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Core Facilities

Core facilities are shared research resources that, through economies of scale, provide access to instruments, technologies and services that are generally too expensive, complex or specialized for investigators to provide and sustain independently. They support basic and translational research and may offer expert consultation, training and education that enhance scientific interaction and productivity.  User fees are normally charged to recover part, at least, of operating costs. Furthermore:

    • They require actively involved scientific and managing directors who are able to interact with researchers and lab staff across a range of disciplines. A scientific advisory committee will often provide oversight and direction.
    • A core facility is a discrete unit within our institution and is not dedicated to the work of a single research group or department. Services are openly available and rendered without requirement for collaboration or co-authorship.
    • Core facilities must be validated as service providers by their host Faculty and subject to further review and resource allocation by the appropriate administrative unit.
    • Core facilities undertaking work for external organizations should make it clear that industry standards (GLP or GMP or any other regulatory bodies) are not within the research mandate.

Jump to facilities in:

Cumming School of Medicine

Faculty of Kinesiology

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Libraries and Cultural Resources


Faculty of Arts

Faculty of Science

Schulich School of Engineering

Cumming School of Medicine

Biomedical Technical Support Centre (BTSC)

The Biomedical Technical Support Centre (BTSC) was established in the Faculty of Medicine, primarily to serve the Faculty members by offering electronics and mechanical services to all the research laboratories. Preventative maintenance, repair, design, and fabrication are offered by highly skilled staff.

The BTSC is comprised of two shops working cooperatively to meld the respective expertise of each. The individual shops are known as the Electronics and Mechanical Divisions. The BTSC is equipped to handle requests for building unique devices, making alterations to existing equipment, and to provide repair and maintenance services.

Central Sanitation & Sterilization (CSS)

Labware washing, autoclave services, biohazard waste, laundry service and surplus giveaway.  The CSS is committed to finding solutions that balance the technical requirements of CSS procedures and the needs of our customers.

Clara Christie Centre for Mouse Genomics (CCCMG)

Embryonic Stem Cell/ Targeted Mutagenesis Facility

We offer a number of services to accommodate your ES cell mutagenesis/transgenesis requirements.  Your gene of interest may have already been mutated or conditionally disrupted via the numerous ES cell gene trapping and gene targeting resources that currently exist.  If you are so lucky, we can assist you in acquiring the ES cell line and preparing it for blastocyst microinjection by Transgenic Services.  If you need to target a transgene to the HPRT locus or disrupt your own gene, we can assist you with planning your targeting vector.  From there you have two choices for gene targeting in ES cells: Self Service where you do the experiment under our supervision using our quality assured reagents; or Full Service where we conduct your gene targeting experiment.

Transgenics Core Facility

Transgenic Services operates in close concert with Embryonic Stem (ES) Cell Services and our Molecular Biology Core.  We offer comprehensive transgenic services for University of Calgary investigators, as well as provincial and international collaborators. 

Molecular Biology Core Facility

In association with our Embryonic Stem Cell/Targeted Mutagenesis and Transgenic Core Facilities, the Molecular Biology Core offers designing, construction and preparation of vectors for the generation of genetically engineered mice.  Additionally, the Molecular Biology Core offers CRISPR gene knock-out services for cell lines.

Clinical Research Unit

The Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is a core resource dedicated to support investigator-initiated health research in the Cumming School of Medicine. Specifically, it supports data acquisition, data management and analytics for all types of study designs involving primary and secondary health data, including surveys, health registries, clinical quality improvement programs, longitudinal data collection, multi centre randomized controlled trials and large administrative datasets. The CRU team includes data scientists, programmers, analysts, project managers and data research assistants. Data platforms supported include REDCap, iDataFax, OpenClinica, and customized solutions for visualization and clinical decision support.  The CRU manages projects involving both de-identified and identifiable health research data in highly secure informatics environments, and it has the capacity to manage data  for projects requiring FDA and Health Canada compliance for registered clinical trials. 

Experimental Imaging Centre (EIC)

High resolution MR and other imaging modalities makes it possible to carry out imaging in vivo at near cellular levels in model organisms without invasive procedures.  Through the development of the EIC, the recruitment of the NRC satellite to the University of Calgary and the development of the Mouse Genome Centre, a unique opportunity for carrying out work in the cellular and molecular imaging area has emerged that can only be matched at a few other centres in North America.  The goal is to use molecular and cellular imaging to investigate physiology and disease in vivo and to translate this information back to in vivo human imaging and diagnosis.

Flow Cytometry Core Facility

We provide comprehensive and technically sophisticated cell analysis and sorting services, and is committed to providing training and education for all users, who are encouraged to discuss their ideas, needs and problems with the staff. A user operated facility equipped with 2 ATTUNE cytometers is available 24 hours, 7days a week. Training on the ATTUNE cyotmeters is available for those people who would like to acquire and analyze their own data. In addition, reliable protocols for specific flow applications are available.

Health Sciences Animal Resource Centre (HSARC)

The Animal Health Unit,under the direction of the Vice-President (Research), works to ensure the ethical and humane use and responsible care of animals in research, teaching, and testing at the University of Calgary in accordance to applicable laws, guidelines, and regulations.

Micro CT Laboratory

Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) is a non-destructive imaging technique that can be used to generate a 3D virtual model of an object. The applications of micro-CT are diverse, and range from morphological studies of biological tissues to evaluation of porosity in coal cores; however, the systems at the Micro-CT Laboratory are primarily engaged for the study of bone morphology. The Micro-CT Laboratory offers expertise in three dimensional (3D) measurement techniques and biometric techniques for characterization of shape variation.

Microscopy & Imaging Facility (MIF)

The Microscopy and Imaging Facility (MIF) is a world-class university-wide facility housing transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), advanced light microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), including single cell force spectroscopy (SCFS), and advanced image processing for three-dimensional electron and light microscopy. We are open to internal and external users and provide service, training and expertise.

Southern Alberta Mass Spectrometry (SAMS)

We combine optimized sample processing with tailored MS methods to deliver high quality protein identification data with a short turn-around time. This is our specialty. We can accommodate samples that present a wide range of complexity – from single proteins to sub-proteomes. We are available to assist in experiment design and help you get the most out of your data.

ACHRI Genomic Sequencing and Bioinformatics Facility

The ACHRI Genomics facility provides next-generation DNA sequencing to researchers regardless of Faculty or Medical Institute affiliation.  Additional bioinformatics support is also available to members of ACHRI.  The Genomics facility operates two high capacity Life Technologies 5500xl sequencers, an Ion Torrent PGM sequencer and an Illumina MiSeq sequencer. We do whole genome sequencing, whole human exome sequencing, amplicon sequencing and transcriptome and small RNA profiling. We are a full service facility and researchers need only submit isolated genomic DNA or total RNA. We then perform all the required steps

University Core DNA Services

We are a multi-user core facility and provide custom oligonucleotide (DNA and RNA) synthesis and automated DNA sequencing and fragment analysis services to both academic and commercial researchers. These services are not restricted to the University of Calgary and are also available to external academic and commercial researchers.

Mitogen Advanced Diagnostics Laboratory

Autoantibody Diagnostic Test Profiles.

Clark H. Smith Brain Tumor Centre - Tumor Bank

The Clark H. Smith Tumour and Related Tissue Bank is a biorepository at the University of Calgary that was established with the goal of advancing cancer research. We assist basic, translational and clinical cancer research by collecting and providing high quality tumour and blood samples, and their derivative biomolecules, to investigators.  Specializing in neurologic and pediatric diseases, the bank has provided material to investigators not only within Calgary but also nationally and internationally.

The Live Cell Imaging Facility

The Snyder Institute Live Cell Imaging (LCI) Facility is a centralized resource that provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art microscopes and expert advice. In addition, researchers can work with a variety of live-cell systems.  Experienced staff is on hand to maintain and troubleshoot the equipment as well as to train, assist and advise users.

Phenomics Core

The Snyder Institute Phenomics core is screening various KO strains as well as WT mice.  We now have non-invasive whole body imaging of living mice to investigate skeletal and/or organ abnormalities, tracking of immune cells, tracking of bacterial dissemination/clearance, tumor growth and vascularization, pharmacological drug screening (Invivo Xtreme modalities: fluorescence, bioluminescence, radio-isotope labeling and X-ray visualization).

SACRI Microarray and Genomics Facility

We offer services for Affymetrix arrays and nanoString technology. The nCounter® Analysis System offers a simple, cost-effective way to profile hundreds of mRNAs, microRNAs, or DNA targets simultaneously with high sensitivity and precision. Services offered on the Affymetrix Platform include RNA preparation from cells or tissues, sample labelling, array hybridization, staining & washing, array scanning and data generation.  

SACRI Antibody Services

We are committed to providing the highest level of products and services.  SACRI antibody services offers exceptional experience, knowledge, ingenuity, and a relentless commitment to our clients.  SACRI antibody services utilizes an entirely customized approach to ensure each clients' unique research goals are successfully achieved.

Regeneration Unit in Neurobiology (RUN) Facility

The Regeneration Unit in Neurobiology (RUN) facility is a centre specializing in state of the art microscopy and rodent behavioural analysis. It is located on the 1st floor of the Heritage Medical Building and is open to all University of Calgary and HBI members. The RUN facility offers users access to the latest equipment for microscopic imaging, behavioural analysis, and tissue culture. Training, assistance, advice, and scientific consultation are available.

Peptide Services

The University of Calgary's Peptide Services provide custom peptide synthesis to academia and commercial customers.  We use automated and semi-automated peptide synthesizers, solid phase chemistry to offer both small and large scale peptide synthesis.

Pediatric 3T Scanner ACHRI

The 3 Tesla (T) Magnetic Resonance (MR) Scanner at the Alberta Children's Hospital is one of the most advanced instruments available in Canada.  The new wide-bore 3T MR scanner is a non-invasive, radiation-free technology and a first for a children's hospital in Canada.

Behavioural Core Facility (BCF)

The objectives of the facility are to provide quiet, clean rooms conducive to behaviour research (in the newly renovated first floor of the HSc), maintain equipment in proper and effective working order, and   train , assist and educate users effectively.

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Faculty of Arts

Addictive Behaviors Laboratory

The Addictive Behaviours Laboratory (ABL) is headed by Dr. David C. Hodgins, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology. The ABL's primary focuses are substance abuse and gambling addiction. Projects in this lab are focused on various aspects of the psychology and physiology of gambling behavior. As well, research is conducted into the clinical condition of pathological gambling and potential treatment approaches

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Faculty of Kinesiology

Human Performance Laboratory

The primary objective of the Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) is to be the leader in both basic and applied research relating to human neuro - musculo - skeletal health and well-being, from birth to advanced age. From anatomy to muscle mechanics, from physiology to motor control, from biochemistry to biomechanics, from the molecular level to the person as a whole, all aspects are explored in an integrated and multidisciplinary approach.  The facility and laboratory space were generously designed to allow for the expansion of personnel and research interests. The equipment and computer facilities are unparalleled. The HPL provides international flavour with the constant presence of students, fellows, and professors visiting, studying, and participating in collaborative research from around the world.

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Faculty of Science

UC Lab for Electron Microprobe Analysis (UCLEMA)

The University of Calgary Laboratory for Electron Microprobe Analysis (UCLEMA) was established in 2001 to provide secondary and backscattered electron imaging and characteristic X-ray microanalysis capability to the Dept. of Geosciences and the larger university community, as well as researchers in the oil and gas, mineral and engineering sectors.

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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Diagnostic Services Unit

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) provides histology/histopathology services to the University of Calgary researchers on a fee-for-service basis.

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Schulich School of Engineering

Advanced Micro/Nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF)

The Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF) is an open-access facility dedicated to providing cost-effective access to low-volume and custom micro- and nano-systems integration, packaging, and post-processing services together with expert consultation and training.  AMIF's equipment set includes deposition (insulator and metal), spin coating, a full photolithography suite, wet and dry etching, as well as some metrology capability.

Zymetrix (Bose Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Technology Development Centre)

With expertise in mechanical/materials testing and biomedical engineering, Zymetrix provides novel measurement and simulation platforms to test and characterize functional performance of   biomaterials, medical devices, engineered tissues, and other industrial materials.   Zymetrix is a GLP compliant, Biosafety Level 2 facility.

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Libraries and Cultural Resources

The Visualization Studio

The Visualization Studio is a state-of-the-art digital facility created to support faculty and graduate researchers. Its primary feature is a high-resolution display wall with surround sound. The studio is designed to provide researchers with significant visual real estate for working with digital information. The display's 34.5 million pixels allow for insight and overview that is impossible to achieve with a desktop monitor or standard projector.

Digital Media Commons

The Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) Digital Media Commons consists of space and technology for students, faculty and the public to explore emerging digital collections, high-end Apple hardware, edit suites, touch tables, cutting edge gaming PCs, retro and contemporary gaming consoles and software. It facilitates and provides support for exploration and creation of new media forms such as animation, soundscapes, graphics design, and digital video and maintaining a progressive position in new media applications within an academic environment.

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