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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life SciencesOur research


The Life Sciences Building has purpose-built laboratory, office and teaching space for staff and students engaged in areas of Life Sciences learning and research. Located at the heart of Highfield campus, the Life Sciences Building supports interdisciplinary work, and is a place where life sciences research staff and students can expand their academic interests and activities by working with other scientists and engineers within the University.

Life Sciences Building, Highfield
Life Sciences Building, Highfield

Facilities comprise of newly-built shared research space, with all the equipment and resources expected in a modern life science laboratory, together with independently managed research areas.

The shared laboratories contain individual research groups and common equipment areas housing tissue culture laboratories, electrophysiology facilities, a protein production laboratory, genomics equipment including real-time PCR, radiation laboratories and specialised research space for CL2 microbiology.

The research facilities are independently operated and provide specialised state-of-the-art research equipment supported with dedicated technical expertise. All facilities operate on a cost recovery basis and are open to users in other Academic Units within the University and outside organisations. 

With the exception of the Interdisciplinary Centre for NMR in Chemistry and the 3T research MRI scanner and Transgenic Facilities at Southampton General Hospital all facilities are located within the Life Sciences Building. 

If you have any specific queries relating to the use of these facilities, please contact the centre or unit directly. For general enquiries please contact the Head of Research Facilities, Biological Sciences: Prof Matthew Terry, +44 (0)23 8059 2030.

Biomolecular Core Facility

Our biophysical equipment is housed in both the shared reserach space and in a dedicated space in the resource core of the Life Sciences Building where the more advanced equipment is housed.  The facility provides access to a wide range of spectrophotometers, including mass specs, and spectrofluorimeters. For more information, contact Neville Wright, +44 (0)23 8059 4316. Visit site

Centre for Hybrid Biodevices

The Centre for Hybrid Biodevices is at the leading edge of research into innovative micro- and nanoscale technologies that represent the beginning of new era in biological analysis. This technology can provide faster diagnosis, streamline drug development and provide more effective means of monitoring our planet. For more information - Visit site.

Centre for Proteomic Research

The Centre for Proteomic Research combines state-of-the-art instrumentation with in-depth expertise to undertake collaborative proteomic-based projects from industry and both UK and international academic institutions. For more information, contact Paul Skipp, +44 (0)23 8059 4204.  Visit site.

Imaging and Microscopy Centre

The Imaging and Microscopy Centre (IMC) specialises in confocal and multiphoton laser scanning microscopy. The Centre is also equipped with a range of widefield fluorescence microscopes. The available setups allow for live cell imaging and to combine imaging and electrophysiology. In addition, IMC provides image analysis tools and training in the use of imaging equipment. For more information, contact Mark Willett  +44 (0)23 8059 4235. Visit site

3T research MRI scanner (Southampton General Hospital / University Hospital Southampton)

The Siemens Skyra 3T research MRI scanner on the Southampton General Hospital site is available for funded university research projects during dedicated research sessions: Tuesday 8am-1pm, Thursday 3pm-8pm and Saturday 8am-1pm. A wide range of MRI techniques are available, including advanced applications and MR spectroscopy, to investigate all body areas, with clinical support available during scanning sessions. For more information, please contact Chris Everitt (MR research radiographer) on +44 (0)23 8120 6208 or  or Angela Darekar (Lead for MRI Physics) on +44 (0)23 8120 4470 or . For further information about research imaging facilities (across all imaging modalities) at University Hospital Southampton, please visit site.

Interdisciplinary Centre for NMR

We provide a platform for the application of magnetic resonance to study the structure and dynamics of small molecules, biomolecules and materials. The centre provides state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise to support interdisciplinary research ranging from medicine to physics. Our dedicated laboratory is equipped with a 400 MHz and two 600 MHz instruments for solution and solid state NMR. For more information, contact Stuart Findlow, +44 (0)23 8059 2932. Visit site

Invertebrate Facility

At the core of Biological Science's Invertebrate Facility are nine environment-controlled rooms, with fully user-controlled temperature and light regimes that can be used for the long-term culturing of populations of insects and other invertebrates, and for more short-term experiments such as bio-assays. There are also dedicated laboratories for work with insects and worms. For more information, contact Rachel Fitzearle, +44 (0)23 8059 2027 or Herman Wijnen, +44 (0)23 8059 4336.  Visit site.

Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility

The Macromolecular Crystallisation Facility of Biological Sciences as part of the Southampton Diffraction Centre (SDC) is located in Room 3141 of the Institute for Life Sciences Building. The facility hosts a screenmaker robot for production of custom crystallisation formulations, a nanodrop crystallisation robot, two crystal imagers with image databases to log crystallisation success and crystal growth, one of which is equipped with a UV channel, microscope and crystallisation plate incubators. For more information contact Ivo Tews, +44 (0)23 8059 4415  Visit site.

Plant Growth Facility

The Plant Growth Facility consists of purpose-built glasshouses on the roof of the building together with 8 growth rooms for plant growth research. These include rooms housed in a contained area to study interactions between plants and other organisms. We also have a range of specialised plant growth cabinets. For more information, contact Rachel Fitzearle, +44 (0)23 8059 2027 or Lorraine Williams, +44 (0)23 8059 4278. Visit site.

Transgenic Facility

Located at Southampton General Hospital, this facility provides services to researchers to analyse the function of genes within the whole animal context allowing important biological and medical questions to be addressed across the University. For more information, please email 

Tissue Culture Facility

The purpose built Tissue Culture Facility comprises of two dedicated laboratories for primary and secondary tissue culture. The laboratories provide access to equipment essential for the culture of mammalian cell lines, including controlled environment incubators, biological safety cabinets and fluorescent microscopes. For more information please contact Tracey Newman, +44 (0)23 8059 7642 or Karen Platt, +44 (0)23 8059 8145.  Visit site.


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