Microbial Culture Facility


The BCMM's Microbial Culture Facility provides access to equipment and trained staff to meet all your cellular microbial culture-based needs. Our facility can accommodate isolation, identification and culture of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and fungi.

The facility offers services such as the targeted isolation of strains, antibiotic susceptibility profiling, facilitating genomic and biochemical characterization of microbial isolates via the BCMM CoLab Incubators, and strain procurement and expansion from the BCMM strain repository. The facility can also assist with isolation of complex specimens samples, such as stool or mucus, and provide guidance on microbiological culturing workflows for a diverse range of specimen types.

We are actively working to expand our services to better support the needs of the wider UCSF research community. If you would like to request a service not listed below, please contact Kyle Spitler ([email protected]) to discuss.

Services and Pricing

Currently, the facility offers the following services.

  • Requester use of BCMM anaerobe chamber. Requesters use of the chamber (not including any materials or the strain of interest); free 30-minute training required.
  • BCMM staff use of anaerobe chamber. BCMM staff use the chamber for requested projects (not including any materials or the strain/samples of interest).
  • Sample to plate targeted isolation (per strain)*. What’s included: Development of culture plan, BCMM medias, media creation, BCMM use of the anaerobe chamber (if needed).
  • Procurement of strain from BCMM culture library (per strain). What’s included: Development of culture plan, BCMM medias, media creation, BCMM use of the anaerobe chamber (if needed).

* We will use best practice culture protocols to isolate your strain of interest. However, we highly recommend that you have the strain sequenced by the Microbial Genomics CoLab Incubator to confirm identity. The Quantitative Metabolite Analysis Center can also provide a complete metabolite profile. We can facilitate transfer of your isolates for additional characterization.

Pricing as of September 2021

BCMM microbial strain repository

The BCMM is continuing to expand their repository of human-associated microbial isolates which currently contains bacterial and fungal strains from over 100 genera.

To determine strains currently housed in the BCMM repository, search our strain catalogue.

We welcome investigator contributions to our repository. Depositing strains into the repository fuels the growth of this campus-wide resource and provides an opportunity to store critical microbial isolates outside your lab.

To deposit a strain in the repository, contact Kyle Spitler ([email protected]).

Next steps

Ready to learn more? Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with Kyle Spitler to discuss your project plans or to learn more about culturing workflows.


Meet the team

Kyle Spitler
Research Assistant
[email protected]

Frequently asked questions