The Imaging Shared Resource provides Wistar Institute Cancer Center members access to high end microscopy and small animal imaging services. In recent years, technological advances have made it possible to utilize quantitative, high resolution imaging approaches to dissect spatio-temporal requirements of cellular behavior related to malignant transformation, metastatic dissemination and resistance to therapy. During the last project period of this application, this Resource has undergone a major transformation with new scientific leadership and a significant expansion of the technologic capabilities needed to support a broad array of experimental imaging. The Imaging Resource now offers widefield, upright and inverted microscopy, low magnification imaging, close-up and macro photography, live-cell time lapse imaging, laser scanning confocal imaging, 2-photon microscopy, and small animal whole body imaging. During the last funding period the Cancer Center has made a significant effort to upgrade the Resource, investing over $0.6 million to create a new confocal suite equipped with a Leica TCS SP5 II scanning laser confocal microscope. Highly experienced staff are available to consult with investigators on experimental design, imaging techniques, and post-acquisition analysis to provide optimal results from equipment and techniques. Staff members work directly with users to acquire their images, or train users to operate the equipment independently. Other services include developing custom image analysis macros, assistance with maintaining imaging equipment and assistance and training with image editing software for publication. The Resource also carries out technically complex photobleaching assay experiments, and 3D and 4D tracking. The Resource stresses ethical practices in image manipulation, as well as in all aspects of image acquisition, adjustment and analysis. The Resource actively collaborates with other Cancer Center Shared Resources to assist users with high-throughput imaging modalities available in those Resources, including, for example, the Amnis ImageStream in collaboration with the Flow Cytometry Resource, and the IVIS 2001 small animal imager in collaboration with the Animal Resource. Imaging was classified as a Type I Shared Resource to reflect the well-defined, essential nature of its services. This classification is described in the Cancer Center Administration section of this application. During the past project period. Cancer Center members from all three Programs have leveraged the services of the Resource and generated critical preliminary data that considerably increased the priority of scientific publications and grant submissions.
Disease pathogenesis originates from the propagation of events in single cells. It is therefore essential to evaluate the dynamics and organization of these events in single cells, as well as between cells in both tissues and organism. The mission of the Imaging Shared Resource is to provide Cancer Center researchers with access to technologies needed to define the events that initiate malignant transformation with the goal of improving diagnosis, and the development of new, better therapeutic agents.
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