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Microscopy Core Scheduling & Usage Guidelines



Corporate / For-Profit must pay via a blanket PO before work is begun

All UC San Diego researchers must provide a valid Oracle Chart String to use Core resources — this includes:

  • project number
  • task number
  • funding source number (not the same as a fund number)
Schedule a Session

Usage Guidelines

Facility is open 24/7 to UC San Diego researchers and outside institutions or companies.

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.

Core Usage Rules

In order to support important research work by our users while minimizing the risk of community spread of communicable diseases, the Core will implement the following rules for physical access by users:

  1. Personal SOM access badge is required for entrance (24/7 access with badge)
  2. Do not come to the core if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19
  3. If possible, do not come to the core if you have another illness - please wear a mask if you must enter
  4. Do not enter core without a reservation or business purpose
  5. Masking is optional for single person use unless you feel sick
  6. It's advised to wash/sanitize hands before and after use of equipment (use of gloves is allowed)


Jennifer Santini
Managing Director

Access and Training

Access & Demos

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. Free 1 hour demonstrations of any of our systems are available on request. 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 provide a current approved BUA and/or animal protocol if requested. 

Training & Assistance

Training is conducted by core staff only. To schedule training on a desired instrument, please contact Jennifer Santini at Training sessions are not conducted until you are ready to begin using the instrument. If you are trained and do not use the instruments for several weeks or months, a retraining may be required and charges may apply. A mask is required for training.

We provide assisted equipment sessions for short experiments, or training for independent instrument use. Basic instruction on a system can take 1–2 hours depending on the instrument and experience of the user. For infrequent instrument or software use, or for material which requires a great deal of expertise, it may be more cost effective to let us assist you. Please contact us to schedule an assisted session. A minimum of 48 hours notice is required.

On demand technical assistance is available at no charge during business hours should you need help or further consultation.

Facility Rules

General Usage Guidelines

Plan your experiments and microscope time in advance.

  • Advanced planning allows you to schedule desired time on instrument, and 14-day advanced booking may be necessary for several instruments in high demand.
  • If you require technical support or training, 2 weeks advanced request is recommended.

Inform the manager of any usage that differs from your scheduled time.

  • If you work longer or shorter than your scheduled time, you are responsible for contacting staff so we can track your usage appropriately.
  • If a user is found to use an instrument during an unscheduled time, or significantly beyond the scheduled time without notifying the core manager, the user's lab will be responsible for instrument charges incurred, the PI will be notified and the user's after-hour access may be revoked at the discretion of the core.
  • To ensure efficient core operation, a limit of 4 hours per day and 8 hours per week is enforced on heavily used instrumentation unless live cell applications or approval from core staff is obtained. If you are booking extra sessions day of use, you may exceed this limit if instrument time is available. Approval is recommended. For low use instrumentation, there is no limit in usage. All instrument booking rules can be found on the ilab calendar for the desired instrument.
  • For heavily used equipment and software, a 24-hour minimum modification/cancellation policy applies. The scheduling system will not allow you to adjust or modify your session. Please contact Jennifer Santini or Marcy Erb directly for any schedule changes. You may be financially responsible for any last minute changes. We aim to minimize loss in productivity as well as loss in recharges that are critical for maintaining of our equipment and software.

Responsibility for Equipment Misuse

  • Improper and Negligent Use: If equipment is damaged due to improper and negligent use, the user lab is responsible for part or all of repair costs.

Security Badges for Access After Hours

After-Hours Access

A SOM security badge is required for access to the facility. Once you are trained on a resource, you may request core access to be added to your badge by emailing Jennifer Santini. (

If you work after hours, sign up for a resource through iLab is required. Any usage of equipment after hours without sign up, or work exceeding the sign up will lead to a loss in after-hours privileges immediately.

Access is given on request only, not automatically.

To get access to the facility after hours, obtain a security badge from Security Services, and request access to the core through core staff

Security Services Locations

Hillcrest Security Services – Badging

UC San Diego Medical Center, Security Office
112 West Arbor Drive, #110
San Diego, CA 92103
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

La Jolla Security Services – Badging

Jacobs Medical Center – UC San Diego (East Campus)
9300 Campus Point Drive, Lower Level 410
San Diego, CA 92037
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Other Rules

Trainings on any instruments are conducted by facility staff ONLY.

All microscope rooms are BSL1 ONLY except room 002 and B008B, which are BSL2. You must show a current and approved BUA for all unfixed material.

Do not leave image files on any computers (including server) for longer than 1 month. All image files will be deleted without warning after this timeframe. The server exists as a transfer mechanism, not a storage mechanism. We must remove old files from the server regularly to ensure there is space for new file transfer. If you need an extension to the 1 month rule, please let us know. Users are responsible for backup and storage of their data and it is not the responsibility of the core to assist users with backup or locating files.

Leave instruments and facility in a tidy manner. Objectives should be free of oil and dirt, and consumables should be disposed of properly. If you need more cleaning supplies, please ask the staff.

Notify staff if you notice anything is broken or malfunctioning. Prompt notification will lead to prompt repair.

All equipment should be treated respectfully. Persons responsible for equipment damage are financially liable if the equipment was damaged due to improper use. Never attempt to alter hardware of software setups on your own. Any alterations must be pre-approved. Any approved modifications to microscope configurations must be returned to the previous configuration when the work is complete.

Publications and/or abstracts that have employed the facility must acknowledge the proper grant. Any work utilizing Neuroscience equipment or staff support, or funded by NINDS, must acknowledge the UCSD School of Medicine Microscopy Core Grant P30 NS047101. Equipment is supported by Jennifer Santini.

Equal Access for All Labs

  • Users may sign up no more than 2 weeks in advance unless first cleared with Management. Experimental necessity, not convenience, is required.
  • For instruments with high usage, you may not delete or modify your scheduled imaging session within 24 hours of the time slot.
  • If you need to delete or modify your time slot within the 24 hours, you may be charged your scheduled microscope time, as this time could have been utilized by another user.
  • You may only sign up for instruments that you have been formally trained on or authorized to use after demonstrated expertise.
  • If a user is late to their session more than 1/2 hour, another user may take over the time slot.
  • For heavily used confocal systems, the following booking rules apply (see calendar comments for each system in iLab):
    • Minimum booking period is 2 hours
    • No more than 2 sessions may be booked per day, unless there is available time day of use
    • No more than 4 sessions may be booked per day, unless there is available time day of use
    • No more than 16 hours of use per week per laboratory during business hours (M-F 9AM - 5PM)


See all rates

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: