To ensure the proficient use of our imaging systems, users will undergo mandatory training on the instrument of their choice. Depending on the individual’s experience, multiple training sessions may be necessary before permission is granted to operate the instruments independently. This policy aims to maintain the integrity and longevity of our equipment while ensuring the safety and efficiency of research conducted within our facility.

Scheduling Imaging Systems

Booking Sessions in Advance
Users have the privilege to book up to two sessions exceeding 4 hours each per week, more than 24 hours in advance. This policy is designed to ensure fair access to our imaging systems while allowing for substantial research time.

Special Permissions
Users requiring advanced booking of more than two long sessions (over 4 hours) within a single week must seek prior approval from core facility staff. This ensures that excessive demand does not hinder the progress of other researchers.

Short Notice Booking
All users can book sessions of any length within 24 hours before the start of the imaging session. This allows for flexibility in research schedules and accommodates urgent experimental needs.

Care and Use of Equipment

Users must adhere to established guidelines for instrument usage to preserve the quality of the equipment and maintain equitable access for all researchers. Failure to comply, such as leaving oil on objective lenses or otherwise neglecting proper care, will result in charges at the “Assisted Use” rate and may lead to revocation of facility privileges.

Sample Preparation

It is expected that users conduct preliminary screening of fluorescence staining on conventional fluorescence microscopes before utilizing advanced microscopy resources. Users should possess a working knowledge of basic immunostaining, fixation techniques, slide preparation, and the fundamental principles of fluorescence microscopy.


Interactions extending beyond basic operational instruction should evolve into collaborative efforts, warranting co-authorship on resulting publications. This acknowledges the intellectual contribution and collaborative spirit within the facility, with agreements reached by mutual consent.

Publication Acknowledgments

In recognition of the facility’s support, users are required to acknowledge the Center for Advanced Microscopy in all publications and presentations derived from the use of our equipment.

Example Acknowledgment
“Fluorescence microscopy and image analysis were performed at the Center for Advanced Microscopy, a Nikon Center of Excellence, in the Department of Integrative Biology & Pharmacology at McGovern Medical School, UTHealth Houston.”

These policies ensure that all users are familiar with operational standards, booking procedures, and collaborative ethics, fostering a productive and respectful research environment. Compliance with these guidelines is essential for the continued success and accessibility of the fluorescent microscopy core facility.