Research facilities

Our research facilities are located in newly refurbished laboratory space in Firth Court which is situated at the heart of the University of Sheffield.

We benefit from close ties with the Centre for Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) and the Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics (CMIAD). State-of-the-art imaging facilities are provided through the Light Microscopy Facility (LMF) and IMAGINE.  Members of the centre work closely with other Centres across two Faculties, CSCB, CMIAD, The Florey Institute and SITraN.

In addition to the facilities offered within The Bateson Centre, we can also arrange collaborative services with the Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility (SRSF). The SRFS provides significant infrastructure and expertise to facilitate small molecule and genome-wide RNAi based screens using Drosophila cell lines.

In addition to the newly refurbished laboratory space, The Bateson Centre has the following facilities:

Zebrafish Facility

ZF Screening FacilityZebrafish – a small tropical fish from the minnow family – are one of the main non-mammalian vertebrate species used by researchers to model human disease processes. Our zebrafish aquarium is one the largest in Europe, with a capacity for 108,000 fish. The facility is run by a dedicated team who oversee the breeding programmes and ensure that the highest standards of animal husbandary are maintained. In addition to the aquariaum itself, associated infrastructure within The Bateson Centre includes quarantine systems, microinjection stations, real-time microscopy and the Small Molecule Screening Unit.

For help or advice on this facility, please contact Claire Allen (

Zebrafish Facility

Drosophila Facility

Drosophila FacilityThe fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a powerful tool to study molecular mechanisms underlying human diseases and to support drug discovery. The Drosophila facility has:

  • temperature control rooms for Drosophila culture
  • a temperature controlled main laboratory with work-stations for anaesthetising and sorting flies
  • a media preparation room for large-scale production of culture media

Dedicated technical support is provided for media preparation and long-term maintenance of Drosophila stocks. Associated infrastructure includes the Sheffield RNAi Screening Facility.

For help, advice or further information please contact Katherine Whitley (

Fly Facility

Sheffield Zebrafish Screening Facility

Sheffield Zebrafish Screening FacilityThe Sheffield Zebrafish Screening Facility provides a dedicated facility for whole-organism (zebrafish) in vivo screens for researchers that are studying a range of developmental and disease mechanisms.  The facility may also be used to identify new potential therapeutic small molecules or test drug toxicities. It supports innovative collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.

Zebrafish have many advantages for these screens. These  are small in size and easy to maintain and breed. Their embryos and larvae are permeable to compounds and their organ systems are very similar to those of humans. They are also transparent, thereby providing a means to visualise obvious toxic side effects at an early stage.

In addition, we have a number of unique zebrafish lines available that can be used to analyse the effect on specific organ systems, tissues or immune cells in an intact, living animal in real-time. These tools enable us to rapidly screen the effects of hundreds of small molecule compounds. Something that is impossible in any other vertebrate organism. Recent examples of successful screens can be read about here and here.

BMPre-13mergeWe offer a range of assays, including enzymatic and fluorescent assays, using medium-throughput platforms. The following assays have already been developed to monitor:

  • angiogenesis
  • bone thickness
  • hypoxia signalling
  • gene expression by in situ analysis
  • microbial challenge
  • neutrophil and macrophage tracking
  • wound healing

Further assays can be undertaken to survey for toxicological effects of compounds or customised assays can be established.

For help, advice or further information, please contact Sarah Baxendale (