At the time of the 2006 application, core facilities and shared infrastructure were largely lacking and access to expensive equipment and high-end technology was dependent on individual collaborations.
Founding the Nikon Imaging Center (NIC) in 2005 was a first step towards implementation of core infrastructure, but this was still in its infancy in 2006.
The development of core facilities was of particular importance for young researchers and junior groups, who gained access to and training in state of the art and high end technologies. All core facilities are in very high demand. Where applicable, electronic booking systems were introduced and all core facilities feature approved access regulations, a user fee system, and continuous training activities.
Access to core facilities is open to all researchers in the life sciences independent of institutional affiliation. A user survey conducted in 2010 gave highly positive marks and some suggestions for improvement.
CellNetworks has been instrumental to implement 9 core facilities with support from its central technology platform. In addition, joint infrastructure for computational sciences was installed including a computing cluster and methods support as well as the Large Scale Data Facility (LSDF), one of the largest storage devices in life sciences with a storage capacity of 6 petabyte (6 x 1015 bytes) at BioQuant.
In June 2013 the new Math-Clinic Core Facility has been established.
Current core facilities include the NIC, RNAi Screening Facility, Deep Sequencing Facility (all three located in BioQuant), Electron Microscopy Core Facility (EMCF), Mass Spectrometry for proteins and lipids (ZMBH and BZH), X-ray Crystallography (X-tal; BZH), the nCounter Analysis System and the Math-Clinic.
These cutting edge technologies as well as the advanced high-throughput microscopy in BioQuant and their combination with high resolution and cryo EM are not yet suitable for core facilities, but are also accessible for all CellNetworks members and beyond. CellNetworks further has access to the joint DKFZ-EMBL-University Chemical Biology Core Facility (CBCF) for small molecule screening, which is funded by institutional support.
To see all information about the single core facilities, please have a look at their descriptions left handed.