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Light Microscopy

Light Microscopy Core

Provides powerful resources for imaging model organisms, tissue, cells, biomaterials, and artificial structures and houses state-of-the-art equipment including almost every light microscopy imaging modality currently available. Cell culture facilities are also available as well as other routine needs for biological imaging. This facility is one of a few designated Nikon Centers of Excellence providing a unique opportunity for training, demonstration, instrument development, and research.

Microscopes that are currently available:

  • Nikon Spinning Disk Confocal
  • Nikon A1R Confocal (Scanning confocal)
  • A1-SP (Spectral confocal)
  • Nikon A1R-MP (Multiphoton)
  • Nikon HCA (High content)
  • Nikon N-STORM (Super resolution)
  • Nikon SIM-E/A1R (Structured illumination)
  • Laser Capture Micro-dissection
  • Patch clamp rig

Microscopes and capabilities that will be added in late 2016:

  • FLIM unit from PicoQuant

(All or partial equipment has been purchased through MLSC funding.)

  Campus Users External Users
Tier 1 Instruments
  • Nikon A1R-MP (Multiphoton)
  • Nikon HCA (High content)
  • Nikon N-STORM (Super resolution)
  • Nikon diSPIM (Selective Plane Illumination)
  • Nikon Micro-dissection
  • FLIM unit from PicoQuant
$28/hour $48/hour
Tier 2 Instruments
  • Nikon Spinning Disk Confocal
  • Nikon A1R Confocal (Scanning confocal)
  • Nikon A1-SP (Spectral confocal)
$18/hour $31/hour
Training $75/hour $130/hour
Rates are subject to change, contact facility to verify current fees.
Updated March 13, 2017

Training will be provided in house.

Facility Online Manager (FOM) (access and reservations)

Facility Staff

James ChambersJames Chambers
(413) 577-4580

Patricia WadsworthPatricia Wadsworth
(413) 545-4877


S576A Life Science Laboratories
University of Massachusetts Amherst
240 Thatcher Road
Amherst, MA 01003

  • I have only been using the SIM and STORM microscopes at the UMass light microscopy facility for a few months and already it seems like my data has the potential to transform my thesis project. Thanks to the guidance and help from the facility manager (Jim) I have been collecting images that have changed my approach completely and might lead to some pretty exciting findings in my field. The facility manager has been more than patient while training me, has provided valuable advice and makes the facility a pleasant and productive environment, constantly striving to improve it. I am excited to continue to work and collect data that can impress any audience, and of course push my field forward!

    — Emily Melzer

  • I am a graduate student currently using the N-STORM microscope over at the LMF and Jim has been of great help to me and my project. He trained me to use the microscope and to analyze the data obtained. He also helped me troubleshoot the settings to acquire my data as well as being present in the LMF should any problem come up. He is very welcoming, helpful and if he does not know the answer he makes sure to get backup from the NIKON representatives in order to help me solve any issue.

    — Ana Torres-Ocampo

  • The facility is very useful to our research. It has more than 6 types of confocal microscopes. Depending on research purposes, we can use proper microscopes. Our samples are not typical samples such as cell. However, these variety of microscopes make it possible to adjust conditions to our specific samples.
    Dr. James chambers, who is in charge of the facility, is very helpful, helping students to optimize the experimental conditions as well as to build customized setups for each experiments. We frequently discuss experimental setups with him and he always gives us great ideas on the experiments. He also teaches both basics and advances on confocal microscope, trying to help students to understand the mechanics of the microscope. He is always improving the facility and maintain the facility in an excellent shape. Nikon researchers are also helpful and they give us quick useful feedback when we have some questions and concerns on the microscopes.

    — Tetsu Ouchi

  • The microscopy facility LMF at UMASS Amherst is the kind of facility that I was looking for years. So glad that it finally happened! Just in less than two months, we generated enormous amount of data (!) and helped writing two papers, one already published, and the other under submission. It has so many different kinds of microscopes and I can definitely say from my experience that the center is a place to explore science. And the director of the center, Dr. James Chambers, is always there to help you.

    — Rubul