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MDACC Advanced Microscopy Core

Our location: South Campus 2SCR3.3023 (office)

Overview of Services

AMC (Co)Director, Tomasz Zal, and Manager, Anna Zal are leaving MD Anderson on July 30, 2021. New personnel is TBD.

Please refer all inquiries to Dr. Michael Andreeff, the Core Director.

No assistance is available until further notice.

Approved trained users may continue using equipment subject to iLab booking and building access.

The new Zeiss Lightsheet 7 microscope will be installed the week of Aug 2.

It was a privilege to develop the Advanced Microscopy Core in MD Anderson Cancer Center! Thank you to our wonderful Users for sharing their science with us.

-Tomasz and Anna


COMING: Meso and Micro-Scale Lightsheet Microscopy

Zeiss Lightsheet 7

Details to follow


Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy with Spectral HyD Detectors

Equipment: Leica SP8 Confocal Microscope with fast scanners, spectral detectors and live cell enclosure (2SCR3.3130)

  • Fast imaging of live or fixed cells and tissues by resonant or conventional scanning
  • Highest sensitivity photon-counting HyD detectors
  • Spatial resolution ~250 nm (XY), ~600 nm (Z)
  • Channel unmixing by spectral fingerprinting
  • 3-D visualization
  • FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) for molecule dynamics
  • Automated image stitching for large specimens and 3-D Assay imaging in multi-well plates

Intravital Multiphoton (2-Photon) Microscopy

Equipment: Custom Leica SP5MP Microscope with dual MaiTai fs Lasers, 2x4-channel non-descanned detection, Becker&Hickl FLIM/PLIM, and small animal life support (2SCR3.3123)

  • Dynamic imaging of cellular behavior in vivo
  • Extensive expertise in intravital tumor microscopy including in skin, lung, brain, pancreas, liver, bone, intestine and lymph nodes
  • Immune surveillance
  • Cancer metastasis and invasion
  • Thick specimen imaging - fresh tissues, tumor spheroids, tissue phantoms, clarified tissues
  • Therapeutic mechanisms
  • Up to 8 color channels by dual laser excitation multiplexing
  • Two photon FLIM and PLIM (fluorescence and phosphorescence lifetime imaging microscopy)
  • Project/grant collaboration

Super-Resolution Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM)

Equipment: OMX Blaze V4 Microscope

  • Spatial resolution ~120 nm (XY), ~300 nm (Z)
  • 3-D high impact imaging of cellular structures

Super-Resolution Localization Microscopy (STORM/PALM/GSD)

Equipment: Vutara SR-200 Biplane Microscope (3-D) and OMX Blaze V4 Microscope (2-D)

  • Spatial resolution ~20 nm (XY), ~ 60 nm (Z)
  • Molecular studies of subcellular structures at the highest optical resolution available

Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRF)

Equipment: OMX Blaze V4 Microscope  

  • Spatial resolution ~250 nm (XY), ~ 100 nm (Z thickness)
  • Studies of live cell membrane receptor-ligand interactions, cellular adhesion, endo and exocytosis, etc.)

Förster/Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Imaging

Equipment: OMX Blaze V4 Microscope, Intelligent Imaging Innovations Dual Camera Nikon Eclipse Ti Microscope

  • 1-10 nm molecular distance sensitivity
  • Static and dynamic mapping of molecular interactions inside cells
  • ‘Cyan/Yellow’, ‘Green/Red’ and ‘Red/Far Red’ donor/acceptor compatibility
  • Sensitized Emission (3-Cube) Method or Photobleaching Method

Image Analysis and Visualization

LCS3.x (Leica Confocal Software) (2SCR3.3130)

  • Image pre-processing and basic analysis of images from Leica SP8 Confocal Microscope
  • De-noising, spectral channel unmixing, distance measurement, z-stack projection (maximum intensity or average), 3-D rotation movie rendering, colocalization coefficients

SoftWorx (OMX microscope)

  • Image pre-processing and basic analysis of images from OMX Blaze SIM Microscope
  • De-noising, distance measurement, z-stack projection (maximum intensity or average), 3-D rotation movie rendering, colocalization coefficients, FRET, etc.

IMARIS Software (2SCR3.3203)

  • High-end 3/4D Image Visualization and Analysis
  • Adaptive thresholding with feature identification (spots, cells, nuclei, cytoplasm, cell membranes, neuronal dendrites, etc)
  • Hundreds of morphological measurements
  • Colocalization
  • 3-D video design with rotations, fly-through, zooming and time-lapse visualization
  • Spatiotemporal tracking
  • Compatible with most existing microscope brands and image formats


TBD| Core Director

TBD| Core Manager |  |

Location and hours of operation

Hours      Location

Monday - Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm 

     2SCR3.3023 (office)

7455 Fannin, Houston, TX 77054

Links and Resources

  1. MD Anderson Advanced Microscopy Core


Name Role Phone Email Location
M. Anna Zal, M.Sc.
7455 Fannin Houston, TX 77054