Funds are requested for the purchase of a four-line laser-based spinning disk confocal microscope system with an environmental chamber and autofocus system. The microscope will be housed in the existing Confocal Microscopy and Flow Cytometry Facility at the University at Buffalo, which serves the entire university and will be available on a fee-for-service basis to other regional users. Full-time facility personnel will be responsible for oversight and routine maintenance. The many NIH-funded researchers that are part of this application require a high-end microscopy system designed for live imaging to greatly increase their ability to study dynamic cellular and tissue processes to move their research projects forward in a significant manner. There is no equivalent system designed for long-term or high-speed live imaging in Buffalo or the surrounding region. Major and minor user groups consist of 10 and 7 individuals, respectively, who hold funding from 8 NIH Institutes that extends through 2023 and beyond, giving the requested microscope the potential to enhance a large number of human health areas. These include advancing our understanding of cellular and host-pathogen factors affecting infectious diseases, cellular factors affecting deafness and blindness, signaling involved in cancer development and drug delivery issues facing cancer treatments, as well as cellular and developmental factors affecting neurological conditions and diseases. Our listed users are anticipated to account for approximately 90% of the instrument time, leaving 10% available for new investigators and/or new research initiatives. Administrative and operating policies are described, and a financial plan, including a plan for long-term maintenance, is provided. Relevance: Present and future NIH-supported research at the University at Buffalo is dependent upon cutting- edge microscopy to evaluate a wide array of physiologic and pathologic cellular and tissue responses in live systems. A core facility with a state-of-the-art microscopy system with advanced live imaging capabilities in the Buffalo region is absent. The acquisition of the requested system will directly address this problem, allow access to more highly integrated experimental protocols, and facilitate the progress and success of NIH-funded programs in a multitude of disciplines.
To understand the mechanisms that underlie cellular processes in health and disease, state-of-the-art technology allowing for the visualization of live cells and tissues is required. Acquisition of a spinning disk confocal microscope will allow the investigators at the University at Buffalo and the surrounding region to perform high impact research and drive important advancements in diverse fields affecting health and disease, including immunology, neuroscience, microbiology and cancer.