Skip to main content


The primary mission of the Structural Biology Facility is to provide state-of-the-art equipment, training, technical support, and maintenance of equipment indispensable for structural biologists and other researchers studying the structures of biological macromolecules and materials.

The Facility plays an essential role in the research programs of investigators who are studying the relationship between macromolecular structure and function, using macromolecular structure as the starting point for structure-based drug design, or needing to characterize complex biomaterials. It is a unique resource at Northwestern University that capitalizes on the extensive expertise of a large group of users by providing regular access and support for experiments using the synchrotron radiation X-ray source at the Life Sciences Collaborative Access Team (LS-CAT) beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, and state-of-the-art electron microscopes and detectors, suitable for atomic-level structural studies by CryoEM in the Evanston campus. In addition, the Facility provides crystallization robotics. analysis tools, and computational resources for analyzing data produced by a wide range of experimental approaches – including crystallography, electron microscopy, and NMR – together with computational tools for modeling and design studies. The Structural Biology Facility also serves to nucleate the development of a supportive local community with expertise in structural and computational biology.

Back to top