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Gaining facility access


The workflow below describes how to gain access to the instrumentation and resources found within the BioFrontiers ALMC. We aim to get to know you and to understand your imaging needs, ensure that you are trained on the correct microscope, and provide guidance on proper image and data analysis. We also aim to make you aware of the multitude of resources that are at your disposal when working with us.

Training steps

  1. Contact the Facility
  2. Initial Meeting
    • You should receive an automated reply containing a link to our Microsoft Bookings page. Please use this page to schedule an initial meeting with Joe Dragavon.
    • In this meeting, Joe will discuss your research and imaging needs.
    • The appropriate microscope will be identified, and your Practical Training session arranged.

  3. Practical Training
    • We will go over proper instrument start-up and shutdown, overview the operational software, collect standard data sets on known samples, and practice with your samples.
    • Upon completion, you will be a Novice User, which restricts your access to working hours (M-F, 9am – 5pm). This is to allow you to familiarize yourself with the microscope, while ensuring that our staff are on-hand if you run into problems.

  4. Independent Session
    • At least 2 hours of independent use on the microscope using your samples are required before you can proceed to the next step.
    • The samples and data should be representative of your research needs, and will form the basis of the Image and Data Analysis meeting.

  5. Image and Data Analysis
    • Upon completion of your Independent Sessions, please send a new email to to request Image and Data Analysis training. Use the Microsoft Bookings link in the reply email to schedule a meeting with Jian Tay
    • The purpose of this meeting is to connect with Jian, who is our Biological Image Analysis Group Leader. These meetings are typically short, ~10 - 30 minutes.
    • At the meeting, Jian will review the services that he provides for the ALMC, our collaboration pipeline, as well as look over your initial images and analysis plan. He is also happy to discuss any of the following:
      • Basic image analysis concepts
      • Your data management and sharing plan
      • Arranging additional supported sessions

  6. Full Instrument Access
    • Upon completion of steps 1 – 5, you will be granted Autonomous status with unrestricted access to the microscope!

Data storage

Want to store your data? Contact BIT-Help (BioFrontiers Users) or Research Computing to learn about their cloud storage options!