The School of Integrative Biology (SIB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a dynamic hub of scientific exploration and education. SIB's research spans a wide spectrum of biological disciplines, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and innovative breakthroughs. Faculty and students within SIB investigate diverse topics, including ecology, genetics, evolution, behavior, physiology, and conservation. 

Life Sciences Shared Service Centers

Machine Shop

The Life Sciences Machine Shop provides a variety of services for faculty, staff, and students in the School of Integrative Biology, the School of Molecular and Cellular 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


  • Milling machine work
  • Precision lathe work
  • Sheet metal design and fabrication
  • Welding, soldering, and brazing
  • Woodworking design and fabrication

Specialty services

  • Calibration of laboratory equipment
  • Lab water system maintenance and repair
  • Vacuum system service and repair
  • Waterbath and platform shaker repair
  • Laboratory equipment development and maintenance
  • Plastic labware design and construction
  • Laboratory refrigeration system diagnosis and repair

Equipment used in the shop

  • 2014 prototrak CNC lathe
  • 1989 Hardinge superprecision toolroom lathe
  • Lincoln MIG Welder
  • All common sheet metal equipment
  • Most common machine shop equipment
  • 2010 2-axis Bridgport Mill with prototrak CNC
  • 2004 3-axis Bridgport Mill with prototrak CNC

Electronics Shop

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

Contact & location

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

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

Services: We provide the following services:

  • Instrument Repair
  • Microscopes
  • Balances
  • Audio/Video
  • Light Bulb Sales

Instrument repair

We have schematics or service manuals for just about all instruments used in SIB and MCB.

Below is a partial list of equipment we work on:

  • centrifuges
  • water baths
  • incubators
  • power supplies
  • spectrophotometers
  • amplifiers


On-site or carry-in service is provided for your microscopes. We have experience working on all brands and types of microscopes:

  • compound microscopes
  • dissecting microscopes
  • fluorescence microscopes
  • inverted microscopes
  • phase-contrast microscopes
  • petrographics microscopes
  • illuminators
  • fiber-optic illuminators

Services provided for your microscopes and illuminators are cleaning, repair, and adjustment:

  • lens and eyepieces
  • fine and coarse adjustments
  • mechanical stages
  • Kohler alignment
  • phase condensers


Our ANSI/ASTM Class 1 weights are calibrated to NIST Standards and are ISO 9001 Certified. See us if your balance needs:

  • Calibration
  • Cleaning
  • Repair
  • New lamp

We service all makes and models of balances:

  • Mettler
  • Sartorius
  • Fisher
  • Denver
  • digital
  • top-loaders
  • analytical


We will no longer clean and calibrate your pipettes for you. If you want an outside company to work on your pipettes, try one of the following companies:

  • Rainin: 800-828-2788 ext. 338
  • Midwest Scientific: 800-227-9997
  • Brinkmann Instruments: 800-645-3050
  • Scientific Calibration: 800-892-9817
  • AccuTek Laboratories: 800-243-3232
  • VWR: 800-431-4132 ext. 6333
  • Novamed: 800-354-6676
  • Pipet People: 800-253-7064


The Electronics Shop has designed and built interactive teaching systems for our teaching labs.

The shop also designed and supervised the installation of the audio/video system in the Miller Auditorium, B102 Chemical & Life Sciences Lab. Download our guide to operating the system. We can help you select and interface audio and video equipment.

Light bulb sales

We stock over 200 different kinds of lamps and bulbs. We have bulbs for many types of equipment:

  • overhead projectors
  • slide projectors
  • microscopes
  • fluorescence microscopes
  • balances
  • fiber optic illuminators
  • spectrophotometers

Bulb types include:

  • halogen
  • incandescent
  • mercury fluorescent (HBO 103W/2)
  • low voltage

If we don't have the bulb you need, we can probably get it.


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. 

Campus Facilities and Research Partners

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.

The Beckman Institute also offers various collaboration and meetings spaces for reservation. 

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) is where science meets society - an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to transformative research and technology in life sciences using team-based strategies to tackle grand societal challenges.

The Core Facilities at the IGB is a state-of-the-art resource for biological microscopy and image analysis. The core mission of the facility is to provide IGB faculty, as well as faculty from across campus with the tools and expertise to meet their imaging goals. In addition to providing technical assistance in acquiring and analyzing microscopy images the staff is also able to aid in designing and interpreting experiments. 

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.

From the outer edge of the universe to the interworking of atoms, researchers at NCSA are constantly exploring new worlds. Leveraging advanced computing and data-driven methods in an interdisciplinary approach that trades barriers for bold innovation.

Research conducted at NCSA covers a variety of arenas, including: artificial intelligence, arts and humanities, astrophysics, digital agriculture, Earth and environment, engineering, health sciences, and more. 

Center for Digital Agriculture

The Center for Digital Agriculture (CDA) was formed to help agricultural producers, researchers, and industries keep pace with the ways technology is transforming how we feed and support a growing global population. Increased global productivity and sustainability requires technical innovations that involve CDA’s primary themes: AutomationDataAnimals and Crops, and People.

A primary goal of the Center is to foster interdisciplinary research projects that bring together faculty across The Grainger College of Engineering, ACES and others on campus to address fundamental challenges at the frontiers of computing, engineering, agriculture and food. 

CDA enables multidisciplinary research as well as education and outreach involving agricultural, biological, food, consumer, economic, and environmental researchers together with computer science, electrical, civil, mechanical, and other engineering fields. 

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:

Mass Spectrometry Lab

The School of Chemical Sciences Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (MSL) provides a wide variety of chemical analysis using mass spectrometry techniques for identifying, quantifying and confirming of the broadest range of compounds in the most complex and challenging samples at ultra-trace level. The facility is located in Noyes Lab with labs in rooms 41 (primary room), 21, 25, 42, and 46 Noyes.  Offices in rooms 35 and 37 Noyes Lab.

The MSL is capable of performing analysis using many different ionization techniques including: low and high resolution electron impact (EI), low and high resolution chemical ionization (CI), low resolution field ionization (FI), low resolution field desorption (FD), low and high resolution fast atom bombardment (FAB), low and high resolution electrospray (ESI), low resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), MS/MS (ESI and MALDI), isotope ratio (FI), GC/MS (EI, CI, and FI), and LC/MS (ESI). Please feel free to consult us for analysis that are not found in this list.

Materials Research Laboratory (MRL)

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.

Prairie Research Institute

The Prairie Research Institute conducts transformative research that provides innovative, at-scale solutions for a society undergoing climate and energy transitions. PRI unites scientific expertise in geology, ecology and biodiversity, archaeology, hydrology and water, weather and climate, pollution prevention, and sustainable energy to benefit the people, economy, and environment of Illinois, the nation, and the world.

PRI comprises five state scientific surveys: the Illinois Natural History SurveyIllinois State Archaeological SurveyIllinois State Geological SurveyIllinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. PRI also oversees the Illinois Water Resources Center, which works with scientists, water professionals, and communities to address water resource challenges.

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.

Note: The Zeiss Axiovert 200 M Inverted Fluorescence microscope being equipped with additional components and will be available for use soon. 

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. 

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