Argonne National Laboratory


Argonne’s Biosciences Division supports the research work being done at the following facilities:

Structural Biology Center

The Structural Biology Center (SBC) is a national user facility for macromolecular crystallography at the Advanced Photon Source. The facility uses advanced instrumentation, state-of-the-art software, and methods and high throughput technologies. SBC addresses the most challenging projects in structural biology that include large macromolecular assemblies (ribosomes, viruses, regulatory protein/DNA complexes) and membrane-bound and membrane-associated proteins (ion channels, receptors, integrins).


At the MRCAT/EnviroCAT Insertion Device beamline located at the Advanced Photon Source, emphasis is focused on XAS-based studies. Currently, it is the only ID beamline in the United States dedicated to XAS measurements. A 13-element solid-state Ge detector and 4-element Si drift detector enable detection of XRF radiation during experiments on dilute environmental samples. Researchers have also redesigned the Kirkpatrick-Baez mirror setup to provide x‑ray microbeams as small as 1 µm for XRF elemental mapping and mXAFS and mXRD studies. 

Environmental Sample Preparation & Sequencing Facility

The ESPSF at Argonne is a state-of-the-art facility for nucleic acid extraction, library preparation, and ultra-high throughput sequencing. The facility was originally established in 2007 at Argonne and is housed in Argonne’s Computing, Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) directorate, providing world-class computation power, software, and expertise critical to the acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the unprecedented volume of genetic information being generated on next generation DNA sequencing platforms.

The Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF)

The Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF) utilizes high-throughput automated methods for bioinformatics, proteomics, molecular and structural biology. The APCF has expanded the capability to clone genes, express, produce and crystallize and fully characterize proteins and other macromolecules. Crystals are grown at nanoliter scale from hundreds of conditions and are delivered to beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) where data are collected and three-dimensional structures are often determined in near real time.