School of Medicine

Collaboration with SLU leads to purchase of $5 million microscope

From snapshots of the molecular structure of Zika virus to 3D maps of tiny blood vessels in the lungs, images captured by the Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) have provided insight into countless biological phenomena and aided investigations into myriad aspects of human health and disease.

Now, the center is poised to expand its collection of microscopes and – through an agreement between Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University (SLU) – access to the center and its imaging services will be extended to SLU researchers. As part of the agreement, Washington University will purchase a new cryo-electron microscope that will be available to all users of the center.

“I am excited to begin this collaboration with SLU,” said Jennifer K. Lodge, PhD, Washington University’s vice chancellor for research. “Not only will Washington University and SLU researchers have expanded access to cutting-edge imaging technology to advance their research, I also hope that the increased opportunities for interaction between scientists at the two institutions will catalyze new ideas, new collaborations and new discoveries.”

SLU is contributing $2.5 million to the center. The contribution enables the purchase of a new $5 million cryo-electron microscope, which will be housed on the Washington University Medical Campus and maintained and supported by staff from the Center for Cellular Imaging. The microscope was ordered in December and is slated to be delivered this fall. Installation and calibration will take a couple of months, so the microscope is expected to be ready for use toward the end of the year.

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