The Chemistry of Life Processes Institute provides an ecosystem that fosters convergence of basic and translational research and training across scientific disciplines. The Institute’s cutting-edge core facilities, pilot project program supporting early stage, high-risk high-reward team science, and administrative support for team science program development and grant applications, accelerate the pace of discovery and lower the barriers to collaboration.

Centers of Excellence

The Institute’s vision for 21st century science emerges from complementary strengths in drug discovery and development, preclinical imaging, proteomics, cell free synthesis, physiochemical analysis, and nanoscale imaging. The next waves of technology for early detection and treatment of a broad array of diseases will arise from this multi-pronged attack.

Cornew Innovation Fund

The Cornew Innovation Fund annually awards pilot project funding ($35,000 – $50,000) to 2-3 interdisciplinary teams to support new high-risk, high-reward biomedical research projects. This funding has opened up critical areas of transdisciplinary research, resulting in discoveries that impact human health and disease such as the development of a new class of therapeutics for treating Alzheimer’s disease, new surgical glues, and surprising new insights into the earliest stages of fertilization and embryonic development.

Core Facilities: Instruments and Services

The Institute manages eight shared research facilities. These facilities represent a $25M investment in high‐end instrumentation and expertise and provide 50 new services that enable investigators to identify, design and refine potential new therapeutics and diagnostics and to visualize their activity in living cells and tissues. The cores’ PhD level personnel develop powerful new tools and methods to support new basic and translational research at Northwestern and across the Midwest.

Biological Imaging Facility

Photonic and electron instruments, allowing researchers to capture high-quality images and videos of their specimens.

Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging

Imaging resources span length scales of molecules to whole animals. Instruments include MRI, IVIS Spectrum, SPECT, and PET. A 3D tiled-panel-display supports image analysis and processing.


Medicinal and synthetic chemistry, molecular modeling and compound purification services.

Developmental Therapeutic Core

Operational laboratory that supports translational projects and exploratory drug development work.

High Throughput Analysis Laboratory

Instrumentation and expertise for the development and execution of high throughput biological analysis and screening.

Proteomics Core

Instrumentation and expertise to analyze proteins using mass spectrometry. Specializing in intact protein analysis.

Quantitative Bio-element Imaging Center

Quantitation and localization of bioelements using ICP mass spec, customized Hitachi HD2300 STEM for cryo-bio EM, and atomic absorption mass spectometry.

Recombinant Protein Production Core

Expression and purification of recombinant or synthetic biologics and cultivation of microbial, insect, and mammalian cells.