Advanced laboratories and facilities are essential for the college's pioneering research programs. Explore the college's core facilities and field research stations below. Click here for a full list of our research Centers & Institutes.


Core Facilities

Chemistry Facilities

Biomedical research facilities

There are a number of facilities that support cellular and molecular biology research and computational biology at The University of Texas at Austin. The facilities offer a full range of services in nucleic acid and protein sequencing, peptide synthesis, mass spectrometry, protein purification and analysis, DNA microarrays, x-ray chrystallography, and transgenic - knockout mice. These facilities include:

Imaging Research

The Imaging Research Center is home to a high-field (3 Tesla) MRIt, an image analysis computer suite, test rooms, fully outfitted electronics & machine shops, offices, and a conference/classroom area.

Nanotechnology Core Facilities

The Texas Materials Institute is the new home for what was previously the Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology facilities include scanning probe microscopy, nano device fabrication and testing, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy.

  • Nano Fabrication and Characterization Facility
  • Microelectronic Research Facility
  • X-ray Analysis Facility
  • Surface Analysis Facility
  • Electron and Scanning Probe Microscopy
  • Polymer Characterization Facility
  • Cryo-EM

Machine, Cryogenics and Electronics Shops

The Department of Physics provides a number of facilities and services for use by faculty, staff, and students within the Department. Many facilities are also available for use by other university-affiliated faculty, students and staff.

Plant Resources Center

The Plant Resources Center (TEX-LL) with over 1,000,000 specimens is the largest herbarium in the southwestern United States and ranks fifth among U.S. university herbaria and twelfth across the nation. TEX-LL, with about a quarter of its specimens from Texas, has the largest holdings of Texas plants in the world. Nearly one half of the specimens at TEX-LL are from Latin America, with an especially strong representation of Mexico and northern Central America. Presently the number of vascular plant collections inserted in the herbarium is growing at an approximate rate of 16,400 specimens per year.


The college is currently home to the highest power laser in the world, the Texas Petawatt Laser, which, when turned on, has the power output of more than 2,000 times the output of all power plants in the United States. (A petawatt is one quadrillion watts.) The laser is brighter than sunlight on the surface of the sun, but it only lasts for an instant, a 10th of a trillionth of a second (0.0000000000001 second).

UTEX Culture Collection of Algae

The Culture Collection includes approximately 3,000 different strains of living algae, representing most major algal taxa. The primary function of UTEX is to provide algal cultures at modest cost to a user community. Cultures in the Collection are used for research, teaching, biotechnology development, and various other projects throughout the world. 

Research Stations

Biodiversity center field stations

Brackenridge Field Laboratory

In the heart of Central Austin along the Colorado River, the 90-acre Brackenridge Field Lab provides easy access to natural experimental space for college biologists and ecologists and their students. The lab includes several ecosystems representative of Central Texas and state-of-the-art greenhouses.

Stengl "Lost Pines" Biological Station

Only 40 minutes east of Austin, the 208-acre Stengl "Lost Pines" Biological Station sits within the unique "Lost Pines" ecosystem near Smithville, Texas. The "Lost Pines" are a geographic outlier of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) more than 120 miles west of the current limits of the species.

Marine Science Institute 

This Marine Science Institute, perched on the shores of a Gulf Coast barrier island in Port Aransas, Texas, hosts the Department of Marine Biology. The department has full access to many unique marine ecosystems around the Gulf of Mexico and manages the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses 185,000 acres of coastal ecosystem.

McDonald Observatory 

The McDonald Observatory is one of the world's leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. Observatory facilities are located atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States. Home to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, Star Parties and StarDate radio.