Optical Microscopy Core

Colored image of a pancreatic tumor cell degrading matrix.

Colored image of a pancreatic tumor cell degrading matrix.

Director: Mark A. McNiven, Ph.D.

The Optical Microscopy Core plays an essential role in supporting the overall goals of center members through three linked objectives:

  • To provide reliable, accessible and state-of-the-art microscopic technology to all center members that facilitates their study of GI cellular signaling cascades
  • To educate and train center members in the use of both basic and sophisticated cellular imaging methods
  • To develop and apply state-of-the-art optical imaging technologies to GI tissues/cells


Consults and training

  • 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/tissue computer morphometry
  • Imaging cells in 3-D matrix
  • Data interpretation
  • Gel degradation assay


  • Antibodies
  • Constructs
  • Cell lines