Optical Microscopy Core

Colored image of a pancreatic tumor cell degrading matrix.

Colored image of a pancreatic tumor cell degrading matrix.

The Optical Microscopy Core of the Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology provides essential optical technologies and applications expertise to support faculty research through three primary objectives:

  • Providing reliable, accessible and state-of-the-art microscopic technology to all faculty members that facilitates their study of GI cellular signaling cascades
  • Educating and training faculty members in the use of both basic and sophisticated cellular imaging methods
  • Developing and applying state-of-the-art optical imaging technologies to GI tissues and cells based on faculty needs


The director of the Optical Microscopy Core is Mark A. McNiven, Ph.D.


The Optical Microscopy Core offers a variety of services, primarily to Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology faculty and their laboratory members, such as consults and training on a variety of topics, including:

  • High-resolution, real-time imaging of live cells
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Confocal microscopy coupled with computer-based 3-D image reconstruction
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)
  • Expression and use of fluorescence-based bioprobes
  • Cellular microinjection
  • Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF)
  • Cell and tissue computer morphometry
  • Imaging cells in 3-D matrix
  • Data interpretation
  • Gel degradation assay
  • Histology microscopy
  • 2-photon microscopy
  • Super-resolution microscopy


Research teams from NIDDK-funded Digestive Diseases Research Core Centers outside of Mayo Clinic may access select core services as resources permit by emailing requests to rstcsig@mayo.edu or by calling 507-293-1449.