Research Facilities

MCB faculty research is supported by a variety of centralized instrumentation/service facilities. Please also visit the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) Core Facilities page and Video collection for more information about those research facilities and the state-of-the-art equipment they house.

Light Microscopy Facility
Contact: James Chambers, Director; (413) 577-4580; 

Located on the 5th floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Light Microscopy Facility provides powerful resources for imaging model organisms, tissue, cells, biomaterials, and artificial structures and houses state-of-the-art equipment including almost every light microscopy imaging modality presently available. Cell culture facilities are also available nearby as well as other routine items necessary for biological imaging and material imaging. This facility has been designated a Nikon Centers of Excellence, thus providing a unique opportunity for training, demonstration, instrument development, and research.

The Light Microscopy Facility accepts samples and will perform requested analysis for both on-campus users as well as off-campus academic and industrial partners. We excel in the use of telemicroscopy through the use of remote imaging sessions, remote control of all instruments, and remote data analysis sessions available to all users. Further, we provide training to all users that plan to conduct experimentation. Following an initial consultation in which experimental requirements, expected outcomes, and careful scrunity of feasibility, training and/or access is arranged through the Director.

High Field NMR Facility
Contact: Dr. Weiguo Hu ( and Dr. Jasna Fejzo (

Houses high-field NMR spectrometers that serve to elucidate the structure, dynamics, interaction, and organization of molecules. Researchers across the disciplines of chemical science, materials science, biological science, and natural products research community rely on NMR spectroscopy for the structure and behaviors of their molecules. The facility serves approximately 40 UMass Amherst research groups, liberal arts colleges and community colleges across Western New England, and industrial research partners throughout the US.

  • Solid State NMR
  • Liquid State, High-Resolution NMR
  • NMR in Drug Discovery

Mass Spectrometry Facility
Contact: Dr. Stephen Eyles, Director; (413) 577-1528;

Located on the 5th floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Mass Spectrometry Core houses a suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation for characterizing elements and compounds across the entire mass range from small (metal ions) to large (macromolecular assemblies). Specialized mass spectrometers encompass a variety of ionization techniques and separation devices to cover a wide range of analytical capabilities.

The facility accepts samples and will perform requested analysis. We offer training to users to conduct experimentation for use on a fee for service basis to both internal and external researchers, academic or industry based. Following an initial consultation, covering experimental parameters training and access is arranged through the director.

Flow Cytometry Facility
Contact: Dr. Amy Burnside, Facility Director; (413) 545-1385;

Designed to assist members of the research community at UMass and on the other Five College campuses to conduct research using flow cytometry and live animal imaging technologies. The equipment and services provided by the facility are unmatched on campus and in the five college area with the nearest facility at UMass Medical School in Worcester, more than one hour’s drive from campus.

  • Amnis ImageStream Mark II Imaging Flow Cytometer-5 Color Analysis Capabilities 2 Excitation Lasers, 488nm and 633nm. 
  • BD DUAL LSRFortessa-Analysis Capabilities for TWO USERS Simultaneously (the third such instrument in the country)
    Left side: 3 Excitation Lasers; 405nm, 488nm, and 640nm, High Throughput Sampler 15 color analysis capabilities.
    Right side: 5 Excitation Lasers, 355nm (UV), 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, and 640nm 18 color analysis capabilities.
  • BD FACSAria II-Analysis and Cell Sorting Capabilities 5 Excitation Lasers, 355nm (UV), 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, and 640nm 16 color analysis capabilities Sorting capabilities: 2 or 4 way, multi-well plate (6-96 well), single cell, slides.

X-ray Scattering Facility
Contact: Dr. Alexander Ribbe, Interm Director;

Housing several instruments dedicated to the structural analysis of crystalline materials, the determination of highly periodic morphologies in self-assembled systems over a large length scale range.


  • SAXSLAB Ganesha(link is external) with WAXS and GIXRD
  • Panalytical XRD(link is external) with Reflectivity option

UMass Zebrafish Facility
Contact: Judy Bennett (

The UMass Amherst Biology Department has three research groups that study embryonic development using the zebrafish as a model system. Each group maintains a separate zebrafish room. Up to 25,000 fish are swimming around at any given time.

Growth Chambers in the Greenhouse Facility

The Conviron growth chambers are housed in a 60-foot by 18-foot structure that is located opposite the four ranges. There are four walk-in chambers, eight smaller chambers, and one upright incubator. Almost all of the plants in these chambers are used for research, although some space is allocated for class use, especially when school is in session.

The growth chambers are controlled by a dedicated computer located in the head house. The environmental parameters are determined by the individual users, but the greenhouse manager is responsible for insuring that the conditions are maintained.

The growth chambers were purchased with a National Science Foundation grant from the Conviron Company and are located in a room larger than 1,000 square feet that is contiguous with ranges #1 to #4. The equipment was installed in 2001. All of the growth chambers feature an adjustable, counter-balanced light canopy, a sampling tube that allows control at plant canopy height, and a design that permits plants to be placed directly on the floor. Specific details about the individual growth chambers include:

Four PGW-36 large reach-in units with 3.3 m2x 200 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers 960 umoles/m2/sec, and temperatures may be controlled between 4 and 45C with a variation of 0.5C.

Four E7/2 dual compartment units, each of which has 0.76 m2 x 64 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers up to 33 umoles/m2/sec. Temperature ranges are similar to the reach-in chambers.

One 125L incubator with five shelves, lighting and humidity controls, and horizontal airflow patterns.

    Baystate Research Facility (BRF)
    Contact:  Carolanne Lovewell, RLATG, CPIA, Director of the Baystate Research Facility; (413) 794-9683  

    The Baystate Research Facility (BRF) is a 25,000 square foot facility that includes ample bench space for basic science research, tissue culture, surgical and procedural rooms, BSL-2 room, histology suite, microscopy suite and additional specialty lab space.  In addition to research space the BRF has private offices, an open community area, three conference rooms and a reception area.

    The BRF core team includes individuals trained in laboratory safety, skilled veterinary care, regulatory issues, as well as individuals performing general administrative functions.

    Types of research being conducted at the BRF include cancer, diabetes, surgical techniques and training, and device/instrument development.