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Michael Hooker Microscopy Facility (MHMF.ORG)

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Overview of the Facility - Mission Statement

Advanced Light Microscopy & Imaging

1. Equipment

2. Mission Statement - Please note that this list is subject to change

The Michael Hooker Microscopy Facility provides high performance digital image acquisition, processing and analysis equipment and know how concentrating on light microscopy.  Multiple modes of imaging are supported including fluorescence, transmitted, differential interference contrast, phase contrast singly or in combination.  Images may be taken in time lapse mode on most equipment and also as z-sections on the confocal microscopes and the TE2000 widefield \\Nipkon setup.  Staff is available to assist with training, operation, maintenance and trouble shooting of the equipment.  All users receive training on the use of specific equipment based, when practical, on their prior knowledge before being allowed to use any of the systems.  Training is directed  towards producing knowledgeable and independent users.  Sample preparation, image analysis and file archiving is the users' responsibility, but advice is offered.  Collaboration with investigators is encouraged.  Most use of equipment is charged on a fee based on units of time used and by the type of equipment used.  Assistance with scanning may be provided at an additional cost.  Users may come from the UNC research community as well as from other Federal, State, private and commercial institutions.  Walk up assistance and advice is provided depending on personnel availability.

The facility is currently under the management of Dr. Michael Chua & Dr. Neal Kramarcy and is located in rooms 6129, 6033a, 6123 and 6033 of the Thurston Bowles Building in the School of Medicine.  Hardware resources are nominally available from 7 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday to trained users.  After hours use is permitted by validated experienced users.  Please make arrangements with the staff for access to the facility.  After hours building access requires a SOM access card to the Thurston Bowles building.  All users should see:  Please submit this form on line and also inform facility staff.  Please allow up to 2 business days to complete this process.  Plan ahead!

Training in the independent use and proper care of the microscopes, the associated computer equipment and software, advice in experimental design and assistance in optimal use of the equipment and image processing and handling are available.  Once trained and approved, users are allowed independent access to the equipment.  Training, which involves major contact time, is done by appointment.

A World Wide Web booking calendar system at is provided for the facility, and is viewable on the world wide web.  Authorized users may make or cancel bookings. World Wide Web pages concerning usage of, information about and status of the equipment is located at  These pages are under constant development and revision.

The facility staff assure that the facility, including optical, mechanical, software, network and computer components, are running efficiently and smoothly.  Occasionally small programs are written to assist in the handling of image data, especially multi-channel, z-series and time series data, and made available to authorized users of the facility.

Logs of equipment and ancillary computers usage are kept.  The information from these logs is passed on to Program in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry where accounting personnel prepare invoices.  In accordance with UNC recharge facility rules all users are billed for time used.  PIs are billed via the usual UNC billing channels.

Staff duties include:

3. Charges

4. Location

5. Personnel

6. Funding

Capital funding for the facility was provided by an anonymous donor.  The Michael Hooker Microscopy Facility is no longer financially supported by the School of Medicine.  Funds derived from usage charges are directed to operational costs, including service contracts, maintenance, consumables and training staff.  The facility has been awarded extramural equipment funds.

Further information please contact the directors or see the facility's web site at

Booking Resources
Copyright 2001-2014  Dr. M. Chua, Program in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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last updated 02/28/2011