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Advanced Microscopy in the Kennedy brings together leading expertise and technology, to both use and develop cutting-edge microscopy methods. By building connections across Oxford and championing a culture for respect and innovation in microscopy, the facility aims to future-proof excellence for Bioimaging within Oxford, keeping it competitive with international research.

Confocal imaging of antigen-induced arthritis in mouse knee.Confocal imaging of antigen-induced arthritis in mouse knee.

Background

Quantitative imaging of dynamic biological processes has become mission critical in the biomedical sciences. Novel imaging developments, such as extended super-resolution and fast volumetric imaging, are transforming how the function and behaviour of cells can be observed in a minimally invasive manner within their native tissue micro-environment and in whole organisms in vivo over multiple scales in space and time.

Central to this vision within the University of Oxford is collaboration and innovation in the departments most invested in exploitation of these technologies. It is our role to bring technologies, from industry leaders as well as custom instruments built in house, to users in an accessible way.

Action

Through a strategic partnership between the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (KIR), the Institute of Developmental and Regenerative Medicine (IDRM), and the Carl Zeiss GMBH, an Oxford-Zeiss Centre of Excellence (Oxford-ZCoE) in Biomedical Imaging has been established. The Oxford-ZCoE boasts multiple new optical microscopes and essential data storage and fast data port transfer highways. The Oxford-ZCoE will not only allow access to the latest commercially available optical imaging microscopes, but will also enable us to directly engage in a collaborative effort with the Zeiss Research and Development (R&D) team. The ultimate aim of this unique collaboration is to challenge and further improve existing and new microscopy technology with our biological expertise and research questions related to studying the dynamics of single cells, tissues, and whole organisms in vivo across spatio-temporal scales. 

The close connection of the AMC with Marco Fritzsche's Biophysical Immunology Laboratory, is a further strategic partnership between the KIR and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. This collaboration brings optical engineering expertise to the Kennedy allowing development of state of the art technology and microscopy techniques.

Key to the success of these imaging platforms is data management and analysis. In this we are further supported by Carl Zeiss GMBH whose dedication to the Oxford-ZCoE has delivered additional software packages and hands-on training and expertise. Together with, arivis, developers of cutting-edge software for imaging and image analysis applications, we will ensure that the visualisation of microscopy data is never a barrier to important scientific discoveries.

People and culture

The success of microscopy in the Kennedy in not just hinged on capable hardware - the most important elements are the researchers and partners. 

We nurture a culture of approachability, mutual respect and collaboration such that there is no barrier to innovation and excellence in microscopy. To this end we have a community on Teams, an open door policy and the expertise to teach from the most basic principals to advanced techniques.

To help post acquisition, a dedicated Advance Image Analyst will help support the processing and analysis of data from our systems, working closely with the Oxford-ZCoE and the big-data systems such as the Zeiss Lattice Lightsheet 7 and 980.

Staff are actively engaged in the imaging community within Oxford and beyond. To read more about them head to the Team page.