Light-sheet microscopy is an emerging technology that enables imaging of biological specimens with minimal photo-damage. It opens new avenues to study cell biological and developmental processes with unprecedented imaging speed. It also facilitates systems biology approaches by quantitative imaging of entire living systems. Light-sheet microscopy has only recently left the optical tables of technology developers and became more broadly available through commercial and open-access platforms. This EMBO Practical Course will comprehensively introduce the light sheet microscopy paradigm to the new generation of scientists.

In this interdisciplinary EMBO Practical Course we aim to introduce participants to the entire range of techniques associated with various aspects of light-sheet microscopy, including:

  • microscope assembly
  • sample preparation
  • data acquisition
  • image processing
  • image data analysis
  • information technology of data handling
We have assembled a panel of experts covering the optical, biological and computer science aspects of light-sheet microscopy. During the course the students will have access to broad portfolio of light sheet set-ups including:
  • Lightsheet Z1 (Carl Zeiss Microscopy)
  • ultra high-speed SPIM set-ups (Huisken lab)
  • OpenSPIM (Tomancak lab)
  • Ultramicroscope (LaVision Biotech)
  • Bessel beam SI-SPIM (Myers lab)
  • monolithic DSLM (Stelzer lab)
  • powerful desktop computers
  • compute cluster
  • and more

We will form four groups of students with diverse backgrounds. They will solve together with the instructors their own research questions with the help of light-sheet microscopy. Uniquely, each group will build their own light-sheet set-up during the course. Biologists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and microscopists (including staff of core imaging facilities) are encouraged to apply.




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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics,



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