Graduate Program Facilities

The University of Illinois is a major research institution equipped with exceptional research facilities and services available for graduate student use, including several regional and national research centers. These help create an environment in which the intellectual and scientific development and research progress of graduate students is not resource-limited, but is controlled by the ability and energy of the individual.


Several core facilities to aid in scientific research are located in or adjacent to MCB's seven-building complex just east of the main campus quadrangle. Central to the campus, MCB provides all of the major equipment and expertise necessary for research in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology, microbiology, molecular and integrative physiology, and related disciplines. Nearby, both the Institute for Genomic Biology and the Beckman Institute also house MCB research laboratories.

Specialized facilities available within departments include equipment for large scale growth and processing of animal cells as well as state-of-the-art x-ray diffraction equipment. Other supporting facilities include specialized laboratories for recording infrared, ultraviolet, fluorescence, electron spin resonance, mass, nuclear magnetic resonance, circular dichroism, and optical rotatory dispersion spectra. Electronic, machine, photographic, and glass-blowing shops are also available.


The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is a multidisciplinary research institute devoted to basic research in the physical sciences, engineering, and behavioral sciences. The institute's research programs focus on three broadly defined themes: biological intelligence, human-computer intelligent interaction, and molecular and electronic nanostructures.

Biotech 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. The William Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics conducts research on the comparative genetic organization, evolution and function of plant, animal and microbial genomes and provides sequencing and oligonucleotide synthesis, DNA microarray facilities, and bioinformatics specialists. The Protein Sciences Facility aids researchers in protein sequence analysis, peptide synthesis and 2D gel electophoresis. Services offered by the Immunological Resources Center include the creation, purification, and immunochemical labeling of antibodies. In addition to a state-of-the art cell sorter, the Flow Cytometry Facility maintains several satellite flow cytometry machines throughout campus.


The just-launched Institute for Genomic Biology encompasses eight Research Themes that were selected competitively and involve the participation of key MCB faculty members. The institute houses state-of-the-art equipment for conducting genetic research, including a microfabrication lab, a plant growth facility, and a microscopy suite.


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is an interdisciplinary research center involved in computational science—an approach to scientific research that complements the traditional methods of laboratory experimentation and theoretical investigation. Our campus has outstanding computer facilities, including mainframes accessible through a campus-wide fiber-optic network and four supercomputers.

Other Facilities and services

Research Facilities

The Center for Microscopic Imaging is a campus-wide service center for electron, confocal, and light microscopy.

The University of Illinois has the top academic NMR laboratory in the country for all modern methods of organic mass spectrometry.

The Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source (APS) beamline is available to researchers in MCB, as part of the Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LCAT).

The Transgenic Animal Facility produces transgenic lines by microinjection technology. The X-ray diffraction laboratories allows for detailed X-ray analysis of materials.

The University of Illinois Library is the nation's third largest university library, allowing access to references books and online scientific journals.

Service Entities

The Writer's Workshop offers free, personal writing assistance for class assignments, scientific manuscripts, and theses.

The Center for Teaching Excellence is a campus-wide service unit available to assist faculty and teaching assistants in improving instruction. Formal certification and academies offer graduate students opportunities to formally develop and hone teaching skills and experience.

Students also have access to a vast network of lab and classroom computers, all maintained by our local Office of Information Technology.