In recent years the use of recombinant proteins in scientific research has increased greatly, as has the wealth of techniques and products used for their amplification and purification. In the frame of the Core Facilities, EMBL provides a specialised facility (Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility) to help researchers to successfully produce their recombinant proteins and to offer technical assistance and training.

Our main tasks are:

1. Providing materials and know-how:

  • Providing information on our web site describing the process of cloning, protein expression, purification and characterisation.
  • Assisting in the biophysical analysis of the proteins.
  • Establishing and maintaining collections of expression vectors and host cells for prokaryotic as well as eukaryotic expression systems.
  • Providing vectors, host strains (cells), and proteins (such as proteases and polymerases).
  • Developing and testing new vectors and protocols for the expression systems we support.
  • Providing information and assistance.

2. Producing and purifying proteins for the research groups.

3. Running and maintaining equipment for cultivation of bacteria, insect and mammalian cells, and for protein purification and characterisation.

4. Keeping track of the latest development in protein expression and purification and to try out new products and systems.

Our workflow for protein expression projects is illustrated in the following scheme. The cloning of the constructs is performed by the users, ideally after contacting us to discuss construct design and select the strategy for the project. Please note that you are free to enter or leave the process at any step, e.g. you can get cell pellets for your own purification experiments, we could use your virus for infecting insect cells, etc. We would, however, recommend contacting us as early in the process of planning your experiments as possible, which could help avoiding selecting wrong or less useful constructs, growth conditions, etc. for your planned downstream application.


If you have any questions or comments on the content of our web site please feel free to contact us by email (

For vectors generated and published by EMBL co-workers, e.g. M-series vectors, we need to ask you to fill out and send us three copies of our Material Transfer Agreement signed by both the recipient scientist and an official representative of his/her institution. Please note that we can only provide vectors that were created or modified by EMBL researchers. We can't send commercial vectors to external visitors of our website who are not associated with the EMBL. For commercial vectors, please contact the company that is indicated in our vector tables

For a list of our services and charges, please visit our internal homepage. (only for internal users)