Fingers crossed - the 2020 OMIBS course at the MBL is still scheduled to run - and you still have time to send in your application!

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Fingers crossed - the 2020 OMIBS course at the MBL is still scheduled to run - and you still have time to send in your application!

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Dear fellow microscopists,

In the midst of this new and chaotic world, we are still hoping that the Optical Microscopy and Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences (OMIBS) course, held annually at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, USA, will go ahead as planned.  The MBL has currently cancelled courses through the end of July, and it would be foolish to deny that we are not concerned that our course will eventually suffer the same fate, or that we will have to think carefully about how best to run it safely.  However, as of today, it is still scheduled to run, and goodness knows, we are all longing to return to some kind of normality - if a very different kind of "normal".    So, please submit your applications to the OMIBS course, details below, and note that all accepted students will be offered places at the 2021 course, should this year's course be cancelled.

Our hearts go out to all of you who have suffered personal loss at this terrible time.  Our greatest encouragement must be the way scientists across the world are working together to fight this pandemic, and we are prouder than ever to be part of this noble and motivated community.

The 2020 OMIBS course at the MBL is scheduled to run this year from Aug 17th – Aug 27th.   This course is challenging, intensive and may leave you exhausted, but the instructors are enthusiastic and fun and are looking forward to teaching you!

Applications are accepted through Wednesday May 13th and should be submitted via the course website at:

Please join us or encourage your lab members or colleagues to attend the late summer OMIBS course on beautiful Cape Cod!

Alison North (Rockefeller University) and Joerg Bewersdorf (Yale University), Course Directors

Cost:  Tuition: $3,700 (Includes text, handouts, supplies).  Room and board: $770.00.   The course is limited to 24 students.  Some limited financial assistance may be available.

Course overview:  The course takes participants all the way from the fundamentals of optical microscopy through to state-of-the-art, multi-dimensional wide field fluorescence, confocal, multiphoton, multispectral, deconvolution, super-resolution and light-sheet microscopy systems.  Participants will learn through lectures, hands-on exercises, problem sets, demonstrations and discussions, specifically designed to drive home the principles and applications of modern microscopy.

A strong emphasis is placed on sample preparation, including choice of fluorescent probes and fluorescent proteins, and tissue clearing and refractive index matching.  Great stress will also be placed on ‘picking the right tool for the job’.  Students will learn to obtain and interpret microscope images of high quality, to assess data for common errors and artifacts, and to perform quantitative optical measurements. In the problem sets, small groups of students will acquire, analyze, interpret and present imaging data, thereby demonstrating their progress toward mastering microscopy and imaging skills.

Who will benefit?  The course is designed primarily for research scientists, postdoctoral trainees and graduate students in the biological sciences. Facility Directors and non-biologists seeking a comprehensive introduction to microscopy and digital imaging in the biomedical sciences will also benefit greatly from this course.

Specimens: Live and fixed specimens will be provided for use in laboratory exercises and demonstrations.  Students can bring their own, fixed biological specimens and discuss individual research problems with the faculty.  Students are also encouraged to make appointments with our highly experienced commercial faculty outside of scheduled classes to acquire data from their specimens using the available state-of-the-art equipment.

Academic Faculty for 2020:

Allen, John (MBL/Vendor faculty)
Bewersdorf, Joerg (Yale University)
Day, Richard (Indiana University)
di Domenico, Angelique (New York Stem Cell Foundation)
Ferrand, Leanna (Vendor Faculty)
Fullerton, Stephanie (Vendor faculty)
King, Sharon (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)
La Riviere, Patrick (University of Chicago)
Lavis, Luke (Janelia Research Campus)
Legant, Wesley (UNC Chapel Hill)
Lessard, Mark (Yale University)
Leung, Jacqueline (Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID/NIH)
McCall, Andrew (SUNY Buffalo)
McIlvain, Jim (MBL/Vendor faculty)
North, Alison (The Rockefeller University)
O’Shea, Clodagh (Salk Institute)
Palmer, Amy (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Rego, Hesper (Yale University)
Richardson, Douglas (Harvard University)
Shaw, Sidney (Indiana University)

We are grateful to the following companies for their loyal and enthusiastic support of the OMIBS course:

Major support:  Hamamatsu, GE, Leica, Nikon, PCO, Zeiss

Additional support:  Abbelight, Abberior, Arivis, AVR Optics, Axiom Optics, BioVision, Bitplane, Bruker/Luxendo, Caliber ID, Chroma, Coherent, Double Helix, Ibidi, ISS, Mizar, Thermofisher, Thorlabs, TomoCube and VisiTech and others who are yet to be confirmed!