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STOP BY: The BioMicro Center is located at 68-322 on the MIT campus.
EMAIL: The BioMicro staff can be emailed at
PHONE: The main lab number is 617-715-4533
Our director, Stuart Levine, can be reached at 617-452-2949.



The BioMicro Center is NOT an MIT institutional core, but a departmental resource. Departments that fund the operation of the BioMicro Center are given priority for all resources within the Center. Several labs that have provided major equipment donations to the BioMicro Center are also considered to be CORE. The BioMicro Center is funded by:

  • The Department of Biology
  • The Department of BioEngineering
  • The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
  • MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences


Services available in the BioMicro Center are offered either as assisted or as walk-up. Walk-up Services are those where the Center provides training and maintenance of equipment and may also provide some consumables. Scheduling for Walk-up services is available through the calendar functions on ilabs and are almost exclusively limited to MIT users except in rare cases. Non-MIT users should contact to schedule walk-up equipment.

Assisted services are those where samples are delivered to the BioMicro Center and are analyzed by Center staff. These are set up using the FORMS on this site or the "Request Services" tab in ilabs. Assisted services cannot typically be "scheduled" with rare exceptions.


Standard library preparation is designed to maximize successful production of libraries and is used for routine work and should also be used for precious samples. Standard library preparation includes initial sample quality control as well as at least one repeat for each library preparation if required. Standard library preparation is charged on a per sample basis. Standard libraries may be prepared by hand or using automation depending on throughput of the core.

High Throughput library (HTL) preparation is designed to minimize cost and has many differences from standard library preparation as a result. HTLs do NOT include initial sample quality control nor repeats of failures of individual samples. As such, we discourage its use for precious samples or experiments with limited replicates. Some methods, such as HT3DGE, can never recover failed samples, while others can be reproduced by hand, though that does create a technical variable. HTLs are almost always produced using liquid handlers, often using miniaturization, and require submission of the samples in specific formats (noted on each library prep type). HTLs are spot checked for quality after library production. Full quality control before and after experiments as well as sample arraying and sample cleaning is available at an additional charge.


The BioMicro Center uses ilabs for all internal submissions and for scheduling. All users must use ilabs IF:

  • They are from MIT (including Whitehead Institute or Broad Institute with MIT appointments)
  • They are using an MIT cost object to pay for the services

Users not from MIT should never use ilabs for submission to the BioMicro Center
Users from labs new to MIT may have a brief grace period to not use ilabs while their labs are set up
Users paying with POs may either use paper forms or ilabs but MUST bring the PO number with submission. We will use ilabs to import the project into our LIMS and close the project on ilabs without billing it.


IMPORTANT: The BioMicro Center prioritizes timely delivery of genomic data. As such, WE DO NOT HOLD PROJECTS WAITING FOR FINANCIAL APPROVAL!. If a project is not rejected by the submitting lab in a timely manner, we will proceed with the project and recharge normally.


The BioMicro Center does not control which cost objects are available to you for your project. If no cost object is available, you will NOT be able to submit via ilabs. Cost objects are assigned to you in ilabs by your PI or a designated administrator. Having permission to spend on a cost object through MIT is NOT automatically passed to ilabs and ilabs must be set up separately.


You will be notified by email that your data is ready. The data will be placed on one of our servers for you the download. All data is retained for 90 days. BAM files are kept for 2 years. We STRONGLY encourage you to keep a local copy of your data as soon as possible. Contact Stephen Goldman ( if you have any issues.


  • samples can be directly copied from our share --/rowley/ifs/data/bmc/Public/[LAB]/[PROJECT]
  • Please ensure you are running cp from a NODE of Luria or Rous.


Non-MIT users should use a SSH/SFTP client to connect to with credentials emailed to you.

Macintosh Application
  • Samples can be copied from our servers using scp and the credentials provided.

Please contact Stephen Goldman if you have difficulty obtaining your data.

Read archival

Users are strongly encouraged to retain a local copy of their data as early as possible after sequencing result delivery. After 3 months, fastq files will be deleted from the server to save storage space and only bam files will remain, containing reads aligned either to the genome mentioned in the sample submission form or phiX (a phage genome). Fastq files can be regenerated from the bam files (samtools sort -n to sort bam files by read names, and converted back to fastq files using bedtools bamToFastq).


To upload your data, you can access our file server named via the webdav protocol. Desktop computers running Windows and Mac can access via webdav without third-party software.

Access server from a Windows machine

General connection instructions for Windows 7 and later

  • In File Explorer or Windows Explore, open the Computer window by clicking Start -> Computer.
  • Click "Map network drive" on the toolbar to open a dialog box.
  • Choose a drive letter not being used for the network folder in the Drive drop-down list.
  • In the Folder box, enter the network share pathname, e.g.

Notes: the above URL actually does not exist. You must replace "share" with a specific share name assigned for your lab.
Windows fair connect.png

  • Check the "Connect using different credentials" box. Click Finish.
  • In the Enter Network Password dialog, enter your assigned username and password.
  • Click OK to connect.

Please contact if you don't know your share name, username and password. After you are connected, you should be able to drag and drop files to as a network drive to upload and download files.

Access server from a Mac OS X machine

  • Click on Finder to get a new Finder window.
  • Click on the Go menu on the top of the screen.
  • Choose Connect to Server under the Go menu.
  • Type a URL in the Server Address field like this:

Notes: the above URL actually does not exist. You must replace "share" with a specific share name assigned for your lab.

Mac fair connect.png

You will be then be prompted for a username and password. Please contact if you don't know your share name, username and password. After you are connected, you should be able to drag and drop files to as a network drive to upload and download files.


Do you take samples from outside MIT?

The BioMicro Center is built to serve the MIT community. As such, members of the MIT community have priority on all of our services. However, if we have extra capacity, we are happy to make it available to scientists not affiliated with MIT, with the caveats that MIT samples *always* have priority and that access is finite. The BioMicro Center retains the right to refuse any sample.

How can we ship samples to you?

Please email to arrange a drop off date and time. DNA samples should be shipped at 4C and RNA samples should be shipped on dry ice.Samples should be submitted with a completed order form and shipped by overnight delivery to:

 MIT BioMicro Center
 31 Ames Street, Building 68-322
 Cambridge, MA 02139

An electronic copy of the full PO should be emailed to

The pricing form says "NA". What does that mean?

Some of our services are specifically restricted to the MIT community and we cannot offer them to outside users. Others are restricted to academic labs. Please email us at if you have any questions.

What is your billing address?

Payments should be made to our finance office at:

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Biology Finance Office, Attn: Alison Salie
 77 Massachusetts Avenue, 68-157
 Cambridge, MA 02139