Research Technologies Branch

James M. Cherry, Ph.D., Chief

The Research Technologies Branch (RTB) allows investigators in the Division of Intramural Research access to state-of-the-art research technologies. During the past 30 years, the advent of the biotechnology industry and the development of new scientific disciplines have resulted in an explosion of new technologies. In addition, advances in optics, lasers, and computer technology have revolutionized well-established disciplines such as microscopy (both light and electron), flow cytometry, and genomics. These technologies require very expensive instrumentation and, even more important, highly trained and specialized scientists to adapt these new technologies to the research needs of the Institute’s diverse research agenda. The branch develops cutting-edge research technologies and project-specific applications for the NIAID intramural research program through a network of facilities located in Bethesda and Rockville, Maryland, as well as Hamilton, Montana. Scientists in RTB also provide expert training and consultation in experimental design, laboratory protocols, and analysis of results.

View all Division of Intramural Research laboratories

Research Objectives

  • Develop project-specific applications using state-of-the-art technologies.
  • Provide technology consultation.
  • Offer formal and informal training, support, and troubleshooting.
  • Evaluate new technology and applications.
  • Support investigators’ bioinformatics needs.


The Research Technologies Branch includes the following principal investigators:


Areas of Expertise

  • Light microscopy (confocal, multiphoton, colocalization, TIRF, FRET, high-resolution 3D imaging, laser microcapture, correlative techniques, and post-collection imaging processing)
  • Electron microscopy (high-resolution scanning and transmission, cryoimmobilization/viewing, and immunolocalization of selected antigens)
  • Flow cytometry (up to 13-color sorting, up to 14-color analysis, BSL-3 sorting and analysis, multispectral imaging cytometry, and multiplex bead array assays)
  • Custom antibodies (hybridoma expansion, purification, and labeling)
  • Protein chemistry (protein sequencing, mass spectrometry, protein identification, protein separation, and assay development)
  • Genomics (Illumina next generation DNA and RNA sequencing; Pacific Biosciences long-read sequencing; Sanger/Capillary sequencing; and qPCR)
  • Bioinformatics and biostatistics (experiment design, data management, statistical analysis, exploratory analysis, data mining, and database integration)
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