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Robert Forster, General Manager of Nikon Instruments UK, with Professor Chris Jennison (right)
Robert Forster, General Manager of Nikon Instruments UK, with Professor Chris Jennison (right)
Photo by Nic Delves Broughton, UNiversity Photographer

Internal News - 14 November 2006

New imaging suite unveiled in Biology & Biochemistry

Professor Chris Jennison, Dean of the Faculty of Science, unveiled a new microscope facility in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry last week that will give researchers greater flexibility in carrying out their plant and insect research.

The imaging suite, which is funded by a £140,000 grant from the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and additional sponsorship from microscope manufacturers Nikon, will enable researchers to examine specimens in a facility immediately adjacent to their research laboratories.

The Nikon University of Bath Imaging Suite (NUBIS) is made up of a high performance motorised research microscope equipped with confocal and epifluorescence imaging capabilities along with three stereoscopic zoom microscopes also tailored for UV work.

These facilities will enable researchers, for example, to image specimens in 3D that are genetically labelled with fluorescent marker proteins that indicate patterns of gene expression. High resolution digital images can then be and captured for further analysis.

“Having the facilities so close to the laboratory will enable us to work flexibly in the speedy investigation of new developments, and will help spread the load between the University’s existing facilities,” said Dr James Doughty, one of four researchers who applied for the funding.

“The microscopes are networked, enabling us to share information quickly – and run further analysis on the images we capture.”

NUBIS was funded through the BBSRC’s Research Equipment Initiative and has led to a formal collaboration being established between the University and Nikon.

This means that the University will gain access to new equipment and additional support, in return for advice on developing imaging equipment and high-quality research images for use in promoting the equipment.

“We have always had a good relationship with Nikon, and it is great that we have been able to formalise this through the NUBIS collaboration,” said Dr Doughty.

“It was excellent that Robert Forster, the General Manager of Nikon Instruments UK, could help unveil the new suite, and we look forward to extending this relationship into the future.”

Research that will immediately benefit from the suite includes projects looking into plant reproductive biology, plant development and insect pathogens.