Scientific Facilities and Instrumentation

The following campus facilities and services are available to members of the UMass and Five College communities, and in some cases to outside groups, for research and teaching. All are on the UMass Amherst campus unless noted.  The UMass Amherst facilities were established and are maintained by combined support from departments in the College of Natural Sciences and the UMass administration.


The BMB department operates autoclaves in the basement of the Lederle Tower, room 31D, which are available for use by individuals from any department on campus. To gain access, please contact Cole Tucker (413) 545-4034  to schedule a training session. 

Deep Sequencing

The Deep Sequencing core at UMMS (Worcester) has several instruments for Illumina or ABI SOLiD sequencing. Read lengths range from 35 or 50 on the SOLiD to 36 or 75 on the Illumina. Additionally the Illumina will do a paired end read.

DNA Sequencing

UMass Amherst Genomics Resource Laboratory in Morrill 1, room N330, provides DNA sequencing, fragment analysis and high-throughput real-time PCR.

Flow Cytometry

The Flow Cytometry Facility (housed by the Vet and Animal Sciences Department in the Integrated Sciences Building) has fluorescence-activated cell sorters (FACS) for analysis of cell types as distinguished by antigen determinants, cell cycle analysis, and the isolation of defined cell populations for further study.

Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Weight Determination

The Mass Spectrometry Center maintains state of the art instrumentation for the molecular analysis of complex substances. These include electrospray-ion trap, TOF and FT-ICR with HPLC, MALDI-TOF, high resolution two-sector mass spectrometer equipped with EI and FAB, and a GC-MS system. 


The new light microscopy facility, part of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), is located in the Life Sciences Laboratories (LSL2). The facility houses state-of-the-art equipment; including almost every light microscopy imaging modality currently available. The Electron Microscopy Center is a part of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) located in the Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research.  Single cell and live-cell imaging are also available. Students and faculty can become trained to use the imaging instruments and obtain advice about individual research projects using these methods.


The Molecular Dynamics STORM 840 phosphorimager is a multiuser instrument with radioactive and nonradioactive detection capabilities. It is housed in Life Sciences Labroatories, room N422.  Researchers can use storage phosphor screen autoradiograpy, direct fluorescence or chemifluorescence for their DNA, RNA, and protein samples. ImageQuant image analysis software runs on a Macintosh platform to analyze data collected by the STORM 840. Densitometers and gel reading software are also available. Contact Cole Tucker (413) 545-4034 to gain access.


The Mass Spectrometry Core is a core resource offering state-of-the-art proteomic and small molecule mass spectrometric analyses to UMMS investigators and to the external scientific community at large. Resources include support for study design, sample preparation, protein fractionation, instrumentation, informatics, data interpretation, and publication assistance.


The Spectroscopy Facility in Conte Building contains instruments for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility, Vibrational Spectroscopy and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. These highly sophisticated instruments are used for the structure determination of macromolecules, including multinuclear, multidimensional NMR analysis of proteins and site-directed studies of insoluble, large systems such as membrane proteins. This facility is operated jointly by the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Polymer Science and Engineering.