The overall goal of the Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) is to supply Vanderbilt-lngram Cancer Center (VICC) researchers with access to cutting-edge technology and expert technical support for microscopic observation and analysis of tissue and cellular anatomy and physiology related to cancer research. The CISR maintains the full range of modern microscopy and digital imaging capabilities with the intent to enable and accelerate research. At the time of the last competitive renewal, this shared resource received an "Outstanding" rating. Optical microscopy can provide detailed morphological and quantitative information from whole animals and organs to organelles and even single molecules. In particular, fluorescence microscopy offers a high degree of specificity and sensitivity. Advanced techniques, such as confocal microscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, total internal reflectance-excited fluorescence and two-photon-excited fluorescence, yield information with increasingly better spatial discrimination. The electron microscope is a versatile instrument for providing high-resolution structural information that is readily interpretable and easily quantified. From 2000- 2008, the CISR experienced more than 600% growth in both resources and usage. Since January 2009, the CISR has been directed by Sam Wells, Ph.D. (also managing director for Optical Microscopy) with Jay Jerome, Ph.D., as managing director of electron microscopy. David Piston, Ph.D., resource director from 1993- 2008, continues to serve as scientific director. He works with Drs. Wells and Jerome on overall strategic planning, helps interface with VICC leadership, and continues to serve as a mentor and resource for all shared resource personnel. The CISR service philosophy is embodied in four specific aims designed to assure the best use of resources by VICC members and facilitate the highest quality cancer research.
The specific aims are: Provide access to the full range of advanced, modern optical and electron microscopy; Furnish professional guidance in experimental design and data interpretation; Train users, on a continuing basis, in basic and advanced use of the equipment; Provide electron microscopy technical services for specimen preparation and sectioning.
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