This request is for funds to purchase a Nikon Ti inverted microscope with widefield, DIC and confocal capabilities. This instrument will be housed within imaging core of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory(RBL) at the University of Pittsburgh. This imaging core is a newly formed satellite facility of the Center for Biologic Imaging (CBI) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The mandate of the CBI is to provide access to a full range of light and electron optical, image analysis, and morphometric methods to all research groups within the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The building of an imaging core within the RBL is an essential facet of that mandate Confocal microscopy is an essential service provided by the center, and there are multiple point scanning single photon and one multiphoton microscope available to users, however these devices are within an open lab environment and can only be used with fixed or non-pathogenic specimens. In the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of funded grants within our institution that need to image pathogenic specimens in real time using live cell imaging. This cannot be done at the moment and it is imperative we build a specialized imaging facility within a barrier facility. While some projects may be performed in a level 2+ facility (for example imaging HIV) there are an equal number of projects that demand a level 3 facility. Rather than build 2 satellites we have decided to build a single facility in level 3 containment space that will be used by all users who need access to live cell imaging at containment level 2+ or 3. Obtaining funds for a live cell confocal for this space is the focus of this application. It is important to recognize that the CBI has two applications in this competition for similar equipment. The other application, for a live cell confocal with TIRF capabilities will be placed in the 24 hr/day imaging core space, this microscope cannot be used by any of the researchers included in this proposal. Because of this there is absolutely no redundancy between the two applications. Since the CBI commenced operations 17 years ago, it has become an integral part of the medical research community currently participating in research projects with more than 200 PHS funded groups within the medical area, as well as in PHS supported projects with investigators in other departments and at neighboring institutions. The device requested here is a critical component of the continued growth of this institutional facility, such that it can serve the needs of researchers who want to integrate live cell imaging of pathogens into their research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-J (31))
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Levy, Abraham
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
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