Skip to main content

Core Facilities List

Biomedical Sciences

Analytical bioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC)

Analytical bioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC) houses research equipment for the evaluation of materials and biological preparations in the bionanotechnology laboratory.  The core primarily serves Northwestern University researchers, and is open for visiting scientists and local industry researchers.

ANTEC website

Services: Centrifuge, Centrifuge PCR Plates Spin, Lyophilizer – Self Service, Orientation, Training

Behavioral Phenotyping Core Facility

The Behavioral Phenotyping Core (BPC) helps investigators examine their mice and rats for changes in behavior. BPC’s mission is to make available to funded research projects a facility to determine the behavioral effects of genetic manipulations, potential pharmaceuticals, aging, and other manipulations upon normal behavior, and the learning and memory capacities of rodents used as model systems. We can also work with PIs needing to gather pilot data.

BPC website

Services: Watermaze for Rat and Mouse, Eyeblink Conditioning , Lime Light for Mouse and Rat (Open field, Y maze, Zero Maze, Social Recognition), Fear Conditioning, Animal Surgery, Rotarod, Thermal Plantar pain test

Biological Imaging Facility

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.

BIF website

Services: Microscopy, image analysis, poster printing, Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, DIC (Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy), FCS (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy), FLIP (Fluorescence-Loss-In-Photobleaching), FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching), FRET (Fluorescence/ Forster Resonance Energy Transfer), Live-cell Imaging, Phase Contrast Microscopy, Widefield Fluorescence Microscopy, Image Processing and Analysis

Center for Advanced Microscopy and Nikon Imaging Center

The Center for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) at Northwestern offers state-of-the art instrumentation and services for the study of biological processes at the whole animal, tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. The facility’s basic services include electron microscopy, super resolution microscopy (SIM & STORM), fluorescent laser scanning and spinning disk microscopy, confocal atomic force microscopy, fluorescent lifetime imaging, automated high throughput tissue cytometry, laser capture microdissection, multiphoton imaging, and whole animal bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging. CAM also offers customized data analysis support.

CAM website

Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging

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 website

Center for Translational Imaging

The Center for Translational Imaging (CTI) is the Department of Radiology’s MRI research facility that is capable of human and animal (rabbit, rat, mouse) MRI. Most recently it also provides advanced nuclear imaging capabilities (micro-PET/CT). CTI has the infrastructure and staff to support all types of imaging research studies.

CTI website

ChemCore: Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry Core

ChemCore offers computational, medicinal and synthetic chemistry services to support drug discovery research at Northwestern and externally. ChemCore’s dedicated staff of medicinal and computational chemists design and synthesize novel small molecules that are suitable for therapeutic development for collaborative projects with physicians and faculty scientists.

ChemCore website

Comprehensive Metabolic Core

The mission of the Comprehensive Metabolic Core is to advance research in diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease by establishing validated high-throughput hormone analyses and to create a consolidated reference center for efficient testing for the community.

Comprehensive Metabolic Core website

Developmental Therapeutics Core

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 website

DevSci’s Neurodevelopmental Resource Core (ND Core)

DevSci’s Neurodevelopmental Resource Core (ND Core) recharge center provides services in support of research, education, and assessment technology related to neurodevelopmental research methods.

DevSci ND website


FIRST-Daily Life CCCR (Fostering Innovative Rheumatic Disease Team-Based Research to Improve Daily Life Core Center for Clinical Research) has a mission of promoting research that improves the lives of persons with or at risk for rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal conditions.

FIRST-Daily Life CCCR website

Flow Cytometry Core Facility - Cancer Center

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.

Flow website

High Throughput Analysis Laboratory

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 chemical compound screening. The facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art liquid handling, plate detection and automated microbial culture handling capabilities.

HTAL website

Keck Biophysics Facility

The Keck Biophysics Facility provides researchers with 24-hour access to a collection of advanced instruments for biophysical and biochemical characterization of macromolecules and their interactions. Training, technical expertise and assistance are provided by the facility personnel. Staff service on selected instruments is available.

Keck Bio website

Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team

The Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LS-CAT) provides macromolecular cystallography resources for those with a need to determine the structure of proteins. Mainly LS-CAT provides access to state of the art x-ray diffraction facilities at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source where extremely intense beams of x-rays are focused using both mirrors and beryllium lenses onto tiny protein crystals. The x-rays diffracted by these crystals are collected with giant CCD detectors that produce the images needed to calculate where the atoms in the protein crystal are.

LS-CAT website

Mathews Center for Cellular Therapy

The MCCT at NMH provides stem cell products, culture expanded cellular products and isolated cellular subpopulation products to the adult stem cell transplant program, the solid organ transplant program and the division of allergy and immunology programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In addition, pediatric cellular products are provided for the Robert and Ann Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The MCCT collaborates with nation-wide biotechnology companies for cellular and biological therapies.

MCCT website

Microsurgery and Preclinical Research Core

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 and Preclinical Research Core website

Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Laboratory

The Mouse Histology and Phenotyping Laboratory (MHPL) is designed to assist investigators with their research histology needs, as well as gross and histological characterization of genetically modified murine models. Studies can be performed on individual organs or involve a systemic overview of all major organ systems. Pathologist consultation will allow the development of strategies to elucidate the phenotype and gain mechanistic insight regarding the biologic actions of the targeted molecule.

MHPL website

Nanocytology Core

The Nanocytology Core at the Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering focuses on the advanced study of functional consequences and origins of nanoscale changes associated with disease by ensuring that new nanoscale imaging and sensing devices developed by the Center are made broadly available to the research community in a timely fashion.


  • Quantify the response of the nanoscale structure within specific cellular compartments to different external factors, from new therapies for cancer treatment to environmental pollutants using Partial Wave Spectroscopic microscopy (PWS).
  • Support with experiment design and planning.
  • PWS image and data acquisition and treatment.

NUSeq Core Facility

NUSeq brings together highly sophisticated genomics instrumentation and technical know-how to Northwestern University researchers. NUSeq is the only Northwestern University core facility dedicated to genomics research support. The Core support investigators on the Evanston and Chicago campuses, and Northwestern-affiliated institutions, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Lake Forest Hospital, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, etc. In addition, NUSeq also serves other academic and commercial institutions in the Chicagoland region.

NUSeq website

Outcomes Measurement & Survey Core

The Outcomes Measurement and Survey Core (OMSC) serves the needs of the cancer researchers within the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The mission of this core facility is to provide consultation and support for research that involves collecting, analyzing or interpreting self-report data in culturally diverse populations. The OMSC is housed within the Department of Medical Social Sciences, which also provides similar services to any member of the Northwestern community.

OMSC website

Peptide Synthesis Core

The Simpson Querrey (SQI) Peptide Synthesis Core Facility produces custom peptides for SQI members, NU researchers, and other local academic and commercial labs. Our facility provides customers with high quality peptides synthesized at 0.05-2mmol scales and purified by reverse-phase HPLC. We can also carry out side chain or terminal modifications such as the addition of fluorescent or biotin labels according to the customers’ research applications.

PS Core website

Proteomics Center of Excellence and Core Facility

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.

Proteomics website

Quantitative Bioelemental Imaging Center

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.

QBIC website

Skin Disease Research Center

The goal of the Northwestern University SDRC is to promote outstanding bench and clinical research in cutaneous biology, ultimately to improve patient care. The SDRC is comprised of an Administrative Core and three distinct Research Cores which include the Skin Tissue Engineering Core (previously the Keratinocyte Core, the Morphology & Phenotyping Core (previously the Pathology Core) and the DNA/RNA Delivery Core.

SDRC website

Stem Cell Core Facility

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.

Stem Cell Core website

Structural Biology Facility

The primary mission of the Structural Biology Facility is to provide state-of-the-art equipment, training, technical support, and maintenance of equipment indispensable for structural biologists and other researchers studying the structures of biological macromolecules and materials. The Facility also provides structure determination and data collection services, both for crystallography and cryoEM.

SBF website

Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Laboratory

The Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Laboratory (TTML) is a shared resource that provides a broad range of services to NU investigators, including generation of transgenic mice, gene targeting of embryonic stem (ES) cells, ES cell microinjection into blastocysts, mouse germplasm cryopreservation, recovery of cryopreserved mouse lines, and rederivation of pathogen free mouse strains

TTML website

Physical Sciences and Engineering

BioCryo (Biological and Cryogenic Electron Microscopy) Facility

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.

BioCryo website

Services: cryo SEM, and freeze-fracturing/etching, SE-, TE-, and Z-contrast imaging, electron diffraction, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)

Central Laboratory for Materials Mechanical Properties

The Central Laboratory for Materials Mechanical Properties (CLaMMP) contains testing machines and accessories for conducting educational, research, and outreach experiments on most solid materials. The lab is available for use for both the Northwestern community and non-Northwestern researchers on an hourly-fee basis. The facility provides testing equipment for studying the mechanical behavior of materials.

CLaMMP website

CHiMad Metals Processing Facility (CMPF)

Under a NIST-sponsored grant to promote the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) approach to development of new materials, the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) was founded with a focus on developing the next generation of computational tools, databases and experimental techniques to accelerate virtual design of novel materials and their integration to industry as part of the US Government’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI).

CMPF website


This facility provides liquid helium and liquid nitrogen to researchers and laboratories at Northwestern.

Cryogenics website

DuPont, Northwestern, Dow Collaborative Access Team

DuPont, Northwestern, Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) has formulated a broad research program which takes advantage of 3rd generation synchrotron radiation sources. Although many fields of materials science and engineering are represented in this research program, the scientific thrust is concentrated in two main areas: study of two dimensional or quasi-two dimensional atomic structures (surfaces, interfaces and thin films), and polymer science and technology.

DND-CAT website

EPIC (Electron Probe Instrumentation Center)

The Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC) facility offers a wide range of electron microscopy (both transmission and scanning), accessory instrumentation, and expertise to the scientific and engineering community through education, collaboration, and service. The laboratory provides facilities for the preparation and examination of many types of bulk and thin specimens (foils/films), fine particles, and replicas, including biological materials, by transmission and scanning electron microscopy.

EPIC website

Glovebox Inert Atmosphere (N2) Thin-film Fabrication and Testing Core Facility (GIANTFab)

The Glovebox Inert Atmosphere (N2) Thin-film Fabrication and Testing core facility at Northwestern provides equipment for researchers to manufacture and test thin-film optical and electronic devices without ever exposing them to air or water, allowing measurements of device performance unaffected by environmental degradation.

Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center

The Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center (IMSERC) facility performs a full range of chemical analyses. Such analyses include qualitative composition determination, quantitative analysis, and molecular structure determination. The most commonly used techniques are NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy, trace metals analysis and single crystal X-Ray crystallography.

IMSERC website

Jerome B. Cohen X-ray Diffraction Facility

The primary function is to provide general-purpose x-ray equipment for scattering and fluorescence studies. The facility can also provide equipment for non-routine experiments such as, special attachments for high temperatures, vacuum or protective atmospheres, monochromators, special linear and area detectors, etc.

X-Ray website

Keck-II (Keck Interdisciplinary Surface Science) Facility

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 website

Materials Characterization and Imaging Facility

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.

MatCI website

Materials Processing & Microfabrication Facility (MPMF)

The Materials Research Center (MRC) cleanroom facility 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.

MPMF website

Northwestern University Laser and Electronics Design Core Facility (NU-LED)

The Northwestern University Laser and Electronics Design core facility (NU-LED) exists to give Northwestern researchers a competitive edge in the fields of electronics and optical engineering when compared to research institutions that do not provide such support. NU-LED offers professional design, fabrication, integration, and testing/repair services in these fields. NU-LED also maintains a collection of professional quality electrical test instruments which is available for rent. Our staff provides educational assistance to students, postdocs, and faculty through both informal consultation and classes. We assist groups with developing, monitoring, and troubleshooting to quickly diagnose any issues with digital, analog, and laser based systems.

NU-LED website

NU Center for Atom Probe Tomography

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.

NUCAPT website

NUFAB Cleanroom

NU Fabrication (NUFAB) has cleanroom facilities in Cook Hall and the Tech Institute. NUFAB_Tech contains state-of-the-art equipment for characterization, deposition, etching-ashing, photolithography and wet processing in newly-built 6000 square-foot class 100 and class 1000 cleanrooms. It supports research in all areas of science, engineering, medicine, and interdisciplinary fields. It provides nanofabrication equipment and technical expertise to Northwestern as well as other academic and industrial researchers.

NUFAB website

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) Core Facility

The Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) facility provides a means of growing thin film of metals and oxides ranging from a nanometer to a micron thick. The facility contains a state of the art PVD PLD/MBE 2300 with high pressure RHEED capabilities.

PLD Core website

Reactor Engineering and Catalyst Testing Core (REACT)

The Reactor Engineering and Catalyst Testing (REACT) Core at Northwestern University is dedicated to aiding investigators in the advancement of understanding the catalytic function of materials for environmental and energy processes.

REACT website

Research Shop - Instrumentation Design, Engineering and Production

The purpose of the Research Shop is to help graduate students, post-docs, principle investigators and others involved in research to realize their ideas, concepts and needs for devices, instrumentation and apparatuses. Toward this purpose, the Research Shop consists of the Design Shop, the Student Research Shop and the Professional Shop.

Research Shop website

SPID (Scanned Probe Imaging and Development) Facility

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.

SPID website

Surface Science Facility

The Surface Science Facility provides multiple-technique characterization of a variety of surfaces with regard to atomic structure, surface chemical composition, and chemical bonding characteristics.

SSF website


Biostatistics Collaboration Center

The BCC’s scope encompasses non-cancer research at FSM, and it is distinct from the Quantitative Data Sciences Core (QDSC) in the Cancer Center. It is affiliated with NUCATS and its BERD program (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design). The core has over 10 faculty biostatisticians and 6 statistical analysts in the Department of Preventive Medicine.

BCC website

Clinical Trials Office-RHLCCC

The RHLCCC Clinical Trials Office (CTO) provides a centralized resource to facilitate the development, conduct, quality assurance monitoring, compliance with regulatory agency requirements, and evaluation of clinical research/trials at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. As such, the office coordinates the majority of clinical research conducted in medical oncology, malignant hematology, gynecologic-oncology, neuro-oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and chemoprevention.

CTO website

Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse

The Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) is a single, integrated database of all clinical and research data from all patients receiving treatment through Northwestern healthcare affiliates.Consolidating this wealth of data into a single database maximizes efficiency and centralizes security, making data available yet controlling access to assure consistency with consents and regulatory requirements. The purpose of EDW is to collect, integrate and disseminate data. The EDW serves the role of an honest broker for clinical information to the Northwestern research community.

NM EDW website

NUCATS-Center for Clinical Research

The Center for Clinical Research (CCR), directed by Richard D’Aquila, MD, associate vice president of research, works closely with clinical and translational scientists, trainees and staff to provide resources, services and guidance specific to the needs of each investigator and study.

NUCATS CCR website

NUCATS-Clinical Research Unit (Lurie Children's Hospital)

The Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is a child- and family-friendly environment that offers eight outpatient private exam rooms, six dedicated inpatient beds and a consultation room. Facilities available to meet the need of investigators include touchdown space for investigators and auditors/monitors, limited investigator supply and equipment storage and refrigeration of specimens. The unit can be utilized with full nursing services or for space only.

NUCATS CRU website

Pathology Core Facility

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.

PCF website

Program Evaluation Core (PEC)

The Program Evaluation Core seeks to advance higher education by collaborating with Northwestern investigators to evaluate their educational programs. Centering equity and inclusion in all their efforts, Program Evaluation Core staff and faculty collaborate with investigators to design evaluations plans for grant proposals, collect and analyze data, interpret data, make meaning of results, write reports and co-develop strategies for program improvement.

PEC website