial cases of fast turnaround time and high quality trial materials and patients’ satisfaction. In conjunction with the Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office, the clinical trials unit participates in both industry based clinical trials and investigator initiated clinical trials. 

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