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Harvard Medical School (HMS)

North America
United States
Service category
Academic collaboration, Analytical laboratory and testing services
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Key services


Core Facilities

Core scientific facilities support innovative research at Harvard by providing highly specialized services, equipment and staff that would otherwise be too expensive for a single laboratory or department to provide. Below is a list of the HMS Quad Department Core Facilities.


While most cores are publicly available, some are required by their sponsors to limit access and to differentiate pricing. Policies regarding services, access, fees and prioritization vary by core and by institution. Please contact the core facility directly for more information.


HMS Quad Department Core Facilties

Cell Biology Molecular Electron Microscopy Facility


The HMS Molecular Electron Microscopy Facility offers scientists service, technical expertise, and instrumentation for conventional electron microscopy techniques. Training in electron microscope operation and guidance for electron microscopy projects.


Genetics Microscopy Facility


The facility provides the use of Confocal and 2 Photon microscopes. Although it serves primarily the Department of Genetics, other quad members are given access when needed.


Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center Optical Imaging


The Core provides access to advanced confocal, multi-photon and live cell imaging microscopes and specializes in various forms of fluorescence, brightfield, DIC (Differential Interference Contrast) and live cell imaging. The facility offers users comprehensive service on confocal imaging, protocol design and microscopy training as well as digital image analysis, including consultation and custom macro program (ImageJ and Metamorph) design.


Microbiology and Immunobiology BL2+ Imaging Facility


The BL2+ Imaging Facility provides the infrastructure and expertise for In-Vivo imaging of host pathogen interactions in infected mice.


NERCE/Live-cell Imaging Core


The NERCE imaging core supports the use of live-cell, Spinning Disc imaging for any New England investigator studying NIAID priority pathogens and agents of emerging infectious disease. This resource is located at the Immune Disease Institute on the Harvard Medical School campus.


Neurobiology Imaging Facility


The facility offers a wide-range of optical imaging equipment as well as technical and analytical support. The imaging equipment ranges from wide-field to confocal to super-resolution imaging through STORM technology.


The Nikon Imaging Center at Harvard Medical School (NIC@HMS)


The NIC is a core light microscopy facility developed in partnership with Nikon Instruments Inc. and Micro Video Instruments Inc. The NIC@HMS maintains a wide range of light microscopy stations, including laser scanning confocal, spinning disk confocal, TIRF, STORM super-resolution, FRAP/photoactivation and more. All users are trained to use the equipment; no prior imaging experience is necessary. The NIC@HMS also offers an extensive educational program, including hands-on workshops for theoretical and practical training on light microscopy techniques.


Systems Biology Microscopy Faciltiy


(SBMF) is a core facility for light microscopy developed in partnership with Nikon Instruments Inc. and Micro Video Instruments Inc. The SBMF maintains laser scanning confocals, spinning disk confocals, a total internal fluorescence system, and other basic fluorescence and transmitted light microscopes. All users are offered training to use the equipment; no prior imaging experience is necessary.


The Image and Data Analysis Core (IDAC)


IDAC provides image data analysis services to individual labs and core facilities at Harvard Medical School, including the ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility (ICCB-L), the Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC), and the Nikon Imaging Center (NIC).


BCMP SBGrid Computing Core and Software Consortium


SBGrid Core team provides research computing support to 20 structural biology laboratories in Boston area. The SBGrid Consortium provides structural biologists worldwide with access to the computing resources they need to discover the shapes of the molecules of life. The Consortium includes X-ray crystallography, NMR and electron microscopy laboratories worldwide. Members share the costs of SBGrid's support services and gain access to a large collection of scientific applications and extensive computing resources.


Microbiology and Immunobiology Flow Cytometry Facility


The Flow Cytometry Facility provides flow cytometric analysis and cell sorting services to investigators in the Harvard Medical School and in the Harvard affiliated hospitals and institutions. The facility currently has a FACSCalibur and a LSRII with a high throughput sampler for assisted as well as unassisted flow cytometric acquisition and analysis, and a FACSAria for cell sorting (performed by an expert technician).


Systems Biology FACS Facility


The Systems Biology FACS facility houses two state-of-the-art BD analyzers with high-throughput capability, a high-speed BD cell sorter with an automatic plate deposition unit, a Stratedigm analyzer with high-throughput capability, and both Mac and PC workstations for data analysis. Sorting services are offered through the facility, as well as instrument and software training. Instruments include a BD FACSCalibur (488nm/635nm; 4-color), BD SORP LSRII with HTS (405nm/488nm/594nm; 12-color), A Stratedigm S100EX with plate reader and liquid dispensing capabilities (405nm, 488nm, 561nm, and 640nm; 13 color), and a BD FACSAria IIu (405nm/488nm/633nm; 9-color). Data analysis software available at the facility includes ModFit, FlowJo, Diva 6.1.3, and CellQuestPro.


HMS Microfluidics Core


The HMS Microfluidics Facility aims to make the tools of microfabrication and microfluidics available to all HMS users. Microfluidics has the potential to do for biology what microprocessors have done for computational sciences by integrating complex chemical and biological processes into one chip, facilitating the study of complex biological systems.


The Drosophila RNAi Screening Center (DRSC) at Harvard Medical School


The mission of the DRSC is to provide the community with RNAi reagent libraries and a screening platform for high-throughput screens in Drosophila cultured and primary cells. Also included at the DRSC is the Trangenic RNAi Project (TRiP), the mission of the TRiP is to generate validated in vivo fly stocks for tissue-specific gene knockdown in whole animals. We provide access to information, protocols, data and software tools via our DRSC and TRiP website and underlying FlyRNAi database. The DRSC also provides access to state-of-the-art instrumentation for high-throughput, high-content fluorescence confocal imaging. Director:


ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility (ICCB-Longwood)


The ICCB-Longwood Investigator Initiated Screening Program assists academic researchers in carrying out high-throughput screens of chemical and RNAi libraries to identify new tools for biological research. The ICCB-Longwood compound collection is continuously growing. Over 250,000 compounds are currently available for screening, including > 8,000 'known bioactive' compounds many of which have been characterized in animal models or in the clinic. Multiple human and mouse whole-genome siRNA libraries, as well as miRNA mimic and inhibitor libraries, are available for RNAi screening. The facility employs a staff-assisted screening model.


NERCE/National Small Molecule Screening and Medicinal Chemistry Core (NSRB)


The NSRB supports biodefense-related research directed towards the identification of small molecules that enhance our understanding of the basic biology of pathogens of biodefense or emerging infectious disease interest, and that may lead to the development of new therapeutic agents against these pathogens. The core provides access to small-molecule high-throughput screening (HTS) for all U.S. investigators with projects focused on NIAID Priority Pathogens and agents of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The core also provides data analysis and medicinal chemistry resources for maturation of screening positives into small-molecule research tools or into potential novel therapeutic leads.


NERCE Biomolecule Production Laboratory


The NERCE Biomolecule Production Core Laboratory is a core service laboratory with capability for expression and purification of recombinant proteins using bacterial and baculoviral expression systems, and preparation of bacterial carbohydrate components. It supports all New England investigators conducting research on NIAID priority pathogens that requires purified proteins or carbohydrates.


NERCE Microbiology and Animal Resources Core Laboratory


The NERCE Microbiology and Animal Resources Core maintains two laboratories, a BSL-2 and a BSL-3 laboratory, to support the research efforts of all New England investigators conducting research on NIAID priority pathogens. Each laboratory provides the physical environment, equipment, and support personnel required for scientists to work with these agents. The BSL-3 laboratory is an isolated suite that includes individual laboratory rooms and rooms for housing experimental animals. The BSL-3 lab provides the extensive security and administrative support structure required for possession of CDC select agents. The BSL-2 laboratory provides support required by the BLS-3 facility, access to attenuated strains exempt from select agent registration, and laboratory space for visiting investigators.


Cell Biology Frog Facility


The Harvard Medical School amphibian facility maintains and provides aquatic research animals for a variety of scientific research. This facility is considered a satellite facility of the Harvard Center for Comparative Medicine and is regulated under their authority. The facility is restricted to those who are on IACUC approved animal research protocols for amphibians and who have undergone HCCM and facility specific training. It is run on a per animal recharge basis.


DF/HCC Rodent Histopathology Core


The Rodent Histopathology Core is a Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center facility that is based at HMS. Services that the Core provides focus mainly on mouse histopathology, and include necropsy, phenotyping of organs and tissues, dissection and tissue processing, and one-on-one consultation. The facility also generates unstained paraffin and frozen sections to be used for immunohistochemistry. The core provides individual and group training sessions for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students on the development, phenotyping and characterization of animal models of cancers.


DF/HCCC Vector Service Center


The Vector Core is a Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center facility. It provides a centralized service for the production and characterization of gene transfer reagents.


DF/HCC DNA Resource Core


The DF/HCC DNA Resource Core was established in the spring of 1999 to meet a growing need for DNA sequencing services at a cost that is affordable for academic labs. The services that we offer to users within the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center and the broader scientific community include DNA sequencing for large- and small-scale projects and plasmid & distribution. Our highest priorities are quality assurance, user support and timely request fulfillment.


Department of Genetics Biopolymer/Next Gen Sequencing Facility


Core Instruments and Services offered: AB 3730xl - Sanger DNA Sequencing and Fragment Analysis; AB7900HT - QPCR Assays; Agilent Bioanalyzer & TapeStation - DNA and RNA Quality Assessment; Hamilton StarPlus Robot - Automation Services; Illumina HiSeq2000 & MiSeq - Next-gen Sequencing and Library Construction Services; Luminex LS200 - XMap Assays; QiaCube - Sample Preparation (DNA and RNA); and an Oligonucleotide Ordering Program; Reagents and Supplies Stock Room Program. A Comprehensive web based Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), provides facility users with access to order services, supplies, retrieve data, review invoices and make payments online.


BCMP Small Molecule NMR Facility


The East Quad NMR Faciltiy (EQNMR) is a core facility for small molecule NMR spectroscopy. The EQNMR Lab houses state-of-the-art 600 and 400MHz NMR systems capable of conducting multi-dimensional experiments on Natural Products and medicinal chemistry type samples. Training is provided to enable investigators to run their own experiments in a highly automated, user- friendly environment.


Cell Biology Taplin Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility


The Taplin Biological Mass Spectrometry facility provides mass spectrometry services to members of the HMS community as well as external users.


Microbiology and Immunobiology Analytical Chemistry Facility


This facility provides liquid chromatography-masspectrometry access to researchers in the area of metabolomics. The Q-TOF LC MS is located in laboratory of Dr. Suzanne Walker in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology.


Systems Biology Machine Shop


The Machine Shop provides: 1) design and construction of custom tools for medical research, and 2) repair of existing Scientific laboratory instruments.


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