Improvements in optical techniques - laser applications, video and confocal microscopy, cell sorting and analysis, the development of fluorescent probes and the development of quantitative, dynamic and time resolved imaging techniques- are revolutionizing cell biology and are now being translated into the practice of clinical medicine. The primary objective of the Optical Biology Shared Resource is to support all Basic Science and Clinical Research projects that can benefit from access to instrumentation and expertise in optical methods. Optical techniques are broadly classified in terms of diagnostics and therapeutics, and relevant biological systems range from sub cellular structures to tissues. To utilize the unique core technologies effectively, the Shared Resource has been divided into two fundamental components, Service and Development. The service component has been extended by partnerships between the Developmental Biology Center, the Stem Cell Research Center, the Laboratory for Fluoresence Dynamics (LFD) and the newly organized Center for Complex Biosystems. The development component especially for diagnostics and basic subcellular applications has been dramatically enhanced by the appointment of a new facility manager (Dr. Michelle Digman) in partnership with the DEC and LFD and by the recent acquisition of new equipment through a partnership with the CCBS. The development of clinical diagnostics and therapeutics is strongly enhanced through the continuing partnership with the Beckman Laser Institute. A recent partnership with the Center for Immunology has expanded the instrumentation and expertise available for cytometry needs. The benefits to Cancer Center members are highly leveraged through these partnerships. Technical instruction, service and support are provided by three Shared Resource facilities and personnel namely, the OBC, the BLI and the Cytometry facility. The Shared Resource Director and co-Coordinators consult on initial experimental design and matching investigators with the proper facility and collaborator. Since a primary driving force behind optical biology is the development of new technology, the second component of the Shared Resource encourages development and utilization of novel optical methods in the basic science and clinical science programs. This is fostered by collaborative efforts between M. Digman and the LFD or T. Krasieva and the BLI.

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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University of California Irvine
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