The Advanced Microscopy Facility (AMF) is a matrix Cancer Center shared resource, which operates under the auspices of the Office of Research Core Administration, a department within the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine (SOM). Since the first Cancer Center Support Grant to UVA in 1987, the AMF has provided Cancer Center investigators with unique access to instrumentation and services for visualization of biological processes and structures. As microscopy has become an indispensable and near universal tool for biomedical research, access to cutting edge microscopy equipment at the AMF has allowed Cancer Center members to make important discoveries regarding the cause, spread, and treatment of cancer. The AMF's primary mission is to serve the imaging needs and enable the exceptional cancer research at the University of Virginia.
The specific aims are to house and provide affordable access to state-of-the-art microscopy instrumentation and high-quality imaging services, empower Cancer Center investigators in the practice and science of imaging, and built a nexus for collaboration among the AMF users. The facility, which is both a full-service and a user-facility, has been expanded from primarily an electron microscopy center to now encompass a full range of light and electron microscopy technologies. The SOM has continued to support the AMF and since the last CCSG review and has made substantial investment (~$7 million) to establish the cryo-microscopy services. The institutional support and funds from NIH shared instrumentation grants have allowed the AMF to acquire an impressive array of state-of-the-art microscopes, including three confocal microscopes with super-resolution or two-photon imaging capabilities, and a 300 kV Titan Krios transmission electron microscope equipped with a direct electron detector, available at only a handful North American institutions. Providing Cancer Center members with access to electron cryo- microscopy services is a major advancement of the AMF's capabilities. The facility was rated ?outstanding? in the last review. The AMF staff have worked to further enhance the capabilities of the shared resource to provide exceptional services to Cancer Center researchers.
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