The Advanced Science Research Center provides sophisticated equipment and staff support to researchers across CUNY and beyond. High-end core facilities and instrumentation in the ASRC, never before available at CUNY, allow scientists to expand the scope and scale of their research endeavors.

Please see below for further information on the equipment and how to become a user.

COVID-19 Update

Effective Monday, March 16th, only essential personnel are to report to CUNY campuses. As such, our core facilities will not be able to accept users until the situation changes. We apologize for any inconvenience or disruption to your research this may cause. We will begin operations as soon as we can.

facility director Brian Geibel in the ALCIS research facility

The Advanced Laboratory for Chemical and Isotopic Signatures (ALCIS) Facility is designed to support characterizations of molecular, elemental, and isotopic signatures of materials in modern and paleo-earth systems,  with a focus on understanding how human activities modify natural earth processes. The facility hosts two magnetic sector isotope ratio mass spectrometers and a variety of inlet system peripherals. The facility is designed to accommodate inorganic and organic samples in a variety of forms (i.e., solids, liquids, and gases) and can offer analyses of all light isotopic systems. Also present within the facility are numerous ancillary and supporting equipment.

The Biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility features three state-of-the-art Bruker AVANCE III HD NMR spectrometers operating at 600, 700, and 800 MHz suitable for the full complement of biomolecular NMR studies on proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules to shed light on their structural, dynamical and binding properties.

All three spectrometers are equipped with either cryogenically-cooled and room temperature probes offering a wide range of 1H, 13C, 15N, 19F, 31P, and 2H solution NMR capabilities, plus a broadband (multinuclear) solid-state probe for use on the 600 MHz spectrometer.

CUNY ASRC Exterior

The Comparative Medicine Unit (CMU) is a 20,000 square foot facility and core service unit that is responsible for supporting the humane care and use of laboratory animals used in the research and teaching missions of the five ASRC initiatives—Nanoscience, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience, and Environmental Sciences—and their collaborators within CUNY and without. The CMU maintains exemplary standards of animal care by adhering to the highest standards of animal care through its maintenance of an assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. It is a United State Department of Agriculture registered research facility.

The Epigenetics Core Facilities provide an array of state-of-the-art epigenetics research resources and services that include: automated single cell isolation and subsequence nucleic acid extraction, quantitative gene expression analysis with special expertise in low input amount, DNA/chromatin extraction and fragmentation and protein-nucleic acid association (ChIP) from tissue and enriched population, next generation sequencing library preparation (RNA-seq and ChIP-seq) and quality control check. The Core also houses a sophisticated flow cytometry cell sorter that is equipped with 4 lasers and capable of detecting up to 11 colors. The sorter allows automated cytofluorimetric analysis and the sterile sorting of specific cell types.

The Imaging Facility currently hosts cutting-edge microscopy instrumentation including transmission electron microscopes with cryo capabilities (cryoTEM, S/TEM), as well as a scanning electron microscope with focused ion beam functionality (SEM/FIB) and a super-resolution confocal stimulated emission depletion microscope (STED).

The facility allows for advanced imaging of materials and biological samples, including semi-automated data collection for single particle 3D reconstruction, chemical mapping by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), live cell imaging, and advanced FIB applications.

The Live Imaging and Bioenergetics Facility at the CUNY ASRC will house three core instruments: 1) Zeiss LSM880 upright two photon confocal microscope with Airyscan and FAST model, 2) LSM880 inverted live cell imaging confocal microscope with Airyscan and FAST model, and 3) Agilent Seahorse XFe24 live cell metabolic analyzer.

The supported applications include: in vivo imaging of live animals, deep imaging of fixed CLARITY tissues, Calcium imaging, photo switching and photo uncaging, Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP), Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), laser ablation, long term live cell imaging with high-resolution optical sectioning, and measuring mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis in live cells in real time. The facility will also provide advanced imaging analysis software Imaris for data processing.


The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility will provide investigators with a state-of-the-art research environment, at the heart of which will be a 3 Tesla Siemens Prisma scanner equipped with 80 mT/m gradients and an all digital RF transmit/receive system with 64 independent channels.  The MRI Facility will also include:  MR compatible EEG; eye-tracking capabilities; back projection, LCD screen, and goggles for visual stimulation; physiological monitoring of:  cardiac, respiratory, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and perspiration signals; active noise cancelling headphones; an array of response boxes for fMRI experiments; and a mock scanner with identical response and stimulation equipment to help users prepare and participants train for their MRI studies.  The MRI Facility will be a vital resource for research in the areas of:  neuroscience, cognitive science, clinical research, pediatric developmental, aging, and disease.

The MALDI-TOF MS Imaging Joint Facility of the Structural Biology Initiative and Neuroscience Initiative at the ASRC at The Graduate Center, CUNY houses four core instruments: 1) Bruker Autoflex Speed TOF, 2) HTX TM5 Matrix Sprayer, 3) Leica Aperio CS2 slide scanner, and 4) SCiLS MALDI Imaging Analysis workstation.

As the first interdisciplinary core facility with MALDI-TOF MS imaging capacity in  New York metropolitan area, we are proud to provide MALDI Imaging services to research scientists including tissue preparation, matrix coating, MALDI-MS profiling, and imaging/data analysis. MALDI-MS Imaging is a powerful tool for label-free in situ profiling of proteins, lipids, metabolites and small molecules. Both research institutions and industrial enterprises are welcome to utilize our facility.

To learn more about the instruments, services, training and experimental design, please contact co-director Rinat Abzalimov at rabzalimov@gc.cuny.edu (212.413.3236) and co-director Ye He at yhe1@gc.cuny.edu (212.413.3182).

The Mass Spectrometry Facility gives researchers access to cutting-edge instrumentation to explore several orders of magnitude, with the dynamic range of both instruments ensuring highly sensitive measurements at sufficient speed.

With MALDI-TOF and QTOF technology, scientists will be able to measure mass and molecular formulas quickly and accurately. Applications include intact protein identification and characterization, analysis of inorganic/organic molecules, synthetic polymers, dendrimers, peptide mixtures, oligonucleotides, and carbohydrates.

In addition to on-site testing, researchers will also be able to submit samples for analysis.

The NanoFabrication Facility hosts a comprehensive toolset to develop micro- and nanoscale devices, such as integrated circuits, nanophotonic and solid state devices, micro- electromechanical systems, and microfluidic systems. In addition to offering sophisticated instrumentation for device fabrication, the facility maintains several material characterization tools and back-end equipment for device prototyping.

The NanoFab comprises 5,000 ft2 of class 100, 1,000 and 10,000 cleanroom space. Major instrumentation includes: a 100 kV high-resolution e-beam lithography system; a field emission scanning electron microscope (SEM); chlorine and fluorine based inductively coupled plasma etchers; and metal and dielectric deposition systems.

photonics facilities graphic

The Photonics facilities host state-of-the-art equipment spanning kilohertz to petahertz in operational frequencies, with a range of sources suitable from ultra-sensitive to high-power measurements.

The Photonics Core is a shared-user facility offering several lasers, light sources, measurement instruments as well as optical and mechanical hardware to support photonics research. A laboratory support room is available with mechanical tools, allowing users to rapidly create experimental setups. The facility also maintains several photonics-related software packages for computational work.

The Radio Frequency and Millimeter-wave (RF/mm-wave) Core is a shared-user facility. The core includes fabrication and measurement units.

observatory dome with NYC skyline in the background

The Next Generation Environmental Sensor Lab (NGENS) is an open resource for environmental sensors. We have high-end reference instruments for trace gases, greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds, particulates, radiation, noise, phenology and thermal imaging, soil and water analysis. In addition, we work with low-cost sensors, control and communication modules, and characterization and calibration chambers for designing and deploying sensors and sensor networks in the urban and exurban settings.

The lab also manages the rooftop observatory that provides an ideal space in upper Manhattan to stage instrumentation for urban air monitoring.

rbas image

The Rodent Behavioral Analysis Suite contains three high-quality sound-attenuating test rooms, each equipped with a video tracking system with multiple arena, multiple body Point, and trial and hardware control modules. This allows the behavioral assessment of a variety of panels of anxiety, depression, learning tasks, and automated motor function characterization. The Suite also provides a variety of mazes, optogenetic stimulation tool box, and foot shock chambers for various animal models and behavioral analysis.

For consultation on experimental design and instrument capabilities, please contact Jia Liu at Jia.Liu@asrc.cuny.edu or via telephone at 212.413.3183.

All rodents must be housed in ASRC Comparative Medicine Unit for the use of the Rodent Behavioral Analysis Suite. All users must have animal use protocols approved by ASRC Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee.

The Surface Science Facility offers access and services to state-of-the-art surface analysis instrumentation including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and thermochemical nanolithography (TCNL).

With a range of sample preparation chambers, hardware configurations, and in-house expertise, researchers in the physical sciences have the capability to prepare and analyze a variety of different sample types, including immobilized biological, organic, inorganic, and mixed composition samples.