The Cell Imaging Core provides members of the VDDRC with access to cutting edge technology, including confocal microscopes, transmission and scanning electron microscopes, and expert technical support for imaging and analysis of tissue and cellular anatomy and physiology related to digestive disease research. By our definition, access means not just availability of equipment, but also availability of the needed expertise for training, help with data collection, and assistance with data analysis and interpretation. The core is managed by three internationally recognized experts, two of whom have also established independent research programs. The service aspect of the core is carried out by dedicated employees, but also draws upon the expertise of the research and development components within the research labs. This strategy allows VDDRC researchers access to cutting-edge methods immediately after they are developed. This core has developed significant expertise directly related to digestive disease research: from imaging methods for intact crypts to in vivo analysis of blood and fluid flow in rodents. The VDDRC Cell Imaging Core is an essential component of the Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR), which is available for use by all Vanderbilt University researchers. Few, if any, individual researchers can support high-end microscopy in their own labs due to the cost of the instrumentation and maintenance. Considerable cost savings is achieved by this Core through leveraging an established facility with a highly experienced staff. Members of the VDDRC receive significant consultation on experimental design, sample preparation, and data analysis focused around imaging issues unique to digestive disease investigators.

Public Health Relevance

The Cell Imaging Core provides state-of-the art imaging systems, including confocal and electron microscopes, to support research with the goal of improving human digestive diseases prevention, treatment and therapy. Members of the VDDRC receive significant consultation on experimental design, sample preparation, and data analysis focused around imaging issues that facilitate our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of health and disease. Few, if any, individual researchers can support this type of highend microscopy in their own labs due to the cost of the instrumentation, maintenance and expert staff.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-8)
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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