Research Centers

Instrument with dials

The department is home to three research centers, the Center for Cell and Developmental Systems Biology, the Center for Structural Biology, and the NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology.  Additionally, the centrally funded Proteomics Center of Excellence (Northwestern Proteomics) is directed by Molecular Biosciences’s Neil Kelleher.  These centers promote unique opportunities for collaboration between laboratories with shared research interests and provide a forum for the sharing of ideas and resources.  

Research Center Highlights

Center for Cell and Developmental Systems Biology

To promote the sharing of research facilities and investigative initiatives, the Department of Molecular Biosciences and the Department of Neurobiology established the Center for Cell and Developmental Systems Biology. Scientists within the Center explore the pathways and mechanisms used by single cells to function and interact with their environments and investigate how cells develop and communicate to form entire organisms.

Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery

The Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery provides a collaborative research platform that brings together biologists and synthetic and medicinal chemists enabling the translation of basic scientific discoveries into new therapeutics.

CMIDD Mission: 

  • To catalyze and enhance research focused on chemical biology and drug discovery. 
  • To promote interdisciplinary activities and resources that increase understanding of physiological and pathophysiological processes relevant to therapeutic and diagnostic development. 
  • To provide educational opportunities for the University community in the area of drug discovery, integrative chemical biology, and related basic interdisciplinary research. 
  • To provide resources for active drug discovery. 

Center for Reproductive Science

The Center for Reproductive Science coordinates the research and training efforts of 41 faculty in 13 different departments, with the dual missions of enhancing research in reproductive biology and its applications to human welfare, and of optimizing the training of future research scientists in reproductive biology.

Center for Structural Biology

The Center for Structural Biology combines research laboratories and facilities in structural biology to maximize the efficient use of major equipment items such as

•  600 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility

•  X-ray generators and detectors.

A key strength of the Center is its proximity to the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory. Northwestern University operates two beamlines at this synchrotron, which provides Molecular Biosciences structural biologists with direct access to one of the most powerful X-ray sources in the world. 

NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology

The NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology teams biologists addressing important unanswered questions about development with mathematical scientists from across Northwestern’s Evanston campus to empower levels of analysis not previously possible. By developing dynamic measurements of high dimensional phenomena using imaging and sequencing and other technologies, center investigators will make important new discoveries about the emergent properties of growth and development.

In addition, our goal is to stimulate life and mathematical scientists from around the United States and overseas to apply mathematical inquiry to the study of growth and development. This involves interdisciplinary training of the next generation of scientists, providing research and training opportunities for established scientists eager to enrich their research programs, and fostering new collaborations across traditional disciplines.

Chemistry of Life Processes Institute

Chemistry of Life Processes Institute

Research At Northwestern

For a complete list of research centers and facilities, please visit Northwestern University's Office of Research page.