The Analytical Imaging Facility (AIF) of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine supports NIH-funded investigators by giving access to state-of-the-art microscopy technologies that enhance collaborative, multidisciplinary research. This application is a shared instrumentation grant from the AIF to acquire a PALM/STORM (PALM and STORM are used interchangeably in this application since they are the same technology at the microscope interface) super-resolution system, a new microscopy system that uses photo activation localization microscopy to achieve super-resolution. This technology will have a high impact on the biomedical research at Einstein and will expand the scope of NIH-funded projects at Einstein. While most microscopy facilities have traditionally been equipped with wide-field, confocal, and multiphoton fluorescence microscopes, the resolution of the images acquired on these systems has been limited by the diffraction limit of the light microscopy. Recently, there have been major advances in the development of super-resolution light microscopy techniques, allowing scientists to move beyond the previous resolution limit and achieve a ten-fold improvement in resolution. The recent commercialization of the PALM/STORM technology is revolutionizing our understanding of the cellular organization by allowing scientists to study details in structures previously thought impossible to achieve by light microscopy. This technology is paving the way for asking refined questions about the organization of proteins in macromolecular complexes, organelles and subcellular structures. We anticipate that this PALM/STORM technology will greatly enhance and accelerate many NIH funded projects at Einstein, many of which are ideal for this application and would greatly benefit from access to this technology. In particular, this technology will be used to study diverse aspects of biological structures that include: formation of invasive structures in metastatic cancer cells (Dr. Condeelis, project #2), organization of podosome structures (Dr. Cox, project #3), virus assembly and budding (Dr. Kielian, project #4), nuclear architecture in T. gondii. (Dr. Kim, project #5), protein sorting in the transGolgi network (Dr. Muesch, project #6), structure and function of the centrosome (Dr. Sharp, project #7), and mRNP assembly in neurons (Dr. Singer, project #8). The Principal Investigator of this application, Dr. Vladislav Verkhusha (project #1), s one of the leaders in the field of fluorescent protein engineering and development, with a long publication record in this field. He has specifically designed many fluorescent proteins for exclusive use in the PALM technology. Since there is currently no PALM/STORM system available at Einstein, he has had to engage in lengthy, multi- state collaborations in order to advance his research. Acquisition of a PALM/STORM system will greatly facilitate his ongoing NIH-funded research program, to the benefit of the Einstein community as well as the scientific community at large. Lastly, we anticipate that the acquisition of a PALM/STORM system will lead to new collaborations and funding, and will stimulate new directions of scientific inquiry.
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