This application requests funds to purchase an Olympus FV1000-MPE confocal and multi-photon fluorescence microscope imaging system dedicated to intravital microscopy in small animals. The intravital microscope system will be housed, managed, and maintained by the Center for Molecular Imaging at University of Michigan, a core facility funded by the NIH Small Animal Imaging Resource Program and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Confocal and multiphoton intravital microscopy is emerging as an exciting technology to investigate normal physiology, animal models of multiple diseases, and effects of therapy at a cellular and subcellular level in a living animal. University of Michigan has state-of-the art equipment for whole animal imaging modalities, but there currently is no instrument for confocal/multiphoton microscopy of living animals at the university or nearby institutions. This deficiency in small animal imaging technology limits the ability of investigators to translate cellular and molecular studies from in vitro cell culture systems into the physiologically relevant context of a living animal. The proposed instrument will be used by established investigators in functional and molecular imaging, providing a critical tool to substantially expand the scientific knowledge and ultimate clinical impact of ongoing projects in cancer biology, cell signaling, and development of diagnostic imaging agents. Availability of a dedicated confocal/multiphoton instrument for small animal imaging is expected to attract many additional investigators as users of this technology, leading to new research collaborations and markedly expanding the scope of basic and translational research at the university. In addition to excellence across a wide range of health science fields, the University of Michigan has internationally recognized experts in optical imaging technologies and instrumentation who have committed to supporting technical development and advancement of intravital microscopy. Therefore, we expect the intravital microscope system to become a focal point for new multidisciplinary research efforts including optical physicists, molecular biologists, experts in disease pathogenesis and treatment, and molecular imaging. These new research collaborations are anticipated to lead to increased grant funding at the university, resulting in more research jobs. Relevance: The proposed instrument will enable studies of diseases and responses to therapy at the cellular and subcellular level in living animals, which we expect to greatly accelerate translation of basic science discoveries from cell culture systems to animal models and ultimately clinical medicine. Using this instrument will open new research areas and collaborations among investigators at the university, leading to additional funding and creation of new research jobs. The university is committed to reducing energy consumption and will integrate this instrument into the overall plan for an environmentally-friendly workplace.
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