Infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2

HTRL COVID-19 Core Facility

The Howard T. Ricketts Laboratory (HTRL) is a regional biocontainment laboratory with several designated biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories, which are required for biodefense-related and emerging infectious disease research.

The HTRL is on the campus of Argonne National Laboratory and is managed by the University of Chicago and BSD under the leadership of Dominique Missiakas, Professor of Microbiology.

At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we decided to start a fee-for-service core facility at HTRL dedicated to SARS-CoV2 research projects requiring BSL-3 level containment. Glenn Randall, Professor of Microbiology, is leading this new core facility together with Dr. Missiakas. The core will operate via HTRL staff members performing fee-for-service assays (including several viral replication and neutralizing antibody assays) and small animal studies.

Our Specialties

Our most requested assays are listed below. If you have a project that you would like to submit to this core, please contact Andrea DeRosier ( for more information on the prioritization and approval process.

Animal Model Infections

  • Drug testing
  • Vaccination studies
  • Blood/organ collection

Viral Assays

  • Cytopathic Effect assay
  • Plaque assay
  • TCDi50 assay
  • Neutralizing antibody assay
  • Spike IHC screening

    Molecular Services

    • RNA extraction
    • First-strand cDNA synthesis
    • Quantitative RT-PCR

    For in vitro experiments, send the following form to Vlad Nicolaescu (


    COVID-19 Core Services 


    UChicago Users

    External Users

    TCID 50 96 Well Plate $162 $162
    Cytopathic Effect 96 Well Plate $875 $875
    Spike IHC Screening 96 Well Plate $586 $586
    Plaque Assay 24 Well Plate $625 $625
    Quantitative RT-PCR $500 $500
    Neutralizing Antibodies 96 Well Plate $208 $208
    Animal Purchase $73.89/mouse $73.89/mouse
    Mouse Per Diem $1.59 Per Item $7.29 Per Item
    Supplies Varies Varies
    Technician Time $57 $57