Core Facilities

Core research facilities available to researchers within the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry include:

3T MRI and Helispin

The 3T MRI Core Facility is a unique regional resource for state-of-the-art evaluation using a variety of MRI techniques in a research setting. The Facility is used primarily for in-vivo studies of human and animal structure and function in the areas of respiratory, cardiovascular, orthopedic and neuro.  The HeliSpin™ core facility processes helium-3, an investigational tracer gas used for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the lungs which is not possible with conventional (proton) MR imaging.

Brain Tumour Tissue Bank

Supplies brain tumour tissues to researchers across Canada and all over the world.

Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping

The Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping utilizes state-of-the-art 3T whole-body, 7T head and 31 cm 9.4T horizontal MR imaging systems to investigate in-vivo studies of brain structure and function. 

CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics)

CSTAR provides access to world-class acute and chronic laboratory facilities that support preclinical testing and validation of emergent medical device technologies.

Nordal Cyclotron & PET Radiochemistry Facility

The equipment in the facility includes:

  • GE PETtrace 8 cyclotron with proton and deuteron acceleration capability
  • cGMP specification class 100 shielded hot cells for production and dispensing
  • Dedicated automated chemistry units for producing 18F and 11C radiopharmaceuticals to cGMP specifications
  • Availability of 13N ammonia and 15O tracers
  • cGMP validated quality control instrumentation
  • Synthetic organic chemistry laboratory space

In combination with the PET/CT, PET/MRI, preclinical PET imaging scanners, the facility will be available to support a wide variety of city wide research projects including PET imaging applied to oncology, cardiology, neurology, psychology, bioelectromagnetics, and other areas.

Experimental Transplant Pathology Laboratory

Laboratory provides standardized routine histology, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry for various species such as monkey, baboon, pig, dog and rodents at the light microscopic or at the ultra structural level, in situ hybridization, apoptosis and morphometric analysis. This facility also provides interpretation with regards to histopathological changes.

Fluorescent Deconvolutional Microscope

Our Olympus IX81 fluorescent microscope system with a Coolsnap HQ2 photometrics camera is capable of acquiring multiple fluorescent and white light (DIC) images simultaneously.

ICES Western

ICES Western is a satellite site of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) located in Toronto. ICES is an independent, non-profit organization, whose core business is to conduct research that contributes to the effectiveness, quality, equity and efficiency of health care and health services in Ontario. With the establishment of ICES Western, investigators and trainees who wish to pursue research aligning with the ICES mission now have the opportunity to access the large administrative data holdings held by ICES.

Imaging Facilities at the Lawson Health Research Institute

Imaging facilities at Lawson include:

  • PET/MR Imaging
  • 2 Tesla MRI/MRS
  • 3 Tesla MRI/MRS
  • Bioelectromagnetics Facilities
  • Optical Imaging
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • 1.5 Tesla MRI

Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute

The Imaging Research Laboratories at Robarts focus on the discovery and development of innovative imaging techniques and instrumentation to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic disease, schizophrenia and other brain disorders. Using x-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI, the group is the largest in the Institute, conducting research across nine broad themes:

  • basic imaging science & engineering
  • brain and mind imaging & spectroscopy
  • cancer imaging
  • cardiovascular imaging
  • Clinical Imaging Research Laboratories
  • image-guided surgery & therapy
  • molecular, cellular and micro-imaging
  • musculoskeletal imaging
  • respiratory imaging

Lawson Clinical Research Services

A versatile, fully-staffed clinical trials facility established by the Lawson Health Research Institute provides increased clinical trials capacity to investigators from London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph's Health Care London and community physicians and dentists.

LHSC Sleep Laboratory and Sleep Clinic

The laboratory and clinic focus on the diagnosis and treatment of adults with sleep disorders, and on clinical research. State of the art, computerized polysomnographic hardware and software are used for the diagnosis of sleep disorders.

London Regional Genomics Centre

The facility provides state-of-the-art services on a fee-for-service/cost recovery basis and offers Affymetrix GeneChip technologies and Next Generation Sequencing on the Ion Torrent PGM and Illumina MiSeq platforms.  Data analysis software, training and services are also available.

London Regional Cell and In Vitro Molecular Imaging Facility

We have 3 Zeiss LSM 510 Meta microscopes, one equipped with a Confocor2 for Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) and another with a femtosecond laser for multiphoton microscopy. We also have a Leica TCS SP5 II confocal microscope and a Leica AM TIRF MC that is specialized system for imaging cell surface events. In addition, the facility offers Imaris Software for imaging analysis and a dedicated system for ratiometric calcium imaging.

London Regional Flow Cytometry Facility

The LR-FCF provides technical and physical support for scientists wishing to utilize flow cytometry analysis and or cell sorting as part of their research. Users are able to utilize the LR-FCF for a wide variety of flow cytometry techniques, including cell sorting, immunophenotyping, cell cycle analysis, cell proliferation, gene transfer (efficacy and tracking), cell death (i.e. apoptosis), cell kinetics, activation states, redox states, chromosome analysis, and cytokine detection among others.

London Regional Proteomics Centre

The LRPC comprises 6 core facilities to to fulfill research needs in the area of proteomics, protein structure and protein function:

London Regional Transgenic and Gene Targeting Facility

The TGT Facility provides services including:purification of DNA fragments for microinjection; generation of founder transgenic mice; gene targeting services; embryo cryopreservation and rederivation by embryo transfer.

London Tumour Biobank

The London Tumour biobank is a tissue biorepository housed and maintained at the Lawson Health Research Institute. Its goal is to bank snap-frozen biological samples beginning at the time of initial diagnosis, and provide initial diagnostic, therapeutic, and follow-up clinical data to facilitate cancer research across London.

Molecular Pathology core facility

The Molecular Pathology Core Facility entails a full spectrum of state-of-art histopathology equipment and expertise. The facility enables investigators to study fresh, frozen, or paraffin-processed tissues and analyze sections using various histological stains and molecular probes. In addition, micro-isolation of discrete cells within tissue sections can be accomplished using laser capture microscopy.

Near Infra-red Spectroscopy

Cerebral blood flow measurement in small animals and neonates.

Ontario Tumour Bank

London Health Sciences Centre is one of four sites for the Ontario Tumour Bank, a province-wide biorepository and data bank focused on collection of tumour-related human biospecimens. It provides academic and industry cancer researchers with a diverse selection of high quality tumour-related specimens and data obtained directly by dedicated tumour bank staff, who follow a stringent set of procedures and ethical guidelines.

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides a comprehensive range of routine and specialized laboratory testing and clinical consultation to support diagnosis and monitor treatment of patients within London, Southwestern Ontario, nationally and internationally. In addition, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine provides educational training opportunities and continuing education for a broad range of health care professionals. The laboratories also support clinical and applied research carried out in LHSC, SJHC, London Regional Cancer Program, Robarts Research Institute, and Siebens-Drake Medical Research Institute

Robarts Clinical Trials Inc.

Robarts Clinical Trials is a centre of academic excellence for clinical research and a contract research organization with proven expertise in conducting multi-centre clinical trials since 1986.

Screening Lab for Immune Disorders

Services include screening tests to evaluate cellular responses in various clinical settings, including autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders/conditions, and drug reactions.

Translational Research Centre

The Centre promotes knowledge and scientific development by improving communication between the clinic and laboratory. The Translational Research Centre (TRC) mandate includes supporting researchers with their studies by providing bioethics support and assisting in the procurement of patient tissue specimens with correlative clinical data.

Virtual Augmentation and Simulation for Surgery and Therapy (VASST lab)

This facility comprises a high performance computing facility optimized for simulation and visualization of procedures involved in image-guided surgery and therapy. It  houses a range of visualization, haptic and tracking systems as well as 2D and 3D
ultrasound equipment.