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Education / Research / Core Facilities

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:

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.

Confocal Microscopy (Zeiss LSM 710)
Nikon SIMe superresolution microscopy
Incucyte Zoom (extended live cell microscopy)
High resolution fluorescence and brightfield microscopy
Low Resolution Widefield Fluorescent and Brightfield Microscopy
Center Staff time
Digital Macroscopic Imaging (transgenic animals, organs, 2-D gels)
no charge
Image Analysis and Output (ImageJ, deconvolution, 3-D, Photoshop, printers)
no charge

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. 


Incucyte Zoom

IncuCyte ZOOM® consists of a microscope inside a standard cell incubator for environmental stability, and a networked external controller hard drive that collects and processes image data. The instrument has three microscope objectives (4x, 10x, 20x) that can be interchanged by the facility manager upon request.
It houses up to six microtiter plates which can be run simultaneously. Available imaging modes are phase contrast, red and green fluorescent. Imaging can be for extended periods of time.
Hardware and software tools for a scratch wound migration assay in 96-well plates is available.
Software can be remotely accessed by any networked computer (IP number Ask Birgit for a download location of the program.

Essen BioScience/Satorius

Nikon SIMe

A Nikon SIMe (structured illumination microscopy) superresolution microscope is available on a motorized inverted Nikon Eclipse Ti stand. Available laser lines are 488nm, 561nm and 640nm for acquiring 3D-SIM images. A DAPI channel can be added as a fluorescent widefield channel. The system provides lateral resolution of up to 115nm and axial resolution of up to 269nm. 
The system is equipped with a Hamamatsu Orca Flash 4.0 camera with high sensitivity and low readout noise.

Publications which relied on the equipment: 
Chen et al. (2019). Nanoscale monitoring of mitochondria and lysosome interactions for drug screening and discovery. Nano Research 12(5):1009–1015.
Khamo et al. (2019). Optogenetic Delineation of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Subcircuits in PC12 Cell Differentiation. Cell Chemical Biology  26(3): 400-410.e3
Chen et al. (2018) Super-Resolution Tracking of Mitochondrial Dynamics with An Iridium(III) Luminophore. Small 14 (41): 1802166

Sun, SG; Wu, HJ; Guan, JL. (2018) Nuclear FAK and its kinase activity regulate VEGFR2 transcription in angiogenesis of adult mice. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Volume: 8 Article Number: 2550 (2018)

Huang, HL; Weng, HY ; Sun, WJ ; Qin, X; Shi, HL; Wu, HZ; Zhao, BS; Mesquita, A; Liu, C; Yuan, CL; Hu, YC; Huttelmaier, S ; Skibbe, JR; Su, R; Deng, XL ; Dong, L ; Sun, M; Li, CY; Nachtergaele, S; Wang, YG; Hu, C; Ferchen, K; Greis, KD; Jiang, X ; Wei, MJ; Qu, LH; Guan, JL; He, C; Yang, JH ; Chen, JJ (2018). Recognition of RNA N-6- methyladenosine by IGF2BP proteins enhances mRNA stability and translation. NATURE CELL BIOLOGY 20(2): 285-+

Yang, YG; Leonard, M; Zhang, YJ; Zhao, D; Mahmoud, C; Khan, S; Wang, J; Lower, EE; Zhang, XT (2018). HER2-Driven Breast Tumorigenesis Relies upon Interactions of the Estrogen Receptor with Coactivator MED1. CANCER RESEARCH 78(2): 422-435

Thomas, HE; Zhang, Y; Stefely, JA; Veiga, SR; Thomas, G; Kozma, SC; Mercer, CA (2018). Mitochondrial Complex I Activity Is Required for Maximal Autophagy. CELL REPORTS 24(9): 2404-+

Xuyang F, Hsu SJ, Bhattacharjee A, Wang YY, Diao JJ and Price CM (2018). CTC1-STN1 terminates telomerase while STN1-TEN1 enables C-strand synthesis during telomere replication in colon cancer cells. Nature Communications (9) Article number: 2827

Qiu, KQ; Ke, LB; Zhang, XP; Liu, YK; Rees, TW; Ji, LN ; Diao, JJ ; Chao, H (Chao, Hui). (2018). Tracking mitochondrial pH fluctuation during cell apoptosis with two-photon phosphorescent iridium(III) complexes. CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS 54(19): 2421-2424.

Sasha J. Ruiz-Torres, Nancy M. Benight, Rebekah A. Karns, Elyse E. Lower, Jun-Lin Guan, and Susan E. Waltz (2017). HGFL-mediated RON signaling supports breast cancer stem cell phenotypes via activation of non-canonical ß-catenin signaling. Oncotarget. Aug 29; 8(35): 58918–58933.

Zhang, YJ; Leonard, M; Shu, Y; Yang, YG ; Shu, D; Guo, PX; Zhang, XT (Zhang, Xiaoting) (2017). Overcoming Tamoxifen Resistance of Human Breast Cancer by Targeted Gene Silencing Using Multifunctional pRNA Nanoparticles. ACS NANO 11(1): 335-346

Jiang, X; Hu, C; Ferchen, K; Nie, J (Nie, Ji); Cui, XL; Chen, CH; Cheng, LT; Zuo, ZX; Seibel, W; He, CJ; Tang, YX; Skibbe, JR; Wunderlich, M; Reinhold, WC; Dong, L; Shen, C ; Arnovitz, S; Ulrich, B; Lu, JW; Weng, HY; Su, R; Huang, HL; Wang, YG; Li, CY; Qin, X; Mulloy, J; Zheng, Y; Diao, JJ; Jin, J; Li, C; Liu, PP; He, C; Chen, Y; Chen, JJ. (2017). Targeted inhibition of STAT/TET1 axis as a therapeutic strategy for acute myeloid leukemia. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 8 Article Number: 2099

Wang, CR; Chen, S; Yeo, S; Karsli-Uzunbas, G; White, E; Mizushima, N ; Virgin, HW; Guan, JL (2016). Elevated p62/SQSTM1 determines the fate of autophagy-deficient neural stem cells by increasing superoxide. JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY Volume: 212 Issue: 5 Pages: 545-560

Chen Q, Jin C, Shao X, Guan R, Tian Z, Wang C, Liu F. Ling P, Guan JL, Ji L, Wang F, Chao H Diao J (2018) Super-Resolution Tracking of Mitochondrial Dynamics with An Iridium(III) Luminophore. Small 14 (41): 1802166

Khamo JS, Krishnamurthy VV, Chen Q, Diao J, Zhang K (2019). Optogenetic Delineation of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Subcircuits in PC12 Cell Differentiation. Cell Chemical Biology 26(3): 400-410.e3

Chen Q, Shao X, Tian Z, Chen Y, Mondal P, Liu F, Wang F, Ling P, He W, Zhang K, Guo Z, Diao J. (2019). Nanoscale monitoring of mitochondria and lysosome interactions for drug screening and discovery. Nano Research 12(5):1009–1015.


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