Today is Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018


College of Medicine Research Core Facilities

The UC College of Medicine houses a number of research core facilities designated as core service centers. These facilities exist within multiple departments but are collectively supported by the College of Medicine, Office of Research through the Associate Dean for Research Core Facilities: Ken Greis, PhD. (; Tel: 515-558-7012).  

The service center designation signifies that the rates charged by each of these facilities have been reviewed and approved by the UC government cost compliance office, thus the service fees can be cross-charged to federal grants and contracts. Details related to the services offered and the internal rates for each of the cores are provided below. Since these rates are substantially subsidized by the University, external investigators should contact individual core directors to get a rate quote.

Resources to offset some of the cost of the core services may be available through a variety of centers and institutes across UC depending on an investigator’s affiliation. Information related to some of those opportunities and the website links are provided below:


Close up view of neurons

Contact Information

Center for Biological Microscopy (CBM)

To assist the researcher in generating high-resolution, high quality, microscopy-based data for publications and presentation at professional venues. A range of services is available for both experienced and inexperienced users. Experienced users may use the Center's instruments after orientation by a staff member. Inexperienced users may choose to receive training in the use of the instruments, technical support in microscopy and image analysis, consultation in experimental design, or have us perform the microscopy for them as a service.

Live Cell Microscopy (FRAP, time-lapse, GFP imaging)
Image Analysis & Output (ImageJ, deconvolution, 3-D, Photoshop, printers)
Digital Macroscopic Imaging (transgenic animals, organs, 2-D gels)
confocal microscopy

examples of images acquired

Confocal Microscopy (Zeiss LSM 710, inverted microscope)

A Zeiss Axio Observer Z1 inverted microscope is connected to a Zeiss LSM710 confocal. The available laser lines are 405, 458, 488, 514, 561 and 633nm. With the availability of a near UV laser this confocal can also visualize DAPI. In addition to the confocal images a DIC image can be acquired. Stage and objective heaters are available to aid live cell imaging.

The most common reason to use a confocal is to obtain optical sections that have much less out-of-focus blur than images from widefield instruments. In addition, one can acquire a 3-D data set for volume determination or 3-D reconstruction. 
Multi-tracking provides considerable improvement in the separation of similar dyes over that of a widefield microscope. Therefore, even if you do not need the optical sectioning ability of the confocal microscope, you may want to use it instead of a widefield microscope in order to ensure separation of dye pairs like FITC and rhodamine. Another reason to chose a confocal over a widefield microscope is to have precision in the overlay of images that are taken with different filters.  


Widefield Light Microscopy (multiple stations, upright & inverted platforms)

A Zeiss Axioplan Imaging 2e infinity-corrected upright scope with DIC and epifluorescence. Uses either a Color Zeiss Axiocam (for brightfield imaging) or a B&W Zeiss Axiocam for fluorescence. Filter cubes are available for DAPI, FITC, rhodamine, Texas Red and Cy5-like dyes. 


Axiovert 100 TV inverted microscope

This inverted scope is equipped for phase, brightfield, and fluorescence. The filter cubes are suitable for fluoresceine (GFP), rhodamine, and DAPI like dyes. The available objectives are 1.25x, 5x, 10x and a 32x long working distance objective. Additional objectives are available upon request. The filters and optics on this scope are not as advanced as the orcaerzeiss but it is useful for e.g. checking on transfection efficiency. A Zeiss Axiocam MRm is connected connected to the microscope and provides as resolution of up to 1388 x 1040 pixels. The camera is suitable for fluorescence imaging and provides only B&W images.


Stereo Microscope

An Olympus SZX12 stereo microscope serves for low magnification microscopy needs. It is equipped with a Q-imaging color camera and uses Q-Capture software to acquire images.