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 investigators outside of NICHD or 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, only acknowledgement in publications: "Light / Electron Microscopy / Histology was performed at the NICHD Microscopy & Imaging Core with the assistance of Dr. Vincent Schram and/or Lynne Holtzclaw and/or Chip Dye". The only exception to this policy is for collaborative work, where the staff expands an unusual and significant amount of time and effort on a project. This 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. After this point, the staff will interact with the end user to provide technical information, training and additional support to see the project through. Each user will be granted access to the facility reservation system, physical access to our rooms and will obtain a personal account on the computer(s) 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, but after-hour 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.
  • Unless you notify the staff, do not make reservations on behalf of another user. Do not let unauthorized users access 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

Images may be stored on the facility's computers as long as space is reasonably available on each computer.

We reserve the right to delete users' data if there is not enough storage space on our computers.

Users are fully and solely responsible for safeguarding their data. We strongly recommend that 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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