This talk will describe the development, organization, and management of the National Centre for Cellular Imaging (CCI) that offers world-class access, service, and expertise to a variety of innovative imaging technologies in a single centralized facility. The infrastructure has 8 staff members, distributed in two groups with respective expertise in Light and Electron microscopy, plus additional advanced imaging processing and analysis capacities. Our vision is that the CCI will allow users to think broadly and select the best possible instrument(s), light and/or electron microscope(s), to provide detailed answers to their scientific questions at the highest resolution. In this multimodal Facility, the scientific and technical staff is involved at every stage: in the planning of a new imaging / microscopy project (sample preparation, selection of fluorescent dyes, choice of microscopy system), during the initial phase (helping with the actual experimental setup including the soft- and hardware settings), and in image analysis and quantification (advice on usage of image analysis software). This multi-layered involvement is the only way the Facility staff can provide optimal support at all stages of the project and adapt the experimental settings to the specific needs of each project. The multi-modal integration of technologies provides complementary and often unique information, spatial, structural, biochemical and biophysical details using the same target sample. We are committed to developing a functional systems microscopy approach, which can address new scientific questions with a multi-modal imaging strategy minimizing sample requirement. Using modern cell biology tools, expertise in live cell imaging and state-of-the-art equipment and image analysis tools, we are able to help researchers relate structure to function and morphology to mechanism.
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