Core Facilities

Members of the Harvard neuroscience community are invited and encouraged to use our core facilities. These core facilities provide researchers with unique, state-of-the-art equipment. The cores are dynamic: they have evolved as new tools and techniques have become available for general use. They are also places to explore new technologies and invent new devices.

Any investigators who feel their access to the cores is being unfairly limited are requested to email


Technological advances hold a key to greater understanding of the structure and function of complex neural circuits.  Neuroengineering is a core facility that provides customized engineering solutions to neuroscience problems faced by our members. Assistance with experimental design, electronics, machining, and software development, are all services provided.


The Neuroimaging facility has a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner for non-invasive human brain imaging. Our aim is to:

  • Provide functional and anatomic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scientists studying human cognition, brain development and aging, and individual differences
  • Provide training for undergraduate and graduate students destined to become the next generation of neuroscientists
  • Pioneer innovative ways of imaging the human brain and is a first adopter of new neuroimaging technology, tools and applications
  • Develop and make available the data processing and visualization tools demanded by advancing neuroimaging technologies.

Light Microscopy       

CBS hosts an optical imaging facility that houses advanced devices for widespread use by neuroscientists and is developing the next generation of optical techniques. The optical imaging is intended to be an extension of individual labs, housed in shared space. By pooling equipment, highly skilled technical management of the tools is available, allowing for routine technological upgrades, quicker troubleshooting, and expert advice. In addition, the joint space leads to camaraderie amongst users and allows new technical advances in one lab to spread rapidly to other labs. This core facility also frees up space in individual labs that can be used in other ways. Finally, the shared equipment lowers barriers to the adoption of the latest technology.

This core facility provides:

  • Laser scanning microscopes with motorized stages for high throughput reconstructions of the nervous system
  • A histology suite for brain sectioning and tissue preparation
  • Stereo fluorescence microscopes
  • The newest tools for high-resolution optical microscopy
  • Ultra-fast optical scanning microscopes

Electron Microscopy

CBS houses a core facility with several scanning electron microscopes. The SEMs are part of ongoing research that is in transition to a three-dimensional electron microscopy facility, to image neural circuits with the highest possible resolution.

Mouse Genome Modification

CBS is committed to providing access to the most widely used strains of genetically modified mice to our community, by maintaining local breeding colonies. We also help support Harvard's Genome Modification Facility.