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About UC San Diego School of Medicine Microscopy Core

Microscopy Core was initially established in 2004 to meet the imaging needs of research laboratories at the UC San Diego School of Medicine (SOM). Currently we serve labs at the SOM, general campus as well as sister institutions and local companies.

Our Offerings

We offer access to well maintained, high end instrumentation and software that may not be available in individual laboratories. We have 11 microscope systems ranging from super resolution solutions to live cell imaging and electron microscopy. We also offer specialized histology services such as Neuro Histology, CLARITY and Array Tomography. Our experts provide consultation and guidance with everything relating to imaging, image analysis and histology.


  • Super Resolution - STED, Lightning, Traditional SIM, Airyscan, Lattice SIM
  • FLIM
  • Array Tomography
  • Correlative Microscopy
  • Serial Block Face Sectioning EM
  • Confocal 
  • Light Sheet
  • TIRF
  • Widefield
  • Slide Scanning
  • Live Cell Imaging
  • Array Tomography
  • EM fixation and embedding


  • Volocity
  • Imaris
  • Image Pro Premier
  • Arivis

Contact us to schedule a tour of the facility, demonstration of a specific system, or meeting to discuss which technology will best suit your experimental needs. You must be affiliated with an established laboratory or For-profit corporation for access to our resources. No residential addresses will be accepted as a laboratory. You must also provide a current approved BUA and/or animal protocol. 

If you wish to do any live cell imaging in the core, you must have approval by submitting a BUA authorization form to core staff along with a copy of your BUA report listing the proposed research material.

The Core is conveniently located in the heart of the School of Medicine.

Leica Center of Excellence

We are proud to be a Leica Center of Excellence and host to three high end Leica microscopy systems with the following capabilities

  • STED
  • FLIM
  • FRET
  • FRAP
  • White Light Laser
  • Super Resolution
  • Resonant Scanning

Our Partners

We partner with the Moores Cancer Center Microscopy Core to meet the imaging needs at both the Main Campus and the Cancer Center campus.

We also closely partner with the EM Core Facility to provide multiscale microscopy services. An NINDS P30 core grant (NS047101) is used to subsidize the rates for P30 sponsored members.

Our Management

The Microscopy Core is managed by Jennifer Santini, with faculty supervision by Dr. Binhai Zheng (Neurosciences), in consultation with the Microscopy Core Faculty Steering Committee.

Future Directions

  • Acquiring multiphoton microscopy
  • Increase the instrumentation and technology available to UC San Diego researchers in the field of microscopy
  • Expand our current capabilities with Correlative Microscopy and Correlative Array Tomography

All publications generated utilizing our resources must cite our grant:

NINDS P30NS047101

If the Elyra 7 Lattice SIM Instrument was utilized, please cite our S10 grant: