Core Facilities Available

As part of our mission to leverage and expand Colorado’s leadership in biotechnology, the BioFrontiers Institute is working to provide core facilities services, equipment and expertise to the CU community, research institutions and the biotech industry.

In an effort to coordinate efforts, the core labs affiliated with BioFrontiers or those co-located in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building are listed below with a description of their services and equipment, contact information and whether they are currently taking work from outside the university. You can get additional information on the core facilities affiliated with BioFrontiers listed below, or read more about CU Boulder's core facilities.

Visit our Industry Tenants to learn more about companies located in JSCBB.

BioFrontiers' Core Facilities: Simplifying the path from curiosity to insight

The BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core is a user facility designed to advance biological discovery through quantitative microscopy techniques. The facility is open to the entire CU-Boulder community and local industry. Current demands in biological research require the capability to observe cellular and sub-cellular events and phenomena both punctually as well as over time.  The BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core is capable to meet these imaging needs. The low signal levels that result from biologically important processes, as well as the spatio-temporal dynamic nature of these processes (3D; millisecond timescales; longitudinal observation), necessitates the use of versatile, reconfigurable, high-speed, and high-sensitivity imaging technologies.  Multiple imaging technologies are housed within the BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core that can meet these rigorous demands, ranging from conventional widefield to state-of-the-art Super Resolution/localization microscopies.

The following imaging technologies are available for use:

Contact: Joe Dragavon, PhD - 303-735-6988
Currently accepting outside projects

Additional JSCBB Cores & Facilities

Mass spectrometry-based proteomics has become a key technology in modern biological research. This lab's high-resolution instruments enable the identification of thousands of proteins in a single sample. We specialize in all aspects of protein mass spectrometry, from protein identification in simple mixtures to large collaborative projects, including quantitative proteomics, post-translational modification mapping, protein-protein interaction analysis of affinity-based isolations, organelle proteomics, and hydrogen/deuterium exchange for protein structural analysis. For small molecules, we provide accurate mass determinations and complex mixture analysis. We provide consultation on experimental design, which is especially important for large proteomics studies, and have significant computational resources and software tools available for data processing, visualization and interpretation.

Our facility houses the following mass spectrometers:

  • LTQ-Orbitrap and Orbitrap Velos
  • 4000 Qtrap (ABSciex)
  • Synapt G2 Qtof (Waters)
  • Voyager DE-STR MALDI-TOF (ABI)
  • Agilent 6530 Qtof

Most instruments are interfaced with UPLC or HPLC instruments for multidimensional high-resolution separations.

For additional information visit

The Biochemistry Shared Instruments Pool gives researchers in Biochemistry access to a multitude of instruments and techniques, including EPR, CD and fluorescence spectroscopy, DLS, Sec-MALS, ITC, MST, stopped-flow spectroscopy, chemical quench-flow and more. The Shared Instruments Pool also houses a variety of additional equipment, such as imaging systems, centrifuges, scintillation counters, sonicators and more. The first goal of the Shared Instruments Pool is to support research in the Division of Biochemistry. We are happy to extend our help to researchers from the broader CU community and to researchers outside the university, if time and availability allow us too. The director of the Shared Instruments Pool, Annette Erbse, is available for instrument training and provides support from project planning to experiment optimization to data evaluation and interpretation, as needed by the user.

Contact: Annette Erbse, PhD - 303-492-0528
Currently accepting outside projects

The BL-2 certified cell culture facility in JSCBB is shared by all Biochemistry investigators and is equipped with twelve containment hoods. Six of these are for general use, two hoods are specific for primary cell culture work and two are located in a separate room for use with virus. In addition, there is a horizontal, laminar flow hood for use with large volume cultures and a restricted hood for Salmonella invasion studies of mammalian cell hosts. There are thirteen CO2 incubators as well as an incubator and shaker for working with insect cell cultures. The facility has the ability to do experiments requiring hypoxic conditions. It also has two automated liquid nitrogen storage units and an inverted microscope with both light and fluorescence sources. The facility is supervised by Theresa Nahreini, who trains all users in sterile techniques and oversees daily operations of media preparation, mycoplasma testing and maintenance of cell lines.

Contact: Theresa Nahreini, - 303-492-3585
Serving the CU community

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

NMR of Small Molecules in Solution
The NMR Core laboratory is equipped with a state-of-the-art Bruker Avance-III NMR spectrometer operating at 400MHz for proton NMR. The instrument includes the most modern actively shielded “Ascend” magnet technology, and is capable of performing advanced one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments on almost any NMR-active nucleus. Capable of operating with total automation using a 60-sample automatic sample-changer, this facility gives researchers ready access to the most advanced experiments in solution-state NMR, combined with convenience and ease of use. The instrument can even email the NMR data to the user automatically as soon as the experiment is completed. This new instrument compliments a similar 300MHz instrument located in Cristol Chemistry, where we also maintain NMR instruments at 400MHz (for liquid-state and solid-state NMR) and 500MHz (for solution-state NMR).  Altogether, the NMR Facility at the University of Colorado offers a complete package of NMR Spectroscopy services.

For more information, visit
Contact: Subhadeep Roy

High Field NMR Facilities (800 and 900MHz)

The University of Colorado Boulder offers State-of-the-Art NMR spectroscopy at 800MHz and 900MHz to support Biomolecular and Biomedical research. The 800MHz instrument is located on the Boulder campus, and the 900MHz instrument is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

For more information, please visit the website of the Rocky Mountain Regional 900MHz NMR facility, and the W.M. Keck 800MHz NMR Facility
Contact: Loren Hough

Currently, the Functional Genomics Facility administers genome-wide short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) libraries (TRC 1,1.5 and 2), comprising of more than 300,000 unique clones, for targeting human and mouse genes. We distribute plasmid containing shRNAs as individual clones, genome-wide pooled libraries, pathway-focused gene sets or custom pooled libraries. We also maintain the CCSB-Broad Lentiviral Expression library for human genes (15,000 clones). Additionally, we have CRISPR-based genome-editing tools: empty vectors and genome-wide pooled libraries (human and mouse). We also offer custom cloning of CRISPR product line.

Contact: Molishree Joshi, PhD - 303-724-9902
Serving the CU community

The High Throughput Screening Core Facility is equipped with instrumentation for high-throughput and high-content biochemical and cell-based assays, including live-cell assays. Lab Director Xiang Wang is available to support the drug discovery process, including data analysis and lead identification and validation. The facility also offers a series of viability assays and human cancer cell lines.

Contact: Wei Wang, PhD - 303-492-8740
Currently accepting outside projects

The Biomolecular X-Ray Crystallography Lab provides resources for crystallization and structure determination of biological macromolecules.  Three controlled-temperature rooms (20 °C, 4 °C and 30 °C) are available for crystallization experiments.  Two data collection systems, with cryo-cooling, are available for crystal characterization, cryoprotectant screening, and in-house data collection. One data collection system consists of a Rigaku MM007 rotating anode x-ray generator with Varimax optics, a Raxis IV++ image plate detector, and an Oxford cryosystem. The second system is a XtaLAB MM003 equipt with a MicroMax-003 Microfocus sealed tube X-ray generator system, a AFC11 Partial-χ, 4-axis goniometer, a Dectris PILATUS 200K 2D hybrid pixel array area detector and an Oxford Cryosystems Cryostream Unit. Resources are available for remote data collection at synchrotrons, as well as for in-house crystallographic computation and model-building. In addition the lab houses a Phoenix dropsetter for crystallization and two RockImager system for crystal imaging.  

Contact: Annette Erbse, PhD - 303-492-0528
Serving the CU community

The Animal Care Facility provides in vivo research support for the CU community and the local biotech industry for biomedical research and development.