Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource Core


The Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) is an institutional, fee-for-service, advanced microscopy resource. The CISR provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art imaging equipment and expert technical support for sophisticated microscopy and analysis of tissue and cellular anatomy and physiology.

Currently the CISR independently manages 19 microscopes; 16 advanced optical microscopes, one transmission electron microscope and two environmental scanning electron microscopes. All are fully operational and in excellent working condition. Thirteen of these 16 instruments have been acquired through Shared Instrumentation Grants or Center Grant Supplements. These instruments and the array of advanced capabilities offered by them are available to support any investigator with an appointment at Vanderbilt University or VUMC.

The Departments of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Pathology, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Epithelial Biology Center, and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute provide space for the CISR. The CISR consists of five separate suites within Vanderbilt University.

The overall philosophy of the resource has been to place instrumentation in several consolidated locations rather than a single central location. This helps maximize use of the instrumentation. All five locations for CISR equipment are within easy walking distance (3 of the 5 buildings are contiguous and connected) so staff can move easily between instruments as needed.


The CISR provides services in eight general categories:

  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Specialty Laser Microscopes (super-resolution SIM, super-resolution STORM, multi-photon excitation, line-scan confocal, TIRF)
  • Widefield Microscopy
  • Electron Microscopy (TEM, SEM)
  • EM Technical Services for Specimen Preparation and Sectioning
  • Advanced Image Analysis and Processing
  • Professional Guidance in Experimental Design and Data Interpretation
  • Expert Training and Assistance (basic and advanced)

Core People

Core Director
Matthew J Tyska MD Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource Core Email
Core Co-Director
K Sam Wells PhD Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource Core Email