3d printer at the Cancer Center of Illinois

The University of Illinois is a world-class institution equipped with exceptional facilities and services for research. The School of MCB also provides all the major equipment and expertise critical to conducting research in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology, microbiology, molecular and integrative physiology, and related disciplines.

Life sciences shared services  CDB microscopy facility  Campus facilities  Campus resources


Life Sciences Shared Service Centers

Machine shop

The Life Sciences Machine Shop provides a variety of services for faculty, staff, and students in MCB, the School of Integrative Biology as well as other campus units. We are your contact for life sciences prep room equipment and lab refrigerator/freezer issues.

Contacts: Scott Baker, Research Laboratory Shop Supervisor, 217-333-0609,;
Jared Bear, Instrument Maker II

Location: Room 59 Burrill Hall, 407 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana

Hours: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Learn more about the shop's services and expertise

Electronics shop

The Electronics Shop is your resource for solving electronic, instrumentation, control, and data acquisition problems. We work with faculty and staff in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology and School of Integrative Biology.

Contact: Chad Benner, Electronics Technician II, 217-244-3479, 

Location: Room 64 Burrill Hall, 407 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL.

We provide the following services:

  • Instrument Repair
  • Microscopes
  • Balances
  • Pipettes
  • Office Equipment
  • Circuit/Chassis Construction
  • Data Acquisition
  • Control
  • Audio/Video
  • Projector Checkout
  • Light Bulb Sales

Learn more about services and expertise in the electronics shop.

Information Technology

Information Technology personnel provide expertise in a variety of areas: accessing computing resources in the school, on campus, or via the Internet, purchasing hardware or software, Moodle & Canvas (forums & course management systems), web application development, and database management, e.g. FileMaker & MySQL, as well as network infrastructure in school buildings.

We can be reached via, 217-333-7525, or Zoom. Zoom meetings by appointment only. Our offices are located in 333 & 332 Morrill Hall.

Visit our FAQ page for info on everything from adding a computer or printer to the network, remote backup, using file servers, and more.


The Life Sciences Storeroom supports teaching and research in the Life Sciences area. Our storeroom carries various lab supplies, research related items, and cleaning products. All departmental shipping and receiving issues are handled through the storeroom as well as equipment inventory.

Contact: 217-333-7693
Adam Gentille, Storekeeper I,
Neil Rawley, Storekeeper III,
Lon Ray, Storekeeper I,

Location: Room C107 Chemical & Life Sciences Laboratory, 601 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana


CDB Microscopy Facility

Location & Hours of Operations
C501 Chemical & Life Sciences Laboratory (CLSL)
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, unless otherwise designated

Policies and Procedures
The microscopes are available for all trained University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign users with active accounts.

Training typically consists of two sessions at two hours per session. During the second session, before they are given access and passwords, new users should be able to memorize and perform basic procedures with due care to the equipment, especially to the objectives and all optical components.

ZEISS LSM 700 Confocal

The LSM 700 is a laser scanning confocal microscope which uses up to 4 excitation channels using a single pinhole.

LSM 700 features
Excitation channels:
  • 405nm
  • 488nm
  • 555nm
  • 633nm

2 channel spectral detection

Software: Zen Black Software


  • 10x/0.3
  • 20x/0.8
  • 40X/1.3 Air
  • 40X/1.3 Oil
  • 63x/1.4 Oil

LSM 700 quick guide

Manufacturer: Zeiss

Equipment model: LSM 700

Location: C501 CLSL, 601 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana

Contact: Anish Bose (

Applied Precision OMXV2 with Deltavision

OMX V2 Imaging platform including super resolution technology providing spatial resolution far better than the diffraction limited performance in a normal epi-fluorescent microscope. The platform also includes the integrated capability for multiple cameras that can expose simultaneously for extremely fast, high signal-to-noise, live cell, and multiple wavelength imaging applications.

Applied Precision OMX V2 with DeltaVision

  • Super-resolution Microscope
  • Deconvolution Light Microscopy
  • High Speed Imaging
  • Power User Prices


We now are opening the new Applied Precision OMX structured illumination microscope for general use.  This microscope offers roughly twice the resolution of conventional confocal or deconvolution microscopy, with 100 nm in x-y and ~200 nm z resolution.

A key feature of this technique is that it is essentially just an adaptation of conventional deconvolution microscopy so that you can use the same slides and dyes used in your normal light microscopy work.

We anticipate an hourly rate of ~$30/hr for use.  However, training and an initial 20 hrs on the instrument will be free.  Moreover, labs serious about use of this instrument can purchase a share of the service contract cost, which will reduce the effective hourly charge significantly.

The training path for this microscope will require initial training on the Personal Deltavision deconvolution microscope which is used to survey your slides and select regions of particular interest for examination with the OMX.  Once users are proficient on the Deltavision they then will be trained on the OMX, which uses some of the same software packages as used on the Deltavision.


We are now opening the Applied Precision Personal Deltavision system for general use when OMX users are not using it.  The Deltavision is arguably the best of the commercially available deconvolution systems.  It is very easy to learn and typically offers better resolution and sensitivity than confocal systems for cell monolayers and other samples where light scattering is not a serious problem.  The system is setup to acquire up to 4 fluorescent channels plus transmitted light.  The four filter sets available are for fluorochromes with excitation/emission spectrum comparable to DAPI/Hoescht/Coumarin, GFP/FITC/Cy2/Al488, Rhodamine/Texas Red/Cy3/mRFP, Cy5.

We anticipate an hourly rate of $15/hr for use.  Training will be free. Moreover, labs serious about use of this instrument can purchase a share of the OMX service contract cost, which will reduce the effective hourly charge significantly.


The OMX microscope has a second mode providing high speed, wide-field light microscopy 3D imaging at up to 10 3D reconstructions per second.  We have a 2 camera system, so that we can collect GFP and mCherry simultaneously at these speeds.  Even if you do not need rapid time sampling, the rapid data acquisition “freezes” cell movements during a given 3D data set. Moreover, because the two colors are collected simultaneously with each exposure there is zero spatial shift due to time delays between data acquisition of the two channels as experienced on other microscopes. Several labs using this system to study mitosis are “seeing” what they were not able to see before. This should be an excellent tool for correlating the localization of two proteins in live cells when these proteins are on moving structures.

We anticipate an hourly rate of ~$30/hr for use.  However, training and an initial 20 hrs on the instrument will be free.  Moreover, labs serious about use of this instrument can purchase a share of the service contract cost, which will reduce the effective hourly charge significantly.

The training path for this microscope again will be to first be trained to use the Personal Deltavision microscope which will be used to survey your slides and select regions of particular interest for examination with the OMX.  Once users are proficient on the Deltavision, they will then be trained on the OMX, which uses some of the same software packages as used on the Deltavision.


To encourage and maximize usage on the facility microscopes I would like to introduce on an experimental bias an alternative mechanism for service charges.

The idea is that labs would be able to purchase a percentage of the total service contract or operating cost for the microscope and pay a flat fee for a fixed share of the available hours per year. By my calculations for heavy users this should drop the microscope cost per hour several fold.

My hope is that we can maximize instrument usage in a win-win situation for both the individual labs and the facility.  Users will see greatly reduced costs while hopefully the facility will see increasing use with lowering of costs while recovering a larger fraction of service contract expenses.  For instruments such as the new Deltavision and OMX, the cost of operating the microscopes is nearly independent of usage.  Therefore it makes sense to try to reduce costs to maximize instrument usage as long as we can cover the service contracts.  The idea is that if we can encourage greater hours on the instrument we can lower hourly charges dramatically.  Even for the confocal, the only costs that scale with hours are the lasers that have a limited lifetime.

Therefore, the idea would be to offer time-shares.  For the OMX, with a service contract of 30K per year, for $3000 per year a lab will have 10% of all hours available. Depending on demand we might have to adjust policies, but right now the offer would be that $3000 would buy a lab the equivalent of half a workday (M-F, 9-5, 4 hrs) per week and also 10% of all weekend and evening time (roughly another 6 hrs per week).  This $3000 cost for a 10% share should be compared to a cost of 10 hrs/week x 50 weeks x $30/hr or $15,000 per year if equivalent microscope time was paid on an hourly basis.

Similarly for the confocal Zeiss 510, an estimated operating cost of 25K per year, $2500, would buy you 10% of microscope time (~10 hrs per week).  This compares to a cost of $12,500 per year for 10 hrs per week x 50 weeks x $25/hr.

Please contact me (Andrew Belmont) if you are interested in this arrangement for either microscope.

Zeiss Axioplan 1 Fluorescence

Universal microscope with DIC, phase contrast and fluorescence capabilities.
Plan-Neofluar 20x/0.5
Plan-Neofluar 40x/ 0.75
Plan-Neofluar 40x/ 1.3 Oil
Plan-Neofular 100x/ 1.3 Oil objective
Photometrics SenSys camera with KAF 1400 G2 chip, 6.8 µm pixel
Device control and image acquisition with IP Lab v. 3.6 for Macintosh

Zeiss Axiovert 200 M Inverted Fluorescence

The microscope is being equipped with additional components and will be available for use soon.

Leica MXFL III Stereo Fluorescence

Stereomicroscope with separate beam path (TripleBeam™)
Excitation and barrier filters in one filter carrier
Light source 50W mercury-vapor burner
Zoom 12.5:1, 10 engagaeble steps
Zoom range 8x–100x, total magnifications 5x to 800x
Numerical aperture 0.125 with plano objective 1x
Field diameter 0.4 - 52,5 mm
Working distances 134 mm, 90 mm, 60 mm, 55 mm, 19 mm
Wide-field eyepieces 10x

Campus facilities

Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center

The Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center provides state-of-the art facilities for molecular biology research, including DNA and protein sequencing and oligonucleotide and peptide synthesis, including:

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

The Beckman Institute's core research facilities include the Biomedical Imaging Center and the Imaging Technology Group, which also includes Beckman's Microscopy Suite and Visualization Laboratory.

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB)

IGB facilities include a microfabrication lab, plant growth facility, and a microscopy suite.

Mass Spectrometry Lab

The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory provides a wide variety of chemical analysis using mass spectrometry techniques for organic and biological samples.

Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), including cryo-EM

MRL hosts over 140 instruments valued at over $40 million and fosters interdisciplinary research at the forefront of materials science.

The cryogenic electron microscope, installed in 2021, has allowed researchers to study proteins that cause antibiotic resistance, the Zika virus and the structure of a coronavirus spike. Installation of this revolutionary microscope required several years of planning and collaboration among units on campus. Led by Satish Nair, professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Milan Bagchi, director of the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, the university obtained funding from MCB and the National Institutes of Health, along with additional campus funding. Other contributing partners included the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, School of Chemical Sciences, and Grainger College of Engineering.

Read more about cryoEM.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

NCSA is a hub for researchers, industry, and students to address complex research problems in science and society. It’s home to Blue Waters, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Campus resources

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation leads the university's research strategy; manages regulatory, administrative, compliance, and research support activities; and develops policies that guide the conduct of research. The professional staff in OVCRI offer funding proposal and support for campus and external opportunities. OVCRI also oversees the campuswide interdisciplinary research institutes, such as Beckman and IGB.

MCB researchers partner with personnel across campus. Their expertise is critical to supporting and advancing the MCB scholarly enterprise. Some of our partners include the following.

Division of Animal Resources

The Division of Animal Resources provides veterinary care and housing for laboratory animals.

Division of Research Safety

The Division of Research Safety office includes oversight of research safety and technical assistance to investigators.

Office of Technology Management

The Office of Technology Management moves the innovations that result from university research into public use by protecting and licensing university intellectual property.

Research Integrity, Ethics, and Misconduct

The OVCRI provides resources to help principal investigators fulfill their obligation to provide training in the responsible conduct of research for their students, fellows, and staff. More information.