Labs and Facilities

Our industry research partners have access to a suite of state-of-the-art labs and facilities to support phase I-IV clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas. Designated research facilities are located at the U of C Foothills Campus and patient care facilities are available at affiliated Alberta Health Services hospitals including the Foothills Medical Centre, one of most sought-after research sites in Alberta.

Facility highlights include:

  • Dedicated inpatient and outpatient facilities
  • On-site research pharmacies with extensive investigational drug storage capabilities
  • State-of-the-art imaging centres
  • Biobanks covering a range of tissue types and indications
  • Genomic and precision medicine technologies
  • Dedicated beds within the Foothills Medical Centre for studies requiring overnight stays or ICU-level care
Labs and facilities

Labs and facilities

This list includes select facilities and labs able to support clinical trials. This is not an exhaustive listing of all facilities. For more information, please contact us. 

Child & Family Health Research Unit:

The Child & Family Health Research Unit, located on-site at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, examines the basis and treatment of pediatric developmental, behavioural and emotional problems.

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Clinical and Translational Exercise Physiology (CTEP) Lab:

CTEP is a state-of-the-art research facility that advances and translates knowledge on the role exercise plays in preventing and managing chronic disease. The lab focuses on conducting interdisciplinary research across four key pillars of health research—Biomedical, Clinical, Health Services and Population and Public Health—and translating that research into meaningful real-world applications. Staffed by qualified psychologists and psychometricians, the lab offers access to key equipment for trials involving an exercise intervention or requiring physiological outcome testing and monitoring at rest and during exercise. 

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Clinical Research Unit:

The Clinical Research Unit is a core research support centre offering services in the areas of data, technology and methodology. Services include Electronic Data Capture, Methods and Analytics and Custom Software support for clinical trials, including protocol development, research education, peer review, research data collection, data monitoring and adverse-event reporting, statistical support and publication support. 

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Core Pathology Lab:

Located in Health Research Innovation Centre, the Core Pathology Lab is a shared resource centre within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta used to manage and process human and animal tissue, cultured cells and artificial samples. Services are available to support a wide range of clinical trials requiring sample processing and analysis. 

Heritage Medical Research Clinic (HMRC):

The HMRC is a research clinic offering a unique blend of facilities and support services for researchers at the University of Calgary. Owned and managed by the university, it’s a 7,000-square-foot, professionally staffed clinic that supports and helps advance research in a variety of areas. The clinic offers comprehensive services, facilities and equipment to support clinical trials, including outpatient research facilities, nursing services, full laboratory and specimen processing services and an on-site research pharmacy. The clinic also coordinates use of two Intensive Care Unit beds within the Foothills hospital for trials requiring overnight stays.

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The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre:

The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre is one of four International Research Centres for the Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health supported by the International Olympic Committee. The centre focuses on reducing the risk of injury in sport and recreation, with particular emphasis on injury prevention for children and adolescents. World-class research into traumatic brain injuries related to sport, such as concussion, is conducted by researchers at this centre.

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Ward of the 21st Century (W21C):

A hub for novel research and approaches in hospital design, health-care delivery and medical technologies, W21C is a collaborative research and innovation initiative that brings together researchers and industry around new ideas, prototypes and products, supporting their testing in both pre-clinical and clinical environments. A partnership between the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, it’s designed to support and empower clinical trials through a combination of high-tech testing facilities and direct access to the patient care setting. In addition to research and simulation capabilities W21C also offers qualified research staff who are available for hire for industry partners and investigators seeking staffing support for their research studies.

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Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program/TMS Laboratory:

Staffed by a team of clinical and research experts, the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program (CPSP) supports children with stroke and their families through diagnosis, treatment, education and ongoing support. The CPSP includes the ACH Pediatric TMS Laboratory, the first facility of its kind in Canada. The TMS lab offers non-invasive imaging solutions to measure how a child’s brain recovers from injury, and potentially guide their development towards better functioning. 

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Centre for Mobility and Joint Health (MOJO):

Officially opened in 2016, the McCaig Institute’s MOJO facility enables and supports researchers in developing new technologies for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint conditions. Offering state-of-the-art imaging, motion assessment and diagnostic equipment—some of which is only available in a handful of other research sites worldwide—the facility uniquely empowers researchers to investigate bone and joint health on every level. 

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Child and Adolescent Imaging Research (CAIR) Program:

Founded in 2013, the CAIR program is a hub of technical expertise in developmental neuroimaging that supports research initiatives across the University of Calgary through interdisciplinary collaborations with numerous other departments—from Psychiatry and Psychology to Community Health Sciences and Education. Located at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the program brings together imaging scientists around a shared goal: understanding how the brain develops in children and where it’s vulnerable to developmental and psychiatric disorders. The program offers unique advantages to clinical trials involving children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders. Resources available include recruitment databases, state-of-the-art technology and staff with skills to analyze and translate imaging data into interventions that lead to measurable positive health outcomes.  

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CSM Experimental Imaging Centre:

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) Experimental Imaging Centre provides state-of-the-art imaging modalities to the research community and facilitates the translation of imaging technology into clinical settings. The current strength of the Experimental Imaging Centre is in high-field MRI and optical technologies — for use in animal and human studies.

The CSM also operates a specialized Magnetic Resonance scanner for pediatric research at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. This 3 Tesla scanner is one of the most advanced instruments available in Canada, providing non-invasive, radiation-free technology for pediatric research.

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Microscopy and Imaging Facility (MIF):

The MIF is a world-class facility dedicated to providing clinical researchers with access to high precision microscopy and imaging equipment. The facility offers conventional as well as advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of molecules, cells and tissues, as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), advanced light microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM)—including single-cell force spectroscopy (SCFS)—and advanced image processing for three-dimensional electron and light microscopy. Highly qualified staff provide equipment expertise and offer training and technical services for clinical trials. 

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NeuroImaging Research Unit:

Based at the Seaman Family Magnetic Resonance Research Centre, the NeuroImaging Research Unit is another brain and mental health research facility operated by the HBI. This research unit offers technical expertise and administrative assistance to researchers initiating and conducting high-magnetic-field human brain imaging research. Dedicated personnel facilitate neuroimaging research from initial experimental design to final dissemination of research findings. Based at the University’s Foothills campus, the NeuroImaging Research Unit also offers a satellite data analysis facility in the Department of Psychology on the main university campus.

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Non-invasive Neurostimulation Network (N3) Research Program:

The N3 Research Program focuses on the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to non-invasively stimulate small, targeted regions of the brain. Access to TMS technology enables researchers to safely explore the human brain to help foster a better understanding of a variety of brain disorders and modulate neural functioning towards better health outcomes. Through a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that encompasses a community of brain and mental health researchers from across the university, the N3 program provides access and comprehensive support that helps push the boundaries of clinical research in these areas.

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Seaman Family Magnetic Resonance (MR) Research Centre:

The Seaman Family MR Research Centre is a unique collaboration between a number of university, community and public partners that helps pave the way for novel MR research across a range of areas, including stroke, epilepsy, vascular and cardiovascular issues, multiple sclerosis and more. Through its commercial partnerships, the facility provides access to two dedicated MR research scanners (a 3 T Diagnostic MR Scanner and a 3 T Intra-operative Scanner), along with a vascular imaging laboratory, an imaging laboratory for functional recovery and an image analysis and archival facility. The facility is staffed by a highly qualified team that also provides equipment expertise, training and technical services for clinical trials.

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Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre:

The Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre is a world-class cardiovascular imaging facility able to support clinical trials across a range of cardiac conditions. Home to 2 dedicated MRI scanners (located at the Foothills Medical Centre and South Health Campus) the centre conducts over 4000 cardiac MRIs each year - more than any other site in North America. 

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The Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute Genomics Facility:

The Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute Genomics Facility provides next-generation DNA sequencing capabilities to University of Calgary researchers, including whole genome sequencing, whole human exome sequencing, amplicon sequencing and transcriptome and small RNA profiling.

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HBI Molecular Core Facility:

The HBI Molecular Core Facility, operated by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), is equipped with state-of-the-art molecular biology equipment and reagents. The facility enables DNA purification, gene cloning and protein analyses. 

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University Core DNA Services:

This service provides custom DNA and RNA synthesis and automated DNA sequencing and fragment analysis. 

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HBI Advanced Light and Optogenetics Facility:

The HBI Advanced Light and Optogenetics Facility houses equipment to support in vitro and in vivo optogenetics research, along with staff scientists to support brain and mental health studies.

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Kinetix Fitness and Wellness Centre:

Located within the Teaching, Research & Wellness Building on the Foothills Medical Centre site, the Kinetix Fitness and Wellness Centre is a 5,000-square-foot facility that provides a user-friendly exercise and testing environment for clinical trials that include exercise programs as part of their protocols. Kinetix allows industry-sponsors to take advantage of equipment designed to support a breadth of physiological and performance-related assessments. Highly qualified staff can offer consultations, equipment training and technical assistance for clinical trials conducted at the facility.

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Regeneration Unit in Neurobiology:

The Regeneration Unit in Neurobiology, located at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, is a specialized neuroscience research facility houses advanced microscopy, imaging and behavioural testing equipment. 

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The Alberta Children's Hospital (ACH) Biocore:

The BioCORE provides biobanking and bioanalysis support for researchers undertaking pediatric translational research projects at the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children's Hospital.

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The International Microbiome Centre

The International Microbiome Centre (IMC) BioBanking program in partnership with the Snyder Institute Resource Laboratories is a centralized core repository of samples from patients, animals, plants and the environment along with collections of microorganisms.

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Health Science Animal Resource Centre:

The Health Science Animal Resource Centre (HSARC) provides infrastructure and expertise in laboratory animal care and use for biomedical research. The facility and operations of the HSARC meet or exceed standards set by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The HSARC occupies a footprint totaling more than 4600 square metres.

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The Clara Christie Centre for Mouse Genomics:

The Clara Christie Centre for Mouse Genomics (CMG) incorporates all the necessary tools to create, analyze and cryopreserve transgenic mice. The development of genetically engineered mouse models using transgenic and embryonic stem cell technologies has been a cornerstone of key scientific discoveries for over 30 years, but available only to elite groups. Increasingly the techniques are becoming more broadly applicable and essential for routine inquiry. The CMG brings the construction and use of transgenic animals within the reach of all University of Calgary investigators. The CMG is comprised of three integrated components: Embryonic Stem Cell, Transgenic Mouse and a newly created Molecular Biology Core. These combined facilities provide an enhanced, comprehensive and coordinated means for investigators to effectively generate, study and archive genetically engineered mouse models.

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