Molecular and Biological Imaging Center

Statement of Purpose

Leica SP5 TCSII with Coherent Chameleon multiphoton (MP) VisionII (IR) laserThe purpose of the Molecular and Biological Imaging Center is to provide the instrumentation infrastructure and learning environment required to support the research and teaching programs at Marshall. Working within the constraints of grant and user fee support, the center seeks to recognize both current user hardware and training needs as well as emerging needs which are on the horizon. Due to the dynamic nature of research and the funding environment, early and constant feedback from users is a vital component of achieving this mission.

Statement of Philosophy

Imaging tools are all in some ways related to photography. Although one can be taught how to snap a photo on any system, elements of an art remain components of this pursuit, and mastery and style develop and evolve in the user with practice and experience.

There are several pathways into using the facility, as described below.

How can the Imaging Center Assist me in my Research?

As soon as you recognize that imaging should be a component of your research, you should arrange a discussion with the director, Dr. Michael Norton, or David Neff to define the use of the core which makes most efficient and effective use of your resources.

There are three major ways in which researchers can interact with the Core Facility:

1. Technician Assisted User. There are situations where it is impractical for a faculty member or a student to become a certified user. Some people just need a nice image or two of their samples, and we can help them with this. Examples include gaining preliminary data for a proposal, gaining preliminary data to determine the suitability of a particular imaging system for a particular project, or imaging studies which provide closure for a project which will not be repeated. Short term use of this mechanism (total of 4 or less hours per year) is encouraged, and has been found useful for assisting groups in defining new research directions.

2. User in training. Some groups have long term imaging needs. Since we lack the staff to conduct experiments for researchers, we expect researchers to work independently after completing a training sequence. In cases where agreement has been reached that imaging is a component of a research project or program, students begin the training program described in the next section.

3. Certified Users. These are fully independent academic users who have taken either a full semester course in a technique, or have completed a selected training program as described below. Such users are free to schedule instrument time on the imaging system they are certified to use, as described below.

4. Other modes. Arrangements can be made for users whose requirements do not fit in the descriptions 1 – 3 above.

To learn more about this facility, please consult the Microscopy Core Facility’s website.