Research Core Facilities provide access to highly specialized services, equipment, and staff that would otherwise be too expensive for an individual laboratory to support.
Below is an expandable list of the HMS-supported research core facilities and other shared resources, along with relevant contact information. 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 each core facility or resource directly for more information. For information about research core facilities at other Harvard Schools and HMS affiliate institutions, please visit the Harvard-LMA research core facilities website.
HMS-supported Cores & Shared Resources
Analytical Chemistry Core
In the Analytical Chemistry Core at HMS there is an Agilent 6530 QTOF LCMS and an Agilent 6130 Single Quad LCMS available for use by investigators who can operate them independently, running their own samples and interpreting the results.
Big Data Analytics Core
The Big Data Analytics Core services include predictive analytics with biomedical data including cohort studies and EHR data, text mining and automated knowledge extraction, real-world evidence, as well as design and analysis of modern clinical trials.
BioGrids provides innovative computational resources, scientific software, and educational programs. We curate a library of 500+ biosciences applications to support researchers across disciplines with collections for high-throughput sequencing, proteomics, genomics, visualization, and related tools, and provide access to these tools through a preconfigured software environment.
Core Website - https://www.biogrids.org/
Bio-molecular NMR Facility
The HMS Bio-molecular NMR Facility provides access to small and large molecule solution state NMR spectroscopy in support of chemical and structural biology. The facility, unique in the Boston area, houses state-of-the-art 400, 500, 600, and 700MHz systems capable of conducting cutting edge multi-nuclear experiments in support of medicinal chemistry, fragment-based drug discovery, mechanistic studies of ligand binding to macromolecules, metabolomics, protein structure and dynamics, and research on NMR methodology related to translational research. A hybrid model of operation is employed where training is provided to enable investigators to run their own experiments, but staff assistance is available for project-based work that requires highly specialized skills. The facility serves both HMS investigators and those from each of the affiliates.
BPF NGS Genomics Core Facility
The BPF NGS Genomics Core Facility provides state of the art resources and services including NextGen Sequencing on the Illumina platform, NGS Sample Preparation (for a variety of DNA and RNA applications), Single Cell Analysis on the 10X Genomics Chromium platform, DNA and RNA Quality Assessment, Sanger DNA Sequencing, DNA/RNA isolation and purification, Oligonucleotide Ordering, qPCR Assays, and Reagents & Supplies Ordering (via a staffed stock room in the NRB and an automated 24/7 stock room on the HMS Quad).
Center for Computational Biomedicine
CCB provides cutting edge computational capabilities, data analysis, and data integration technologies to support research and education across HMS. Our multi-disciplinary team of computational and quantitative scientists develops shared data and analytic resources to serve a broad constituency and provides expertise and management for project collaborations with HMS investigators. CCB also hosts a variety of events (i.e., workshops, guided learnings, town halls, seminars) to enhance computational education for HMS students, trainees, research staff, and faculty.
Center for Macromolecular Interactions
The BCMP Center for Macromolecular Interactions (CMI) is a resource for the characterization of macromolecules and their interactions. The CMI provides training, scientific consultation, and access to shared biophysical equipment, including: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), Biolayer Interferometry (BLI), MicroScale Thermophoresis (MST), Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (DSF), Circular Dichroism (CD), and Light Scattering methods: size-exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering (SEC-MALS), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), and Mass Photometry (MP).
The CMI offers select data collection services for the characterization of protein secondary structure, mass and oligomeric state, polydispersity, aggregation state, hydrodynamic radius, and thermal stability. The CMI also offers nanobody selection services, using the yeast surface display nanobody libraries developed in the lab of Andrew Kruse.
Cell Biology Microscopy Facility
This core provides access to advanced light microscopes for the Harvard Medical School research community, including a lattice light sheet microscope.
HMS imaging cores website: https://microscopy.hms.harvard.edu
Conventional Electron Microscopy Facility
The EM facility at Harvard Medical School is a fee-for-service core facility for transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The aim of the facility is to make the electron microscopes and relevant techniques such as sample preparation, sectioning and immunogold labeling easily accessible to all researchers.
The Harvard Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center for Structural Biology is a joint effort by Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital to provide state-of-the-art cryo-EM instrumentation and expertise for the Harvard structural biology community. This user facility offers consultation and training by staff in specimen preparation, microscope operation, image acquisition, and data analysis. The facility houses two Mark IV Vitrobots for sample preparation and two Titan Krios electron microscopes with BioQuantum energy filters and a Talos Arctica electron microscope, all equipped with Gatan K3 direct electron detectors and Volta phase plates.
DF/HCC Mouse Engineering Core
Before February 1, 2021 this core was called the HMS Transgenic Mouse Core.
The DF/HCC Mouse Engineering Core (MEC) has all of the equipment necessary for generation of transgenic mice including a Nikon Diaphot microscope equipped with Nomarski Optics and Narishige micromanipulators for microinjections, Nikon surgical microscopes for egg isolation ad transfer, a sutter needle puller and a de Fonbbrune microforge. The facility maintains mice necessary for egg donors, egg recipients, and vasectomized males. This is a non-profit facility and charges are based upon anticipated mouse costs, maintenance of mice and equipment, purchase of necessary surgical supplies and chemicals, and personnel costs.
ES cell culture services have been offered for more than 15 years. Our staff carries out electroporation of targeting vectors into ES cells and provides investigators with DNA to identify ES cells carrying the desired recombination events. Staff then expand the appropriate ES cells for microinjection into blastocysts by the DF/HCC MEC.
In recent years, the core has expanded its list of services to include CRISPR injections and cryopreservation.
DF/HCC Rodent Histopathology Core
The Rodent Histopathology Core was established in 1999 and is a Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center facility based at HMS. Services that the Core provides include technical, professional, and educational services on non-human, primarily rodent tissues. The Core offers necropsy, tissue processing, slide preparation from paraffin-embedded and frozen tissues, routine and specialized histological staining. The Core’s Veterinary Pathologist is available for expert interpretation of slides and one-on-one consultation.
The ultimate goal of the Core is to support investigator research that leads to the identification of pathologic processes in non-human models that can be directly translatable to human disease.
Core Faculty Director - Peter Howley
Core Manager - Li Zhang
Core Administrator - Lauri Wyner
Core Website - http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/research/core-facilities/rodent-histopathology/
Drosophila RNAi Screening Center
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 Transgenic 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.
HMS imaging cores website: https://microscopy.hms.harvard.edu
Drug Discovery Sciences Core
Drug Discovery Sciences Core within the HMS Therapeutics Translator provides intellectual input, including chemistry advising and project management, as well as a variety of biochemical and cell-based assays in support of the therapeutics research initiatives of tenant companies within the Blavatnik Life Lab Longwood and the HMS community.
The Gnotobiotic Core Facility (GCF) is a fee-for-service core established in 2022 in a newly renovated cutting-edge space located on the longwood campus. We provide the flexibility to allow investigators to train on gnotobiotic techniques, or our highly trained staff can perform studies for our users. We offer our services to members of the HMS community as well as to external users.
Harvard Chan Bioinformatics Core
In an effort to provide bioinformatics analysis services and training to the HMS Community, the HMS Tools and Technology Program has provided additional support and resources to the HSPH Bioinformatics Core (HBC). HBC provides expertise in areas such as array analysis, next-gen sequencing (NGS) and functional analysis. Their NGS support includes epigenetics, transcriptomics and re-sequencing studies. HBC works together with research computing groups on all aspects of data management.
ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility
The ICCB-Longwood Screening Facility assists investigators in conducting high-throughput screens of chemical and functional genomics libraries to identify new tools for biological research. The ICCB-Longwood compound collection is continuously growing. Over 500,000 compounds are currently available for screening, including > ~15,000 '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. Arrayed, synthetic single-guide RNA libraries targeting the human draggable genome are available for CRISPR knock out screening. Laboratory automation equipment is also available for use by the community for non-screening projects. The facility employs a staff-assisted screening model.
Image and Data Analysis Core
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).
Immune Imaging Core
The BL2+ Imaging Facility provides the infrastructure and expertise for In-Vivo imaging of host pathogen interactions in infected mice.
Core Director - Uli von Adrian
Core Website - https://immunology.hms.harvard.edu/resources/hms-immune-imaging
Immunology Flow Cytometry Facility
The Immunology Department’s Flow Cytometry core facility provides cutting edge instruments and expert advice for flow cytometry to all researchers across HMS and beyond. With three sorters, four analyzers, and availability at late hours, we can offer our services for a wide variety of cytometry applications. Capabilities include a Cytek Aurora spectral analyzer (up to 40 parameters), or high speed 6 way cell sorting on the 6-laser MoFlo Astrios.
Core Director - Jeffery Nelson
Core Website - https://immunology.hms.harvard.edu/resources/flow-cytometry
The HMS Microfluidics Core Facility aims to provide space and the equipment to design, fabricate and conduct experiments with micro-fluidic devices to the research community of Harvard University and affiliated institutions. Additionally, provide training, fabrication, technical and scientific assistance to users in order to ensure success in their projects.
Core Director - Calixto Saenz
Admin Contact - Barb Grant
Core Website - https://hms.harvard.edu/departments/microfluidicsmicrofabrication
MicRoN: Microscopy Resources on the North Quad
The MicRoN (Microscopy Resources on the North Quad) offers dedicated expertise in imaging and experimental design in light microscopy as well as technical support and basic maintenance of our microscopes. It primarily serves Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics departments but it is open to other Quad Departments. Our core includes widefield, TIRF, single point scanning and spinning disk confocal, multiphoton and SIM-TIRF microscopes.
HMS imaging cores website: https://microscopy.hms.harvard.edu
Molecular Electron Microscopy Suite
The Molecular Electron Microscopy Suite (MEMS) at Harvard Medical School is a user resource currently available to all researchers in the HMS community. This core facility offers training and supervision in negative-stain and cryo-transmission electron microscopy. Equipment includes three transmission electron microscopes, two cryo plungers, and negative stain and cryo sample preparation areas. The Tecnai F20 is equipped with a Gatan K2 Summit direct electron detector.
Mouse Behavior Core
The Mouse Behavior Core (MBC) is a mouse behavioral testing facility jointly supported by Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Boston Children's Hospital. The MBC offers a wide range of mouse behavioral equipment and assays to test a range of motor, cognitive, and affective behaviors. Trained users have access to eight behavioral testing rooms and a procedure room. The MBC staff offers consultation, training, and guidance in execution and interpretation of assays.
Nascent Transcriptomics Core
The mission of the Nascent Transcriptomics Core (NTC) is to offer the community a resource for the analysis of nascent transcription, providing new insights into gene regulation and enabling highly-sensitive identification of regulatory regions such as enhancers.
We offer consultation on experimental design as well as library construction services for Start-seq, PRO-seq, and TT-seq. In addition, the NTC looks forward to expanding these offerings as we develop and optimize new nascent RNA sequencing methods in partnership with the HMS community.
Core Contact - Seth Goldman
Core Website - https://ntc.hms.harvard.edu/
Neurobiology Imaging Facility
The facility offers a wide-range of optical imaging equipment, technical and analytical support as well as full service imaging, tissue clearing and In Situ. The imaging equipment includes whole slide scanning, live cell imaging, confocal, lightsheet and super-resolution (STORM & STED) as well as basic brightfield and widefield microscopes. The facility also offers array tomography, a newly developed imaging technique that offers multiplex, ultra-high resolution volumetric imaging with depth-independent immunofluorescent staining.
Core Website - https://nif.hms.harvard.edu/
Services Website - https://ppms.us/hms-neuroimaging/
Nikon Imaging Center at Harvard Medical School
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, light sheet microscopy 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.
HMS imaging cores website: https://microscopy.hms.harvard.edu
The Research Computing (RC) Core is a set of billable services provided by Research Computing and HMS IT. The goal of the RC Core is to promote deeper collaboration across the greater Harvard biomedical research ecosystem. This includes improved capabilities and performance by establishing more transparent and sustainable IT services for our research community.
Research Computing will be providing the following billable services via the RC Core:
High Performance Computing:
- The O2 Cluster, which accommodates diverse requirements and workflows for HMS-affiliated researchers.
- Active – intended for storing research data that is frequently accessed, modified, or computed against which includes Compute and Collaborations storage solutions.
- Standby - is leveraged for infrequently accessed data that is still directly available for reference, retrieval, or analysis.
Research Imaging Solutions for Scientific Communication
Preparing images for inclusion in scientific communication has long been a time-consuming, confusing and often frustrating endeavor. Research Imaging Solutions works to identify ways to streamline image preparation so researchers can maximize their time at the bench, writing grants and developing discoveries.
Research Imaging Solutions services are available to all Harvard, HMS, HSDM, HSPH and affiliated hospital employees. Expertise can be accessed in a way that acknowledges each kind of learning style: one-on-one consulting; workshop and seminars and online easy-to-follow guides and recipes. The accessibility and convenience of this Quad-centered service is supplemented by substantial web-based assistance at it.med.harvard.edu/ris, making Research Imaging Solutions a 24/7 resource.
RIS skills training is based on the unique ways that researchers use proprietary scientific applications, Microsoft Office and a variety graphics programs to create, acquire and edit images that are included in grant applications, journal articles and presentations to the scientific community. Half-day workshops are free and address the specific imaging and presentation needs of researchers. Lunchtime Seminars are presented at no charge and cover topics including poster making, proper PowerPoint techniques and Photoshop tricks. Customized small group and one-on-one training is also available by contacting Research Imaging Solutions.
Research Instrumentation Core Facility
The Research Instrumentation Core Facility enables the development of new scientific instruments in order to further research at Harvard Medical School and affiliated institutions. The facility provides consultations on the design of hardware or software, purchasing decisions, and assistance with implementation. The staff will work with researchers to develop and fabricate customized electronic, optical, and mechanical devices, as well as software interfaces for these devices. Furthermore, the facility provides tools and workshop space for authorized researchers to design and prototype their own instruments. The facility is staffed by a full-time Neurobiology device engineer and a staff engineer.
SBGrid Advanced Research Computing (ARC) and Software Consortium
SBGrid Consortium provides innovative computational resources, scientific software, and educational programs to researchers in the global structural biology community. We curate a library of 500+ scientific applications to support all phases of macromolecular structure determination with software collections for electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, NMR, computational chemistry, and structure prediction, and provide access to these tools through a preconfigured software environment.
SBGrid Advanced Research Computing (ARC) provides research computing support to structural biology laboratories in the Boston area, assisting with the design and maintenance of research computing infrastructure, including workstation and server hardware purchase recommendations.
Consortium Website - https://www.sbgrid.org/
Single Cell Core
This Core supports single cell sequencing and provides resources for sequencing the transcriptomes individual cells and provides scientific advising for optimal experimental design. The Core is partnering with the Harvard Chan Bioinformatics Core to offer support from experimental design through to data analysis.
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.
Taplin Biological Mass Spectrometry Facility
Thermo Fisher Center for Multiplexed Proteomics
The Thermo Fisher Center offers quantitative protein expression profiling. The Center uses high resolution mass spectrometer (Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid™ Mass Spectrometer) and isobaric tandem mass tags (TMT) to quantify protein or phosphopeptide expression from cells, tissues or immunoprecipitated protein samples. Currently the TMT technology allows for the analysis of 6 - 11 samples within a single experiment by sample multiplexing. This allows us to study several conditions in a single experiment. The services are provided to the HMS community as well as external users.