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Optical Microscopy & Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences

August 20 - August 30

(Deadline: May 15)
Course Description

This course is designed primarily for research scientists, postdoctoral trainees, core facility directors/staff and graduate students working in the biological sciences. Biologists and physicists alike seeking a comprehensive introduction to microscopy and digital imaging will benefit greatly from the course. This 9-day course is limited to 24 students to ensure a truly interactive, hands-on experience. It consists of interrelated lectures, laboratory exercises, demonstrations, and discussions that will enable the participants to obtain and interpret high quality microscope data, to understand and assess potential artifacts, to perform quantitative optical measurements, and to generate digital images for documentation and analysis that accurately present the data. Newly added this year, the course will also place a strong emphasis on sample preparation, including tissue clearing, choice of fluorescent dyes and probes, and expansion microscopy. Particular emphasis will be placed on ‘picking the right tool for the job’.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Fundamental principles of microscope design, image formation, resolution and contrast;
  • Transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy techniques;
  • Cameras, signal to noise ratio, digital image recording, processing and analysis, multispectral imaging;
  • Advanced fluorescence – fluorescent probes, fluorescent biosensors, TIRF, FRET, FLIM, FRAP, polarization of fluorescence, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy;
  • Digital image restoration/deconvolution, and 3-D imaging principles;
  • Confocal and multiphoton laser scanning microscopy and light-sheet microscopy;
  • Super-resolution techniques including localization microscopy, stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED), and structured illumination microscopy.

Students will have direct hands-on experience with state-of-the-art microscopes, a variety of digital cameras, and image processing software provided by major optical, electronics, and software companies. Instruction will be provided by experienced staff from universities and industry. Students are encouraged to bring their own biological specimens, and to discuss individual research problems with the faculty.

2018 Course Faculty & Lecturers

Allen, John (MBL/Nikon)
Bewersdorf, Joerg (Yale University)
Brunt, Peter (AVR Optics)
Coleman, Steven (VisiTech)
Day, Richard (Indiana University)
Digman, Michelle (University of California, Irvine)
Elliott, Amicia (NIH)
Fullerton, Stephanie (Hamamatsu)
Goodwin, Paul (GE Healthcare)
La Riviere, Patrick (University of Chicago)
Lavis, Luke (Janelia Research Campus)
Lessard, Mark (Yale University)
Leung, Jacqueline (Indiana University)
McCall, Andrew (SUNY Buffalo)
McIlvain, Jim (MBL/Zeiss)
Palmer, Amy (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Murphy, Douglas (formerly Janelia Research Campus)
North, Alison (The Rockefeller University)
Richardson, Douglas (Harvard University)
Shaw, Sidney (Indiana University)
Shroff, Hari (NIH/NIBIB)
Vaughan, Joshua (University of Washington, Seattle)
Winfree, Seth (Indiana University)


August 20
August 30
Event Category:
May 15


Joerg Bewersdorf, Yale University; and Alison North, The Rockefeller University


Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL Street Woods Hole, MA 02543 + Google Map