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.
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.
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 5000XS 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.
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.
The Core is an integral component of Northwestern University’s Comprehensive Transplant Center (NUCTC) and has served all interested investigators in the NU community for more than 15 years with a wide variety of complex surgical procedures in rats and mice that may otherwise be difficult or time-consuming for those investigators without specialized skills, personnel and proper equipment. The core facility is dedicated to assist investigators with a central resource for creating murine models of tissue and organ transplantation that provide valuable and unique research opportunities for translational research from animal studies to human diseases.
Microsurgery Core Facility is located on the 11th floor of Tarry Research and Education Building (11-726/728/736/750B), occupying approximately 600 square feet lab space. The facility contains state-of-the-art operating microscopes including three Zeiss OPMI® operating microscopes with dual binocular heads and two Zeiss Stereo Zoom Microscopes (STEMI SV6) along with five aseptic surgical units that allow for daily routine performance of 10 vascularized transplant procedures and 20+ other surgical procedures (e.g. skin transplant, ischemia and reperfusion injury models). In addition, the facility holds a murine intensive care unit with a temperature controlled small animal intensive care chamber (Harvard Apparatus) that provides an appropriate environment for postoperative animals to recover from surgery as well as other separate areas designated for animal prep, autopsy and tissue sampling. Moreover, the core has been additional designated space as “a satellite facility” for immediate post-surgical animal care. For more information on this facility, please click here.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).