Research Announcements

Zeiss LSM 800 with Airyscan now available at the UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility

The UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility (UAMCF) is delighted to announce that our new Zeiss LSM 800 with Airyscan is now fully operational and open for use. The Airyscan replaces our older LSM 510, which could no longer be supported by service contracts, and joins our Zeiss LSM 710 and the new Structured Illumination (SIM)/PALM/STORM super-resolution microscope. According to our Zeiss representative, Matt Curtis, UNMC is now the best-equipped microscopy center in the midwest region.

The Airyscan represents new technology, that manages to obtain resolution beyond that of confocal light microscopy (about 1.7 fold higher to about ~180 nm in the x-y plane—see images below), but not as good as with SIM (~100 nm). The way this works is that the pinhole, which is typically adjusted on the confocal to allow in light (at the expense of resolution), is left open and all the light is collected by a series of detectors. Through engineering ‘tricks’ that are similar to deconvolution, the signals are subsequently reassigned from the 32 detectors and this increases the signal-to-noise ratio—and thus the resolution.

The Airyscan is very easy to use, and not too different from the Zeiss LSM 710, and I would encourage users to talk to Janice and/or Jimmy for a brief training session so that you can take advantage of this new equipment. The user fees for the LSM 800 Airyscan will remain (for now) at $40/hour assisted use and $30/hour unassisted use. This is essentially the same as for the Zeiss 710 confocal microscope, and a very reasonable hourly fee compared to other microscopy core facilities. We will do our best to maintain inexpensive user fees as long as we can.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Keith Johnson, who along with the Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling Center of Biological Research Excellence (CoBRE), has been a huge supporter of the ‘modernization’ of our facility. Keith has been instrumental in pushing to obtain both the new super-resolution microscope, as well as our new Airyscan microscope. Every microscopy user on campus owes a debt of gratitude to Keith, and this can (and should) be repaid by acknowledging Keith’s CoBRE grant on publications and presentations:

 Support for the UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility was provided by the Nebraska Research Initiative, the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA036727), and an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the NIGMS of the NIH (P30GM106397).  The following NIH SIG funded instruments were used (please select from the list below)”

Zeiss ELYRA PS.1 Super Resolution System “Nebraska Research Initiative Grant” and Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling CoBRE “NIH P30GM106397

LSM 800 Zeiss Airyscan Microscope Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling CoBRE “NIH P30GM106397

LSM 710 Zeiss Confocal Microscope “NIH  S10RR027301“
LSM 510 Zeiss Confocal Microscope “NIH S10RR019278

Confocal Image

Courtesy of A. Seitz, BioImaging and Optics Core Facility, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars

Letter of Intent due:  March 15, 2016
Informational Webinar available: February 22, 2016

Announcing a new fellowship program that will provide financial support and mentoring for advanced doctoral students within the university system.

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars program will award 1- and 2-year grants, each worth up to $25,000 annually, to a maximum of four doctoral students every year. The program is designed to foster the growth of diverse, exceptional graduate students conducting research about young children and their families, with particular attention to children placed at risk as a consequence of poverty and social and environmental circumstances.

The University of Nebraska has made a remarkable commitment on an interdisciplinary level to advancing research on young children, and the Buffett Institute believes strongly in strengthening those efforts.

The scholars program is the first financial support program for doctoral students who have reached Ph.D. candidacy at the University of Nebraska that focuses on young children and their development.

The program is intended to reach across traditional higher education boundaries, supporting high-quality research from diverse fields that impact young children, including health, education, social work, music, art, the neurosciences, and others. Multidisciplinary research and practice, particularly from disciplines not typically associated with the field of early childhood education, and new methodologies will be encouraged.

The Buffett Graduate Scholars will work with their faculty mentors on a dissertation that represents an in-depth exploration of early childhood issues. The Institute will create opportunities for graduate students and mentors to communicate, network, and collaborate with one another.

Attached to this email are an overview of the program and the Request for Proposal (RFP). A letter of intent is due by March 15, 2016, and the full proposal is due April 15, 2016. Dr. Iheoma Iruka and Dr. Susan Sarver will host a webinar on February 22, 2016, to answer questions about the program and the RFP.

Visit our website for additional details.

Buffett Early Childhood Institute

Attached documents:

Buffett Graduate Scholars Overview Document

Buffett Graduate Scholars RFP

L’Oreal USA for Women in Science Fellowship Program

Deadline:  Friday, February 5, 2016

The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations. The program is the U.S. component of the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Fellowships. Celebrating its twelfth year in the U.S., the For Women in Science program has awarded 60 postdoctoral women scientists nearly $3 million in grants.

L’Oréal USA partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to manage the program’s application and peer-review process. Each year, the program attracts talented applicants from diverse STEM fields, representing some of the nation’s leading academic institutions and laboratories.

The application can be found here.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Must have a conferred PhD and have started in a postdoctoral research position by December 31, 2015
  • Must maintain the status of postdoctoral researcher throughout the fellowship year
  • Must be American born, naturalized citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be affiliated with a U.S. based academic or research institution
  • Must plan to conduct their postdoctoral studies and research in the U.S.
  • Must be involved in basic research in the life and physical/material sciences, engineering & technology, computer science and mathematics
  • Cannot be in a faculty position
  • Must commit to at least twenty hours of activity in support of women and girls in science (e.g. mentoring, classroom visits, media, events)
  • Must be available the week of October 4-7, 2016 for the For Women in Science Awards Week

The Selection Process
To ensure that the candidates who are selected represent scientific excellence, the program utilizes a two-phased application review process.
In the first round, applications are evaluated by experienced scientists in the candidates’ respective fields. In the second round, a distinguished Jury of eminent scientists evaluates the top-ranked candidates and selects the five winners.

Candidates are Evaluated for Overall Excellence with a Focus On:

  • Intellectual merit, academic records and accepted requisites for scholarly scientific study
  • Ability to plan and conduct research either as a member of a team or independently
  • Scientific excellence and appropriateness of proposed research
  • Evidence of originality, initiative and productivity
  • Choice of host institution and department mentor
  • Potential for career enhancement if awarded the Fellowship
  • Commitment to supporting women and girls in science

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