Research Core Facilities

Supporting Leading-Edge Research

alert iconDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the institutional cores are closed at this time. Please check the individual webpages for more detailed information about business operations.

Boston Children’s Hospital offers a growing number of core facilities that provide highly-specialized services and sophisticated technical skills and equipment essential for conducting innovative pediatric research. These unique resources have a strong scientific impact on the Boston Children’s research community. 

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Publication acknowledgment

Core facilities personnel provide essential services and guidance. Find out how to recognize these contributions to scientific advancement.  

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External customers

Boston Children’s recognizes that for a core facility to operate efficiently and keep costs down, it may offer its services to external users.

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iLab support

iLab is an online core-facility management tool that allows researchers to request services and make equipment reservations.

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Institutional Cores

  • The Biobank Core Lab was created to make the highest quality of human specimen (such as blood, tissue, nucleic acids and more) and corresponding clinical data available for clinical, translational and basic research at Boston Children's and associated organizations. It serves as a service core and a biorepository. The core provides a comprehensive set of services related to research with human specimen to support the scientific community. These services include biobanking, sample and data management, and an array of sample preparations, such as nucleic acid preparations. In concert with the Precision Link team, the core supports identification of the right cohort for a study, sample and data collection, and IT support. For questions, please call 1-888-802-4453 or email BCHBiobank4Discovery@childrens.harvard.edu.

    Learn more about the Biobank 

    Director: Kenneth D. Mandl, MD, MPH
    Manager: Thomas Mayer
    Location: Enders 2nd Flr, EN-284

  • The Cell Function and Imaging Core (CFIC) provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art imaging, cell characterization, and molecular technologies to support researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School community. Cell function and analysis and advanced confocal imaging and live-cell analysis equipment and training are available.

    Learn more about the CFIC arrow

    Director: Wayne Lencer, MD
    Location: Enders 6th Flr – EN-603, EN-613, EN-641/660, EN-643; Enders 12th Flr – EN-1250; Enders 13th Flr – EN-1313

  • The mission of the Cellular Imaging Core is to provide investigators with affordable access to state-of-the art instrumentation, powerful software and insightful training for light microscopy and image analysis. Services include training on microscope systems, accessory instruments and image-analysis software.

    Learn more about the Cellular Imaging Core 

    Director: Chinfei Chen, MD, PhD, 617-919-2378
    Assistant Director: Cvic Innocent, PhD
    Location: CLS 13th Flr, CLS-13035

  • The Flow Cytometry Research Lab offers full-range flow Cytometry services, such as experimental consultation, panel design, assisted and self-operated single cell sorting. The lab also offers 24-hour access to analyzer for independent acquisition and a complete training program involving sample preparation, instrument training and data analysis.

    Learn more about the Flow Cytometry Research Lab 

    Director: Ronald Mathieu, PhD
    Location: Enders 8th Flr, EN-853; CLS 15th Flr, CLS-15037, Karp 6113, 8113

  • The Human Neuron Core (HNC) offers customizable human iPSC-derived neuronal differentiation and phenotyping services. Differentiation services include procurement of patient skin/blood samples and differentiation into specific neuronal subtypes. Phenotyping services include high-content imaging and analysis, multi-electrode array (MEA) recordings and targeted RNA-sequencing. In addition to these services, we offer fee-for-service- or assisted-use of equipment for characterizing cell cultures, including the Axion Maestro MEA system and the IncuCyte live imaging system. The HNC also offers assay development and screening services, including automated widefield and laser confocal microscope-imaging options for all standard tissue culture plates and microscope slides in a user-independent manner. The acquired images are automatically quantified with a state-of-the-art on-site computer cluster. This is a fee-for-service or user-assisted model. The HNC also provides consultation on assay design, robotic lab automation, as well as in-depth training on image data analysis and algorithm development to address your particular biology.

    Learn more about the Human Neuron Core 

    Director: Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD
    Assistant Director: Lee BarrettPin Fang Ivy Chen, PhD and Elizabeth Buttermore, PhD
    Project Manager: Denise McGinnis
    Location: CLS 12160.1-12160.4, 12161, 12163, and 12121

  • The Integrated Behavior & Physiology Core (iB&P) enables early phases of central nervous system drug discovery and mechanistic understanding of CNS disorders by providing a state-of-the-art facility to assist investigators with behavioral, physiological and neurophysiological analyses of mouse models. We offer a wide range of standardized and innovative behavioral assays in the domains of general health; neurological reflexes; developmental milestones; exploratory activity; motor functions; visual and auditory functions; social interactions and ultrasonic vocalizations; anxiety-related, depression-related, and schizophrenia-related paradigms; learning and memory; microdialysis, multifiber photometry and EEG. The Core offers consultation, training and supervision in conducting behavioral tests, use of equipment, surgery/stereotaxic injections, PK/PD, batteries of standardized and/or tailored assays conducted by the core staff, and data analysis.

    Learn more about the iB&P 

    Co-Directors: Alexander Rotenberg, MD, PhD and Michela Fagiolini, PhD
    Assistant Directors: Sameer Dhamne and Nick Andrews, PhD 
    Location: Karp 4th Flr

  • The Molecular Genetics Core provides a central location where investigators can have access to high-quality, low-cost genomic technology services and expertise in a timely, affordable manner. These services include six main functional components: Sequencing (NextGen and Sanger), High-Throughput SNP Genotyping, qPCR and Droplet Digital PCR, Microarray Analysis, Bioinformatics, Sample and Data Management Analysis, and Microsatellite Genotyping.

    Learn more about the Molecular Genetics Core 

    Director: Alan Beggs, PhD
    Manager: Catherine Brownstein, MPH, PhD
    Location: CLS 16th Flr, CLS-16030

  • The Mouse Gene Manipulation Core provides Boston Children’s investigators with easily accessible, efficient, cost-effective and quality-controlled genetically-altered mouse models, utilizing the latest genome-editing techniques. The core also provides resources and comprehensive knowledge of complex mouse-model generation: genotyping founder lines, breeding strategies etc. The Core uses CRISPR/CAS9 technology, which represents a powerful and precise tool to create gene-edited mice.

    Learn more about the Mouse Gene Manipulation Core 

    Director: Clifford Woolf, MB, BCh, PhD
    Assistant Director: Mantu Bhaumik, PhD
    Location: CLS 12th Flr, CLS-12122-12124

  • The Viral Core, which is under review to become a formal Institutional Core, provides scientists with access to leading-edge, high-quality viral vector technologies in a cost-efficient fashion. We also provide consultations to investigators in selecting, designing and using viral vectors. Currently, we offer custom lenti-viral vector production, custom adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector production and a variety of in-stock AAV vectors.

    Learn more about the Viral Core 

    Director: Zhigang He, PhD, BM
    Assistant Director: Chen Wang, PhD
    Location: CLS 13th Flr, CLS-13060

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Departmental/Divisional/Program Cores

  • The Flow and Imaging Cytometry Resource is a fee-for-service facility that provides training and advising on the fluorescence-activated cell sorting, in-vivo molecular imaging and imaging cytometry to all laboratories at Boston Children’s and the Harvard Medical School scientific community.

    Learn more about the Flow Cytometry PCMM 

    Director: Jodene Moore, PhD
    Location: Warren Alpert Building 200 Longwood Ave

  • The hESC Core is a basic and translational stem cell research facility situated in the Stem Cell Program of Boston Children’s Hospital. Areas of expertise include human pluripotent stem cell biology, cGMP cell manufacturing, reprogramming, genome editing, laboratory automation, chemical screening, and high-throughput confocal imaging and image analysis technologies. The core facility’s goal is the development of pluripotent stem cell based transfusion and transplantation therapies.

    Learn more about the hESC Core 

    Director: Thorsten Schlaeger, PhD
    Location: Karp RB05213

  • The Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) Microscopy Core provides advanced instrumentation in Light and Electron Microscopy.  While Electron Microscopy offers the ultimate in resolution, modern Light Microscopy such as Confocal and Multiphoton has the advantage of imaging biochemical process in real time, shedding light on the vastly-complex molecular world of cells and tissues. Since 2000, we have operated a dedicated Multiphoton-Intravital Microscopy (MP-IVM) facility on the second floor of the Warren Alpert Building at the Harvard Quad with expertise training that is relevant to the experiment.

    Learn more about PCMM 

    Director: Harry Leung
    Location: CLS 3rd Flr, CLS-03023 and Warren Alpert Building, 200 Longwood Ave, Rm 257A

  • The Research Imaging Core is a leading innovator in pediatric research imaging and at the forefront of developing treatments and cures for diseases, such as epilepsy and autism. This core provides services, such as access to MRI, CT, PET/nuclear medicine, ultrasound, x-ray, neuropsychology-testing rooms, data analysis and more. The mission of the Research Imaging Core is to assist investigators with achieving the best imaging-research outcomes possible, while also assuring compliance with institutional policies.

    Learn more about the Research Imaging Core 

    Director: Simon Warfield, PhD
    Assistant Director: Onur Afacan, PhD
    Manager: Kristina Pelkola
    Location: 300 Longwood Ave, LC BCH3429 – Radiology

  • The Small Animal Imaging Core (SAIL) provides the instrumentation, infrastructure and imaging expertise necessary for the Boston Children’s research community to take advantage of the benefits that small animal imaging has to offer for basic and translational research. The imaging modalities available through SAIL include ultrasound, radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography, as well as optical and fluorescent imaging. Contact Kristina Pelkola to learn more.

    Director: Simon Warfield, PhD
    Assistant DirectorOnur Afacan, PhD
    Manager: Kristina Pelkola

    Location: ARCH Enders SB Level

  • The TransLab Core helps physicians treat their patients by bridging science and medicine. With expertise in clinical trial support for bench-to-bedside and bedside-to-bench translational and clinical research, the Core operates in two major areas:

    1. laboratory assays for investigator-initiated clinical and translational trials
    2. process and product development (PPD) of assays and biological reagents to support clinical trials.

    Learn more about the TransLab 

    Director: Myriam Armant, PhD
    Location: Enders 4th Flr, EN-428


Download a list of available Boston Children's Core facilities.

Building on our extraordinary leadership in pediatric science at Boston Children’s, we translate our findings — and those of others — to fundamentally change how disease is treated and cured.

David A. Williams, MD
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer