MRI: Acquisition of a Confocal Microscopy System for Research and Education
James Berry Principal Investigator
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This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award funds the acquisition of a state-of-the-art confocal microscope to enhance research and education at the University at Buffalo (UB). This multifunctional instrument meets the needs of a diverse interdisciplinary user group on the University of Buffalo North Campus, where accessibility to confocal imaging is lacking. Users include faculty within Departments of Biological Sciences, Physics, and Chemical and Biological Engineering. Research ranges from cell and nuclear organization, developmental biology, neurobiology, stem cells, tissue engineering, plant biology, and molecular evolution, in organisms ranging from animals, plants, fungi, nematodes, insects, and arthropods. Some users require basic confocal applications, while others require advanced features. The instrument that meets these diverse needs is a motorized inverted Nikon A1R Confocal Microscope, which combines precision point and ultra-fast resonant scanning, together with Nikon's exclusive Perfect Focus. An environmental chamber will enable long-term live cell imaging. A complete set of lasers allows imaging of a full range of fluorescent molecules, FRET, and photo-activatible GFP. An integrated Becker-Hickl FLIM module allows for FLIM FRET, and a unique Fianium supercontinuum SC400 laser maximizes versatility by covering the entire 400 nm to 2000 nm spectrum. This microscope will be accessible to faculty, postdocs, and students in a variety of scientific disciplines, and will be a central component of new courses and workshops. Additionally, the primary investigators will work with University of Buffalo-based outreach programs to promulgate accessibility of associated courses, training, seminars, and workshops to underrepresented groups within our academic populations, providing research and education tools that would otherwise be unavailable.