The following Core facilities are available at the Forsyth Institute, 245 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02142, for use by researchers from any scientific field or industry:

Animal Facility
Bioinformatics Core
Flow Cytometry Core
Histology Core
Imaging Core
Mass Spectrometry Core (see below)
MicroCT Core
Multiplex Core
Oral Microbiome Core

Please reach out to individual cores using the contact information provided below, or request more information from Danielle Stephens, Director and Business Manager of Forsyth Cores at dstephens@forsyth.org. All cores operate on a fee-for-service model and can provide quotes for your project needs. Forsyth has a longstanding experience in oral health research; however, our Cores are experienced in handling sample types from all research areas and can customize our services to fit your project needs.


Animal Facility

The animal care program at Forsyth exists to support the research endeavors designed to promote the Forsyth mission. The Forsyth animal facility can house mice and rats, and other small species upon request, and including under germ-free conditions (mice only).

Services offered: Housing and care of mice and rats. Forsyth personnel provide full husbandry services including cage caging and washing, feeding, watering and daily care related to husbandry. Health surveillance and diagnostic services. Other items provided include  PPE, drugs, and basic lab equipment including biosafety cabinets, isoflurane units, euthanasia chambers, microscopes, weighing scales and other equipment items that are needed routinely.

Available facilities/equipment includes: shared rodent holding rooms (5 regular holding rooms and 1 quarantine room), shared 3 procedure rooms (surgery room, necropsy room, microscope room); surgical microscope, germ- free facility, and IVIS and CellVizio imaging units.

All animals are maintained under SPF conditions, with a sentinel program in place for mouse housing. The facility has been fully accredited by AAALAC since 1977, is registered with USDA and maintains an assurance with PHS. The facility complies with all USDA, OLAW, and City of Cambridge requirements. The animal program is overseen by the Forsyth institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC), which performs protocol approval and program oversight for both internal and external projects. The IACUC meets six times per year.

Contact the Animal Facility: iacuc@forsyth.org

IACUC Policies


Bioinformatics Core

The Forsyth Bioinformatics Core specializes in oral microbial genomics, taxonomy, phylogenetics and the next generation sequence (NGS) data analysis with both in-house and cloud high-performance computational resource. In addition to supporting funded bioinformatics projects, the Bioinformatics Core will also provide computational support to Forsyth and other researchers for processing, analyzing, and interpreting biological data.

Contact the Bioinformatics Core: Dr. George Chen, tchen@forsyth.org


Flow Cytometry Core

The Forsyth Flow Cytometry Core offers consulting and support services for the detection of up to 14 different fluorescent parameters simultaneously, RBC contaminated samples, and high-throughput analysis using 96 or 384-well plates. The cell sorter allows for collecting cells/particulates of interest, after-screening for positively selected markers, downstream applications, and is capable of sorting four separate cell populations simultaneously.

Available equipment includes: Invitrogen™ Attune™ NxT flow cytometer features acoustic-assisted hydrodynamic focusing, which allows for sample-throughput rates up to 10 times faster than traditional cytometers. Using violet side scatter detectors it is possible to run no-wash, no-lyse protocols with RBC contaminated samples. There is also the added capability of using the 96 and 384 well plate autosampler for high throughput analysis. Our current filter setup allows for analyzing up to 14 separate colors/cell markers from a single sample. BD FACSAria™ II cell sorter, with temperature control, aerosol management, and multiple tube holders are available.  Our current filter setup allows for analyzing up to 13 separate colors/cell markers from a single sample.

Contact the Flow Cytometry Core: flowcytometry@forsyth.org  


Histology Core

The Histology Core offers consulting and support services for both soft tissue and precise hard tissue analysis. Services include tissue processing, embedding, sectioning, staining, and guidance on protocols. The core can embed samples in standard molds or custom molds in paraffin, resin, or as frozen tissue for routine histology. This core can also provide special stains and immunohistological studies performed either by the investigator or core staff.

Available equipment includes: one Microm HM 315 microtome and three American Optical Spencer 820 microtomes, ThermoScientific Cryotome FSE, embedding station, staining station, Zeiss Stemi SV11 Stereo microscope, and Nikon SMZ1500, Leica DMRE, Leica DMLS, and Leica DMR fluorescence microscopes, and necessary consumables and reagents needed for the above techniques.

Contact the Histology Core: Eva Csizmadia, histology@forsyth.org

Pricing can be found here:


Imaging Core

The Imaging Core currently manages three light microscopes and one image analysis workstation for use by researchers. We maintain the microscopes as well as train and assist users with sample prep, imaging, and image analysis. This core facility provides consulting and support services associated with imaging and analysis of many sample types and accommodates for a variety of imaging techniques including CLARITY, Fast Airy Scan, and spectral imaging as well as time lapse and live cell imaging

Available equipment includes: Zeiss Axio Observer Inverted Microscope, Zeiss LSM 780 Confocal Inverted Microscope, Zeiss LSM 880 Confocal Upright Microscope, Pecon Heating insert P LabTek S1 Stagetop incubation system, and Software including: Imaris, CellProfiler, FIJI, MATLAB (Confocal Standard Package, XT – Programming Interface, Image Processing Toolbox, Signal Processing Toolbox, Parallel Computing Toolbox, Statistics Toolbox, Computer Vision Toolbox).

Contact the Imaging Core: Jennifer Gundrum, jgundrum@forsyth.org


Mass Spectrometry Core

The Forsyth Center for Salivary Diagnostics – Mass Spectrometry Core was funded by the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC) as a collaborative infrastructure for both internal and external academic and commercial researchers. This core facility is currently inactive, however, please reach out to Dr. Markus Hardt to discuss any needs.

We offer custom services in mass spectrometry. The Core houses state-of-the-art instrumentation- five mass spectrometers and associated liquid chromatography instruments – and brings together expertise in proteomics, peptidomics, metabolomics and metabololipidomics analyses.

Contact the Mass Spectrometry Core: Dr. Markus Hardt, mhardt@forsyth.org


MicroCT Core

The Forsyth Micro Computed Tomography (μCT) Core offers micro 3D X-ray imaging of small samples in high resolution and will provide images and quantitative analyses of internal structures of ex vivo samples without any destructive procedures. The Scanco μCT40 system allows for visualization, measurement, and quantification of the structure of mineralized specimens. Contrast reagents permit visualization of soft tissue structures such as blood vessels. This system creates a three-dimensional model from a stack of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. The high-resolution scanner can capture detail at a resolution of 6 to 32 microns. The non-destructive nature of this technology allows investigators to carry out complementary analyses of the same sample. There are two dedicated workstations for analyzing microCT data, the SCANCO analysis software or the Amira software package with XImagePAQ extension.


Multiplex Core

The Forsyth Multiplex Core provides researchers access to multiplex analysis of any sample type using commercially available or in-house developed assays. This includes simultaneous measurement of multiple biomarkers in a single small sample volume. Multiplex technologies provide researchers with an economical and efficient approach to biomarker detection, saving time, funds, and precious sample volume. Our goal is to offer this service to researchers, globally, providing them with the expertise in sample preparation and handling and knowledge that comes with our extensive experience.

Available equipment includes: Luminex™ 200 and FlexMap 3D™ systems, BioRad magnetic plate washing station, ThermoFisher KingFisher Flex magnetic automated extraction instrument for “sequential Luminex analysis”.

Contact the Multiplex Core: Michele Patel, multiplex@forsyth.org


Oral Microbiome Core

Forsyth is now offering Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and comprehensive data analyses and interpretation for 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequences and other big data sequence applications through the new Forsyth Oral Microbiome Core (FOMC).

Analyses of previously obtained sequences are also offered. Many investigators are familiar with the Human Oral Microbe Identification using Next Generation Sequencing (HOMINGS) as well as its predecessor the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray (HOMIM) for rapid 16S rDNA analyses of oral clinical samples. We continue in that tradition using state-of-the-art bioinformatic methodology, which will provide the best possible taxa identification.

Dr. Bruce Paster (bpaster@forsyth.org), an internationally known oral microbiome researcher, is the director of FOMC and Dr. George Chen (tchen@forsyth.org), director of Forsyth Bioinformatics Core, is a well-known bioinformatic specialist in oral microbiome research. The primary focus of the FOMC involves the microbial analysis of samples derived from the human oral cavity, however analyses of samples from all human, animal, and environmental sites are also available. Visit the FOMC website to learn more.