New UNC-Olympus Research Imaging Center opens doors

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill today opened the doors of a new facility designed to be one of the world's most sophisticated research centers devoted to life science imaging. The new UNC-Olympus Research Imaging Center provides researchers with advanced microscopes and camera equipment, software, consultation and expertise, in an environment intended to encourage the highest levels of scientific inquiry. The center is designed to stimulate collaboration among top life science research faculty members and will be available to guest researchers as well.

The new imaging center has been endowed by Olympus America Inc., Center Valley, Pa., which is providing comprehensive imaging systems featuring state-of-the-art research microscopes, confocal instruments, digital imaging equipment, intravital imaging tools, incubation microscopes, software and substantial ongoing staffing and technical support.

The Center, which comprises nearly 2000 square feet of dedicated space, is operating under co-directors Ken Jacobson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and James E. Bear, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Both are affiliated with the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the UNC School of Medicine and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Researchers using the Center work in cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology and other specialties that contribute to the study of cancer, Alzheimer's Disease and other conditions.

"The UNC-Olympus Research Imaging Center offers researchers much more than equipment, support and space. It is a place where principal investigators are actively interacting through structured consultation and collaboration, using the highest level of imaging technology available today," said Dr. Bear.

"This shared vision, which is generously supported by our partner Olympus, promises to drive innovation in both our experimental approaches and in the field of microscopy, and represents the best spirit of our desire to push forward the frontier of knowledge," Dr. Bear continued. "With Olympus instrumentation, knowledge, commitment and support, and because of the goals we share, we have become partners in this endeavor."

"We are pleased to be deeply involved with UNC's new imaging center because it allows us to support advanced microscopy imaging in the heart of one of the most prestigious and creative bioscience institutions in the world," said Osamu Joji, group vice president and general manager, Scientific Equipment Group, Olympus America Inc. "Since UNC's Dr. Klaus Hahn first contacted Olympus to discuss this project four years ago, we have worked closely with the university toward a shared vision. This center allows us to be closer to the vital process of scientific discovery and ultimately to better serve the needs of scientists across the U.S."

The center's doors opened today, marking the Grand Opening with a reception, tours and scientific presentations by UNC scientists Drs. Klaus Hahn and Nancy Allbritton. Along with Olympus, several other organizations were recognized at the opening for their contributions, including Hamamatsu Corporation, manufacturer of scientific cameras, and Prior Scientific.

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