Biological Sciences Core Facilities

Find information below on core facilities for biological analysis. In addition to the resources below, the University’s role in the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) and the Institute for Translational Medicine provides UChicago researchers with resources beyond the walls of campus. The CBC offers access to core facilities at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University. Contact the Chicago Biomedical Consortium for access or more information.

Advanced Electron Microscopy: Cryopreservation and Tomography

The Advanced Electron Microscopy Facility develops techniques for preserving cellular structure with the highest degree of reliability. These techniques involve different methods for rapidly freezing samples in order to halt structural and biochemical activity in a very short timeframe, thus preserving structure in the “live” state.

Animal Microsurgery Center

The AMC provides investigators with mouse and rat surgical models, including transplantation, ischemia, cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer and immunologic models, as well as bariatric and general surgical procedures. This core will also develop surgical techniques and approaches according to the requirements of investigator research.

Biophysics Core

The Biophysics Core comprises a wide range of instrumentation and expertise to assist researchers in characterizing molecules of interest. From absolute properties to kinetic studies, the facility provides the tools, training, and assistance for quantitative analysis of macromolecules and their interactions.

Biostatistics Laboratory

Members of the Biostatistics Lab advise and collaborate with investigators on study design (including sample size and power calculations, protocol development and the preparation of grant and contract proposals), study execution (including randomization, data monitoring, and oversight of data management and other study procedures), data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript preparation.

Cellular Screening Center

The CSC provides high throughput cell and non-cell based screening for researchers throughout the Chicago area. Both small molecules and siRNA libraries are offered for such screens.

Center for Research Informatics

CRI offers state-of-the-art technologies for working with research data—from acquisition and storage to analysis and sharing.

Cytometry Antibody Technology (CAT) Facility

The CAT Facility provides instrumentation and antibodies for the analytical detection of subcellular components and proteins using a range of fluorescence and non-fluorescence-based detection technologies. The CAT Facility also maintains an Antibody/Hybridoma Bank that provides commonly-used, highest-quality purified antibodies, pre-titered conjugated antibodies for flow cytometry, and hybridoma cell lines.

cGMP Laboratory

The cGMP Laboratory manufactures cell-based products and clinical grade reagents for treatment of patients on Phase I, II and III clinical trials. The cGMP facility is registered with the FDA in accordance with 21 CFR part 1271. The facility is capable of providing a range of services dedicated for supporting cellular based therapies including vaccines for patient treatment.

Genomics Facility

The Genomics Facility provides state-of-the-art genomics data generation services through Next-Gen (Sequencing and Library prep), Micro-array (Affymetrix / Illumina), Sanger DNA Sequencing, and Bio-analyzer sample QC services. Projects include small whole genome sequencing, (small)-RNA-SEQ, ChIP-SEQ and Exome-SEQ projects [NGS], gene expression profiling, SNP-genotyping, Methylation profiling projects [arrays] and plasmid/PCR product sequencing.

Gnotobiotic Research Animal Facility

The GRAF facility houses mice of many different genetic backgrounds which are derived as germ-free, having no microbes on or inside of them. These gnotobiotic mice serve as research models that are key in identifying the genes responsible for many disease predispositions and, more importantly, the mechanisms responsible so that ways to interfere with progression can be determined.

Human Imaging Research Office

HIRO assists UChicago investigators and research staff with medical imaging performed on human subjects for research purposes. This includes the acquisition, analysis, collection, anonymization and distribution of image data.

Human Immunological Monitoring

The HIM facility serves as a specialized laboratory performing correlative assays for cancer-based clinical trials.

Human Tissue Resource Center

The mission of this CAP-accredited core facility is to provide investigators with a centralized infrastructure to optimize the efficiency and costs related to research involving biospecimens. Currently the HTRC provides services for the collection of clinically-annotated human tissues, DNA, PBMC, saliva, and other requested body fluids. In addition, the core also provides services for tissue microarray (TMA) construction as well as cryostats and digital imaging for investigators use. In this way, the HTRC provides a coordinated, centralized, and dedicated program for the procuring, processing, dispersing and assessing all types of biospecimens together with downstream histology services.

Imaging, Computing, and Repository Core

The mission of this CAP-accredited core facility is to provide investigators with a centralized infrastructure to optimize the efficiency and costs related to research involving biospecimens. Currently the HTRC provides services for the collection of clinically-annotated human tissues, DNA, PBMC, saliva, and other requested body fluids. In addition, the core also provides services for tissue microarray (TMA) construction as well as cryostats and digital imaging for investigators use. In this way, the HTRC provides a coordinated, centralized, and dedicated program for the procuring, processing, dispersing and assessing all types of biospecimens together with downstream histology services.

Integrated Light Microscopy Core Facility

This core provides high-end microscopy imaging capabilities, including bright field (color, DIC, etc.), fluorescence (multi-dimension; TIRFM; bleaching, ablation, etc.), high-resolution, high-speed, high-sensitivity, confocal, and physiologic techniques; STED-CW, GSD3D, lightsheet selective plane illumination (SPIM), and lattice lightsheet structured illumination super resolution microscopy to university researchers.

Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource

iSAIRR is a synergistically integrated infrastructure that offers a broad spectrum of imaging modalities, techniques, and services for in vivo imaging of small animals and ex vivo imaging of tissue/organ specimens. iSAIRR equipment includes Bruker 9.4T MRIS system, Caliper IVIS Spectrum system, GMI Triumph Tri-Modality Pre-Clinical microPET/SPECT/CT, S-Sharp Prospect 3.0 Utrasound, as well as workstations and software for image analysis.

MRI Research Center

Research at the MRIRC includes development of new fMRI methods, MRI methods for characterizing stroke, breast and prostate cancer imaging, use of quantitative MRI in clinical trials, including improvements in quantitative MRI methods, and development of new cardiac imaging methods.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility

The Biomolecular NMR Core supports biochemical, biophysical, metabolomics research. The facility houses two 600 MHz and one 500 MHz NMR spectrometers, which are properly equipped for most modern solution state NMR experiments.

Pharmacology Core Facility

The mission of the Pharmacology Core Facility is to foster clinical pharmacology and biomarker research regarding cancer therapeutics. The Facility offers comprehensive lab services to support cancer investigators conducting clinical and preclinical drug development studies.

Proteomics Core Facility

The Proteomics Core Facility is dedicated to the characterization of proteins and peptides. This facility provides advice and services pertaining to peptide synthesis, protein sequencing, mass spectrometry, amino acid analysis, and more

Transgenic/ES Cell Technology

The Transgenic Mouse/Embryonic Stem Cell Facility provides genetic engineering services including the production of transgenic mice; ES cell gene targeting and culturing; CRISPR/Cas9 technology utilization; TARGATT technology; and BAC transgenic preparation and injection. The Facility also provides specialized breeding, rederivation and training services for GEM production and maintenance.

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X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology

XROMM integrates biplanar digital videofluoroscopy with CT-scan based reconstruction of morphology to produce high resolution (+ 0.1 mm) reconstructions of movements of biological structures.