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Facility at the Natural History Building

The LAB is the biotechnology core of the NMNH molecular research programs.

Mission: To enable biodiversity discovery and documentation using modern biotechnology and bioinformatics platforms.

Facilities: NMNH and SI researchers can utilize multiple LAB facilities to conduct their genomic or genetic research in either of two locations managed by LAB:

Natural History Building (NHB): In 2013 LAB opened a suite of new laboratory, computer, and office facilities in the NMNH Natural History Building with several million dollars of new equipment. Approximately 13,000 ft2 of overall lab spaces, and with a large 9,000 ft2 general lab space, this facility will accommodate two thirds or approximately 65 of our users and is designed to be flexible for other potential future uses. Multiple office spaces can host 45-50 users with shared office space for 12 permanent or full-time NMNH staff. The shared computer lab has multiple options for data visualization and analysis. A small pre-PCR or DNA extraction lab is available, a room dedicated to RNA work,  and there is a dedicated room for the sensitive instrumentation.

Museum Support Center (MSC): The LAB spaces at MSC began to undergo renovation in 2012. We are in temporary space and functional during the entire renovation process, which we now think could continue for several more years. The MSC labs will retain the majority of the DNA extraction capability, and now include a dedicated ancient DNA lab.


Computers: Our computer labs have high end Mac, Linux and Windows workstations with large screens and increased RAM. When analyses exceed workstations capacity, LAB staff can assist users with running their analyses on the Smithsonian’s Hydra computing cluster. The cluster has thousands of CPUs and machines with up to 2TB of RAM.

Staff:The LAB has a core staff to provide administrative and scientific support in addition to hosting departmental full-time technicians, project/data managers, and bioinformaticians.

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Contact us
We have two lab spaces in the DC area:
Natural History Building, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Postal Mail (not for biological samples, all mail is irradiated prior to delivery):
Laboratories of Analytical Biology
National Museum of Natural History
PO BOX 37012, MRC 183
Washington DC 20013-7012

Shipments (including biological material):
Laboratories of Analytical Biology
Natural History Building
10th & Constitution Aves. NW
Washington, DC 20560-0188

Museum Support Center, MSC, in Suitland, Maryland
Shipping and mailing address (MSC)
Laboratories of Analytical Biology
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Rd, MRC 534
Suitland MD 20746

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