As a core resource supported by NCI, the overall goals of the UNM Fluorescence Microscopy Resource are to provide: a) support services through user access to state-of-the art facilities and technologies, b) user training and individualized support or collaboration to address cancer relevant questions, c) innovation through the testing and development of new probes and imaging technologies, d) dissemination through resource tours, poster displays, an annual open house, workshops and a web page. The UNM Fluorescence Microscopy and Cell Imaging Shared Resource offers complete fluorescence microscopic imaging services including ratiometric imaging of ions, deconvolufion, confocal, hyperspectral and convenfional light microscopic imaging of live and fixed samples. Fee for service charges are in line with mid-range nation-wide rates and UNM Cancer Center members benefit from a 20% copay. The Resource is centrally located in four rooms on the second floor of the Cancer Research Facility. Instrumentafion is regularly upgraded through a mix of extramural (NCRR, NCI) and intramural (UNM SOM and Cancer Center) funding. Current instruments include upright and inverted Zeiss, Nikon and Olympus microscopes fitted with Zeiss LSM 510, Zeiss META and BioRad Radiance confocal scanheads and TillVision ratiometric system. CRi Nuance, Andor iXon, Orca and Zeiss digital cameras offer low light sensitivity and spectral image collecfion on widefield instruments. Up to eight color imaging, FRET and FRAP can be performed on the Zeiss META and mulfiple software packages allow quantitative evaluafion of all collected data. A stereology and spinning disk system will be installed in 2009. Infrequent users may request full service imaging by one of the expert staff members. The Resource is acfively involved in educafion by providing tours, hosfing extramural speakers, new user training, annual open house meefings and hands-on workshops. Cancer Center members using the Resource encompass 29 research groups, representing all four Cancer Center research programs, and account for >60% total use. Value added for Cancer Center members is evidenced by 22 publicafions, journal cover pictures (CY08) and 31 extramural projects (12 NCI, ACS or LLS) using the Resource in the reporting period (FY09). Seminal discoveries pertinent to oncogenic virus entry, G-coupled receptor function, DNA damage and repair, intracellular signaling, mechanisms of endocytosis, and biotechnology development have been enabled by the Resource.

Public Health Relevance

The UNM Cancer Center houses expensive instrumentation such as sensitive digital cameras and laser scanning microscopes. The instruments are maintained within a core facility with expert staff and enable basic and physician researchers to discover how cancer causing viruses enter cells or how UV and chemical injury leads to DNA damage and cancer, as well as to evaluate therapeutic efficacy in cells and patient samples and accelerate therapeutic development through biotechnology.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
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