Mission/Purpose: The Cellular Imaging Shared Resource provides access for Cancer Center members to advanced microscopy instruments, technical support for specimen preparation and scientific guidance in planning and applying these advanced microscopy techniques. Assets: The facility provides a full-service preparative laboratory for both light and electron microscopic techniques. Electron microscopy includes both transmission and scanning instruments, and the Shared Resource supports thin sectioning, surface sputter coating, critical point drying, negative staining and specimen embedding services. In addition, the Shared Resource supports routine microtomy and cryomicrotomy for both light and electron microscopy. Of the light microscopes housed in the Shared Resource, both inverted and upright formats are available for imaging with brightfield, phase contrast, Nomarski, dark field, and polarizing microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy using Zeiss and Olympus microscopes includes both widefield digital imaging in multiple spectra and confocal fluorescence imaging. Also, inverted microscopes equipped for time-lapse live cell experiments, single cell microinjection, and laser capture microdissection are available. A recent addition to Cellular Imaging is atomic force microscopy. This equipment has been purchased with assistance from the Comprehensive Cancer Center and further strengthens the scientific collaborations with Wake Forest physicists immensely. Usage: The Shared Resource gives priority to Cancer Center members for equipment access and operates a chargeback system that provides a 50% subsidy for membership. Cancer Center members represent approximately 50% or more of the Shared Resource's use. In the most recent year, 32 laboratories of Cancer Center members have utilized this Shared Resource. The access to advanced equipment is complemented by the expert guidance of Dr. Mark Willingham, Director of the Shared Resource. He, along with other technical experts on the Shared Resource support staff, assists investigators in the use of instruments and in planning of experiments using these instruments. Future Directions: This Shared Resource has recently added a new FEI transmission electron microscope to its instruments. In the near future, upgrades to a confocal system with "meta" capability and a UV laser are planned.
Basic research in cancer often includes morphologic questions at the single cell level and at the level of complex tissues. Modern microscopy techniques provide critical tools to answer these questions. This shared resource houses microscopy equipment and expertise that provides Cancer Center members access to instruments that would ordinarily be beyond the capability of individual laboratories.
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