The Cellular Imaging Core supplies access to equipment, technical support, and scientific consultation for Cancer Center researchers. The Core exists to meet the growing needs of CCCWFU researchers for sophisticated microscopy in conducting cancer-related research. One of the value-added functions of this Core is to establish and develop technologies prior to their availability in individual departments or laboratories and then, when practical, to facilitate the ability of departments or labs to develop their own capabilities, making room for new technologies in the Cancer Center core. From July 2004 through June 2005, the Core was used by 36 individual cancer researchers from five basic science and seven clinical departments. The facility maintains a full-service preparative laboratory and houses standard wide field fluorescence microscopes, transmission EM, scanning EM, laser scanning confocal (set up to support both standard confocal microscopy and the newer multiphoton excitation imaging), upright and inverted microscopes equipped for video and digital imaging using both phase contrast and fluorescence, as well as single cell microinjection, a macrodissection (stereo dissecting) microscope equipped with fluorescence excitation for GFP visualization in living animals, and a laser microdissection microscope. With the increased variety and sophistication of microscopes and the refinement of cellular staining methods has come a greater need for specialized knowledge in this field to correctly utilize the tools and efficiently advice novice users on which technique is most appropriate to their research. This type of technical expertise is best supported within the context of a core facility providing not only access to equipment, but critical technical and scientific consultation as well. The Core Director, Dr. Mark Willingham, is routinely immediately available to look at preparations, help with interpretations, and make suggestions for technique improvements. Recent new additions to the Core Laboratory support confocal and multiphoton microscopy, upright and inverted digital and video widefield microscopy (including long-term live cell video) with phase contrast and fluorescence, and laser microdissection microscopy. Of primary importance, however, is the experience of the director and staff in providing guidance for individual experimental approaches using these instruments, and that is a major focus of the core activity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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