Supporting leading-edge research
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.
Core facilities personnel provide essential services and guidance. Find out how to recognize these contributions to scientific advancement.
Boston Children’s recognizes that for a core facility to operate efficiently and keep costs down, it may offer its services to external users.
iLab is an online core-facility management tool that allows researchers to request services and make equipment reservations.
The Animal Behavior & Physiology Core (AB&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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Director: Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD
Assistant Director: Lee Barrett, Pin Fang Ivy Chen, PhD and Elizabeth Buttermore, PhD
Project Manager: Denise McGinnis
Location: CLS 12160.1-12160.4, 12161, 12163, and 12121
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.
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.
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:
- laboratory assays for investigator-initiated clinical and translational trials
- process and product development (PPD) of assays and biological reagents to support clinical trials.
Director: Myriam Armant, PhD
Location: Enders 4th Flr, EN-428
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.
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.
Director: Jodene Moore, PhD
Location: Warren Alpert Building 200 Longwood Ave
The Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology (Stem Cell) Core offers instrumentation, infrastructure, technologies and expertise to support and enable basic and translational stem cell research projects at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Director: Thorsten Schlaeger, PhD
Location: Karp 5
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.
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.
The Small Animal Imaging Lab (SAIL) Core 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.
Download a list of available Boston Children's Core facilities.