The purchase of a laser scanning confocal microscope is requested for the core microscope imaging facility at the La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine. While several modern fluorescent microscopes are available for general use by the staff, we do not have a confocal microscope at this site. Based upon the high demand placed on the fee-for-service access to other confocal microscopes in the La Jolla area and the time-sensitive nature and difficulty in transporting many samples (i.e. intravital imaging, live cells, fresh tissue specimens), the addition of an on-campus confocal microscope would greatly enhance a diverse array of ongoing NIH-funded research programs. For example, imaging of intravital chambers implanted in animal models is not feasible off-campus due to the difficulties of quarantine and surgical needs. As detailed in this proposal, we have formed a committee (Brian Eliceiri, Carole Banka, Eugene Levin, and Ingrid Schraufstatter) to identify a core group of Primary Users, determined the specific needs of the institute, and chosen appropriate instrumentation to accomplish the goals of our research group. The operation of this confocal microscope will be integrated into a centrally located, open access core imaging facility that has been established for in vivo imaging as well as time course cell migration and general microscopy. Following extensive consultation and analysis of various competing confocal microscope systems, we have identified the Olympus Fluoview 500 as the ideal system for a core environment, maximizing ease of use with capable specifications for current and future requirements. Six of the seven Primary Users have active R0l-funded research programs through the NIH, with the seventh investigator supported by other sources and an RO1 submitted and pending review. The cost of the requested confocal microscope is $274,579 and will be matched by an institutional commitment for an annual $10,000 serve contract, the full cost of future changes/upgrades, and 80% salary support for a technician to manage the microscope. The balance of the salary will come from a cost-recapture from individual grants, based on usage. In combination with our existing imaging infrastructure, the proposed confocal microscope will be an important addition to maximize the impact of our existing research programs.
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