Introducing the EMBL Imaging Centre

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Correlative Microscopy Across the Scales
Timo Zimmermann (1), Judith Weber (1)
1. European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Imaging facility, super-resolution microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy

Abstract text

The rapid technological developments of the last two decades have led the scientific community to achieve biological and medical discoveries at an ever-increasing pace. Outstanding advances in imaging technologies such as electron and light microscopy enabled us to directly visualise the molecular machinery of life at an unprecedented level of detail. Cutting-edge microscopy is therefore becoming a central technology platform for life sciences. However, at present, only a minority of scientists have access to the latest imaging technologies as the devices are not only expensive, but also complex in their set-up, maintenance and usage.

The EMBL Imaging Centre represents a new service unit at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Located in a new state-of-the-art building that was finished in spring 2021 and starting operation in summer 2021, the EMBL Imaging Centre provides access to the highest resolution electron (EM) and light microscopy (LM) technologies, including academically developed methods that are not yet commercially available. The main mission of the EMBL Imaging Centre is to rapidly make the most advanced microscopy technologies available to the broad scientific international user community from both academia and industry. A powerful and synergistic portfolio of imaging technologies will be offered both individually and in a combined (correlative) fashion, to enable new ground-breaking research that crosses the scales of biology.

LM technologies will cover all scales from the latest (cryo-)super-resolution technologies to high-speed and high resolution live-cell, as well as intravital and deep tissue imaging, with a focus on non-commercial, academically developed technologies.

EM technologies housed in the EMBL Imaging Centre will cover all scales from single-particle cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-tomography to (cryo-)CLEM and cellular/tissue volume electron microscopy.

Upon full operation the EMBL Imaging Centre will provide access to users, support their projects from sample preparation to image analysis with expert staff, and will offer tailored training opportunities.