Free of charge

The equipment, services and staff of the Microscopy & Imaging Core are available free of charge to everyone within NICHD. Resources allowing, we also serve NINDS investigators and, to a lower extent, investigators within the Porter Neurosciences building. We typically do not provide service to non-NICHD investigators outside of the Porter building, but feel free to contact us: we may be able to orient you toward another facility.

No authorship

The MIC does not require authorship, but we do require acknowledgement if your publication includes material processed, data acquired or labor done in the facility: "Light microscopy / Electron Microscopy / Histology was performed at the NICHD Microscopy & Imaging Core with the assistance of Dr. Vincent Schram and/or Dr. Ling Yi and/or Mr. Chip Dye". The only exception to this policy is for collaborative work that entails authorship, a rare occurrence that will be discussed during the initial meeting.

How do I get started?

The first step is to schedule a meeting with the staff to discuss the background and specific aims of the project. Experimental methods, protocols and equipment to achieve these goals will be laid out. The staff will then provide the end user with the technical information, training, equipment and support to execute the project. Each user will be granted access to the reservation calendar, physical access to our rooms and a personal account on each computer running the required equipment.

Rules of use

Laboratory, chemical and bio-hazard safety is fully enforced in the facility. Unless indicated otherwise, follow common safety rules and regulation. Rules include, but are not limited to:

  • No food, no beverages, no radio.
  • Always dispose of waste properly. Pipette tips, sharps, biohazard waste, chemical waste should be disposed properly (contact the staff). Anyone caught in violation of lab safety rules will be removed from the facility.
  • Do not bring any dangerous substances, pathogens or equipment without consulting the staff first.
  • Do not attempt to modify our equipment, computers or software settings.
  • The facility is open 24/7, with the understanding that after-hours access is a privilege that may be revoked at the staff's discretion.
  • In a situation where an instrument is in high demand, we reserve the right to limit instrument usage in order to provide equal access to everybody.
  • Unless imaging live cells, reservations should either end no later than 1 pm or start no earlier than 1 pm. This rule will be enforced when a piece of equipment is in high demand.
  • Unless you notify the staff, do not make reservations on behalf of another user. Do not let unauthorized users enter our space and use our equipment.
  • Reservations can be done up to 2 weeks in advance.
  • Reservations cannot be deleted or modified less than 24 hours in advance. Contact the staff.
  • For security reasons, internet browsing is not allowed on our workstations. Anyone caught using an internet browser on our computers will be removed from the facility.
  • Additional rules and regulations may apply to some equipment, contact the staff for details.

Data storage and backup

Data may be left on the facility's computers as long as storage space is reasonably available. We reserve the right to delete users' data without notifications to clear up storage space. Users are solely responsible for safeguarding their data. We strongly recommend each user creates at least two copies of their data. Do not rely on the facility's data storage for long-term archival...!!

Equipment acquisition

The MIC periodically solicits input from its users on technologies and equipment they would like to see added to our portfolio. You are always welcome to contact the staff to discuss any unfulfilled need.

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