Biotechnology Resource Center


Mission: The mission of the Cornell University Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) is to catalyze and promote research in the life sciences.  The BRC provides advanced technologies, services, training and education to the university community and to outside investigators, operating in both fee-for-service and collaborative modes.  The BRC’s core facilities include genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, imaging, bioinformatics, and advanced technology assessment.  To assist multidisciplinary research initiatives, coordinated project consultations are available with the directors of all the relevant core facilities during the design, data production and analysis phases of research projects.  With a concentration of advanced instrumentation, expertise in their applications, and an extensive network of academic, federal, not-for-profit enterprises and commercial partners, the BRC is a dynamic hub for life sciences research at Cornell.

Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR): The BRC is part of the Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology, which is a New York State designated Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), one of  fifteen sponsored by the Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).  In association with NYSTAR, NY State companies receive a discount on BRC services. 

Institutional commitment: Support is provided to the BRC by investment from the Provost, administered through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, reflecting the long term commitment of Cornell University to maintaining state-of-the-art technology, training and education to support life sciences research.   The mandate of the BRC is to provide core resources and services to the whole university, including the Cornell University campuses in Ithaca, NY, Geneva, NY, and the Weill Cornell Medical College campuses in New York City, NY, and Doha, Qatar. 

Addition of new core facilities: The BRC has an established review policy for the addition of new core facilities by request of Cornell faculty. These can be existing cores that have a departmental focus but have the potential to be used on a university-wide level, or new facilities that promote emerging disciplines and analytical platforms.  Facilities are brought under the umbrella of the BRC through a memorandum of understanding that establishes operating and administrative guidelines.

Administration: The BRC is administered by the Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology, under the overall supervision of Jocelyn Rose, the Director of the Institute, Tami Magnus, the Executive Director, who provides financial oversight, and James VanEe, Associate Director, who provides operational coordination and support.  Each BRC facility has a Facility Director who provides daily supervision of the facility, and a Faculty Advisory Board that provides feedback on current status and future directions.

Fees: The fee policies of the BRC are governed by federal regulations and university guidelines on core facilities.

ABRF: BRC core directors and staff are active members of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF), an international organization of biotechnology core facilities and life sciences research laboratories.


The BRC Genomics Facility provides a broad array instrumentation and services, including Sanger sequencing of plasmid and PCR products on the Life Technologies/ABI 3730xl capillary array sequencing platform, and a range of next generation sequencing instruments, such as the Illumina MiSeq and Illumina HiSeq and NextSeq platforms.  The facility also provides high throughput genotyping and gene expression services using the Illumina, Affymetrix and Agilent microarray platforms, plus real-time PCR system. The facility also provides high throughput sample preparation, library production, consultation on project design and data analysis, alongside educational resources, workshops and training.


The BRC Proteomics Facility provides investigators with cutting edge technologies for proteomic analyses.  Services include 2D gel and 2D LC separation for macromolecules; robotic and manual sample preparation for proteomics samples; protein identification; quantitative proteomics by 2D DIGE analysis or shotgun-based iTRAQ; and characterization of post-translational modifications (PTMs) through both non-targeted and targeted discovery approaches.  Services also include small molecule profiling, quantitation and data interpretation. 



The BRC Metabolomics Facility provides investigators with cutting edge technologies for metabolomics analyses.  Services include Untargeted metabolomics profiling for discovery screens,  Metabolic Flux analysis, Targeted metabolomics profiling for validation, Targeted small molecules analysis for relative/absolute quantitation, Metabolite separation by UPLC and GC, Sample preparation, and consultation for experimental design and data analysis.


The BRC Imaging Facility (formerly called variously Cornell Imaging, the CT Facility, the Imaging and Microscopy Facility, and the Microscopy Imaging and Fluorometry Facility or MIF) resources and services include high resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT), flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, light microscopy, multiphoton microscopy, laser capture microdissection, bioluminescence imaging, high resolution ultrasound imaging, spectrofluorometry, and image visualization and analysis software.  The facility also provides consultation on project design, instrument use, and image data analysis and visualization, and offers educational workshops and training. 


The Flow Cytometry Facility of Cornell’s Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) in the Institute of Biotechnology is the result of a faculty-led initiative across several colleges on campus. Generous financial support for the facility came through the offices of Provost Mike Kotlikoff and Vice Provost for Research Emmanuel Giannelis as well as the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Engineering, Human Ecology, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Arts and Sciences.
Instrumentation is available in a main facility in 140 Biotechnology Building and a satellite facility in VRT T2-003 of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The main facility houses three cell sorters and one analyzer, while two analyzers are located in the satellite facility. 


The mission of the BRC Bioinformatics Facility (formerly called the Computational Biology Service Unit or the CBSU) is to support biological research with advanced computational infrastructure and bioinformatics tools and techniques.  The facility was founded in 2001 as a computational biology resource for a Tri-Institutional collaboration among the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, and the Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, NY.  The facility became part of the BRC in 2004.  The Bioinformatics Facility offers resources, services and training in computational biology and bioinformatics through collaborative research and consultation, and by providing easily accessible advanced computational software, data storage and analysis platforms and expertise in their use and applications. As of July 2017, the activites of the former Bio-IT facility have been moved under the umbrella of the Bioinformatics Facility. These activities include providing the BRC core facilities with enterprise information technology (IT) infrastructure, laboratory information management systems, and data management and analysis services.  The facility also provides desktop and network support, software license management to a diverse array of investigators in the Cornell University life sciences research community.


The mission of the BRC Biotechnology Development Facility is to evaluate, implement and optimize newly emerging biotechnologies and protocols for their effective use, in close coordination with the other BRC core facilities.  Once robust high throughput production pipelines are established, the new technologies are transferred to the appropriate BRC facility.  This is essential for the successful implementation of newly available, high-end technologies that require extended evaluation, validation, development and optimization.  The facility thus facilitates effective implementation of new technologies and novel applications with the potential for breakthrough discoveries in the life sciences.