Research facilities

The School has major high-technology facilities for research in, amongst others areas, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural biology and optical imaging.

Facilities within the School of Biosciences include: 

Triple Quadrupole mass spectrometerThe Advanced Mass Spectrometry facility

Combining state-of-the-art instrumentation with world-class expertise for biomolecular analysis.

The facility boasts:

Microscopy imageBirmingham Advanced Light Microscopy facility (BALM)

This facility provides cutting edge microscopy resources to members of the univesity community and beyond. Our microscopes are routinely used for high resolution live-cell imaging, as well as analysis of organisms ranging from Drosophila to zebrafish. In addition to training and technical assistance we also provide data analysis capabilities through our dedicated workstations.

HSP47 Collagen Binding Heat Shock ProteinBirmingham Biomolecular Characterisation Facility (BBCF)

Based in the School of Biosciences, the BBCF boasts many of the biophysical tools essential for complete biomolecular characterisation. 

These tools provide information on:

  • Conformation: Circular Dichroism (CD), Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray Crystallography 
  • Size: Analytical Ultracentrifugation (AUC) Aggregation and 
  • Association: (AUC/DLS) Protein folding and stability: (FTIR/CD/AUC)


bddf-Cropped-134x164Birmingham Drug Discovery Facility

The Birmingham Drug Discovery Facility contains a number of cutting-edge technologies required to enable Birmingham scientists to conduct translational science.

We offer access to two fully automated drug discovery platforms  housed in the Drug Discovery Facility laboratory which is located in the School of Biosciences at the Institute of Microbiology and Infection (IMI).    


Birmingham Fly Facility


We are research teams at the University of Birmingham using the fruit-fly Drosophila as a model organism and supported by the Birmingham Fly Facility.

The fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster is the most powerful model organism for in vivo genetic analysis of biological processes. Drosophila has enabled fundamental discoveries on how life works, its underlying and universal principles. Six Nobel Prizes have been awarded for discoveries made using fruit-flies. Fundamental Drosophila research contributes to the understanding of human health and disease.   


env-omics-tile-134x164Environmental Omics Facility

We provide collaborative support to take your project from raw samples to fully-analysed data working together with bio-statisticians and bioinformaticians from the Centre for Computational Biology.

Through our website we provide comprehensive feedback on the status of your work, giving you full access to Quality Control and Assurance data throughout the workflow.


Genomics graphFunctional Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility

The facility is involved in numerous research efforts in Biosciences, working within areas such as cancer research, cell signalling, microbial gene expression and modulation of plant growth and parasitic resistance.

The facility prides itself on it’s ability to provide high throughput, accurate services to the University, external institutions and commercial companies at competitive prices.

SeedlingsHorticultural services

Located within the School of Biosciences are six containment glasshouses and two large walk in growth rooms, with lighting, heating, air conditioning, shade screens and watering all individually controlled and fully automated including a growth room with integral humidification. Further facilities include growth cabinets, separate glasshouse unit, plant preparation area and nearby autoclave.


X-ray diffraction facilityMacromolecular X-Ray Diffraction Facility

The facility includes a new-generation microfocus rotating anode generator and a CCD chip-based area detector for rapid data acquisition. Protein crystallisation, largely a trial-and-error process, is often hampered by the scarcity of pure protein. With the aid of a liquid handling robot, capable of dispensing nano-litre volumes, the number of potential growth conditions can be vastly extended, enhancing the chance of success and rendering possible the crystallisation of difficult proteins or protein complexes.


Mass spectrometerNERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility - NBAF-Birmingham

One of the five nodes of the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF), the Birmingham node was established in March 2009 to serve the metabolomics research needs of the NERC community. We offer advanced metabolomics methodologies based upon FT-ICR mass spectrometry and 1-D and 2-D NMR spectroscopy, as well as extensive data analysis.

Other centres

Centre for Ornithology

We are very grateful for the generosity of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust who have granted us access to their 100ha Chaddesley Woods National Nature Reservein which we have sited 300 nest boxes for long term work on the breeding biology of a range of passerine species.

The Henry Wellcome Building for Biomolecular NMR

Administered by the Medical Schoolwhich houses a range of instruments (900MHz, 800MHz, 2x 600MHz, 2x 500MHz).

Centre for Electron Microscopy

With 3 transmission and 5 scanning microscopes