The EMBL model for Core Facilities has developed a first-rate reputation in the European life sciences community. The Core Facilities contribute significantly to internal and external training courses and workshops, often in collaboration with industrial partners. Moreover, institutions in member states frequently seek our advice and guidance in setting up their own core facilities and services to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their scientific research.

EMBL’s Core Facilities play a crucial role in enabling scientists to achieve ambitious research goals in a cost effective way. Following the establishment of a small set of facilities in 2001, the support of EMBL Council has enabled significant expansion, with the development of a number of high-level support teams that help focus diverse sets of expertise and multiple cutting edge technologies on specific biological problems. Currently, facilities cover the following areas:

Advanced Light Microscopy

Chemical Biology

Electron Microscopy

Flow Cytometry



Protein Expression and Purification


In line with EMBL’s mission to provide services to Member States, Core Facilities are open to both internal and external scientists, who benefit significantly from our contributions and advice and are able to conduct research at and beyond normal state-of-the-art.

Core Facilities are staffed by technology experts who focus entirely on service provision, delivering technologies to be used in research projects designed and run by others. Each is run by a Head of Facility who is responsible for daily operations and ensuring high user satisfaction. Close attention is given to the delivery of quality services, fast reaction times to user demands, affordable prices and the complete integration of Core Facilities with the scientific objectives of EMBL.

Such attributes are enhanced by a user committee (internal), which consists of representatives of EMBL’s research units. The committee helps to ensure that support activities are tailored to the demands of the research community, supports the introduction of new services, helps to define future strategies and provides valuable feedback on current operations.

Rainer Pepperkok
Director of Scientific Core Facilities and Scientific Services