Digital microscopy and the discovery of green fluorescent protein have led to a transformation in our ability to determine how cells work in health and disease. Imaging approaches are instrumental to nearly every important question in neuroscience–from how axons grow and connect together during development, to how synapses change during learning, to how neuronal and glial function is altered in models of neural disease.
The Advanced Light Microscopy Core
With great vision, the leadership of the Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research designated during the establishment of the Center philanthropic funds for a state-of-the-art laser scanning confocal microscope. This instrument filled a perceived gap in shared resources at OHSU at the time. In addition, Dr. Stefanie Kaech Petrie joined the faculty in the Jungers Center with her role defined to advance light microscopy shared resources at the university and to educate the next generation of neuroscientists on the use of this essential tool in neuroscience research.
These seed funds turned out to be transformative. Within a year, the Jungers Imaging Facility morphed into the Advanced Light Microscopy Core @ The Jungers Center, a university-wide shared resource receiving continuous support from the OHSU central administration. For over a decade, the facility also received funds under a prestigious core center grant issued by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Numerous young neuroscientists continue to benefit from access to Stefanie’s long-standing expertise and one-on-one trainings.
The initial investment spurred many further philanthropic and institutional investments into a wide array of high-end imaging setups, shared university-wide with all OHSU scientists. Recent technological innovations enhance the spatial resolution of light microscopy into the realm of 'super-resolution', open new approaches in imaging anatomy without slicing and dicing tissues into small pieces, and allow capturing dynamic events across a variety of spatial and temporal resolution.
The members of the microscopy core came together a couple of weeks ago to bid farewell to Crystal Chaw (center) who recently left OHSU for a terrific teaching opportunity at Reed College. We will miss her but we have found her replacement from our user base at OHSU and are looking forward to folding our newcomer Felice Kelly into the team. Hannah Bronstein (right) is a recent graduate of Reed and Brian Jenkins (left) is an OHSU NGP graduate. And yes, Stefanie took the photo and is mirrored in the window!