Images produced by the light microscopy team at The Crick.

Light Microscopy : Latest news

News and updates about Crick Advanced Light Microscopy STP

Work in CALM STP (3 September 2020 UPDATES)

Dear users,

all users entering the Advanced Light Microscopy STP must respect our start-up guidelines:

The main points are: 

1. Work in line with Crick and Government guidelines.

2. Hand washing and social distancing are the most important things. People should not be closer than 2 meters for more than 15 minutes.

3. Extra measures are needed if you have to breach Social Distance rules. These measures include working back-to-back, working behind screens or curtains, wearing masks and visors, and wearing gloves. Use more than one approach if possible.

4. The occupancy of each room and the facility overall is restricted. This information is posted on the door of each room and the entrance to the facility. Please do not enter the facility without an actual booking.

5. We are enforcing a 30 minute gap between bookings to minimise user contact. During this time we ask each new user to wipe down the system  before use (keyboard, manual controls, eyepieces, desktop). Gloves and Distel wipes are provided at the entrance to the Facility.

6. Image analysis workstations should be used remotely where possible.


Staff on site and working remotely is available for assistance, this means  you can contact them all via email and Zoom.

Additionally every microscope has Zoom installed for desktop sharing.

Remember you can also use the general contact email, which goes to everyone in the team.

Stay healthy,


Dr. Kurt I. Anderson


Crick Advanced Light Microscopy Facility

The Francis Crick Institute

1 Midland Road


Hints of normality (03 August 2020 microscopy news)

Hey ho,

I hope you are coping with the covid. Here's a semi-normal CALM update about good stuff going on in the facility.

New Equipment Arrivals
Our new system for fluorescence lifetime imaging (Lambert Instruments Toggle ) was installed just before lockdown and has been patiently waiting since then for users. The system is built around our workhorse platform comprising a Nikon Ti2 inverted scope, OkoLab incubator, and MicroManager. See Matt for details.

Our new VisiTech iSIM super-resolution microscope ( was finally installed last week. This system achieves ~170 nm lateral resolution at live imaging rates of 20 frames / second, which improves to ~120 nm following deconvolution. It has two cameras and can do simultaneous full-frame two-colour imaging, or 4-channel sequential imaging. Best results are achieved using the Olympus 150x/1.45 NA TIRF objective to image cells growing directly on glass coverslips. However we also have a 100x/1.35 NA silicon-immersion objective to image cells or tissue further from the coverslip. This system is ideal for imaging sub-cellular dynamics including golgi or ER, organelle traffic, actin, and microtubules. See Matt or Kurt for details.

Our new system for optical projection tomography (OPT, see  ) has just moved from the French Lab, where it was designed and built, to the HREM Room (L3-2162, across the hall from the main facility). OPT has been extensively used by developmental biologists to make 3D reconstructions of large, thick samples such as mouse embryos. OPT is complimentary to HREM and light-sheet microscopy, and we think there will be interesting opportunities for correlative imaging using these methods. See Dan for details.

Methods on the (distant) Horizon
Sam Rodriguez, who developed the Slide-Seq ( approach to spatial transcriptomics, will be starting as a Junior Research Group Leader at the Crick this January. Along with advanced sequencing and bioinformatics, we will be helping to set up Slide-Seq at the Crick following Sam’s arrival.

Data Management
We have just completed procurement of a server license for (, an image management platform from Glencoe Software based on the open-source OME package (Open Microscopy Environment). includes proprietary modules for high-content screening and histopathology. We have also enlisted Glencoe to automate other aspects of the software including importing of data and meta-data. As well as helping researchers organise, view, and share image data, OMERO also integrates with software including Python and Fiji to serve as a platform for image analysis. OMERO will help to support work in the Light Microscopy, High Throughput Screening, and Histopathology STPs, and is being jointly implemented by CALM and Scientific Computing. See Kurt for details.

Image Analysis
The Image Analysis Helpdesk rides again! We held our first zoom helpdesk on July 15th and it went surprisingly well. Dave has now set it set up a recurring event on Cricknet for the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Come and ask questions! See Dave or Todd for details.

You didn't think you were going to get away without being exposed to Covid-19 (news), did you? We are once again adapting our rules for working in the facility, based on government guidance and lessons learned over the past four months. The gist of it is that we have eased booking restrictions on most of our systems, while retaining a 30 minute buffer between bookings to (1) provide time to wipe it down and (2) prevent overlap between subsequent users. You may also be asked to wear a mask on certain systems that are closely situated. The new rules will be posted on our website later this week and go into effect starting Monday, August 10th.

Happy trails,


Dr. Kurt I. Anderson
CALM Head - Crick Advanced Light Microscopy Facility
Interim Head of the Making Lab
The Francis Crick Institute
1 Midland Road

Full start-up guidelines - 10 August 2020 and UPDATES

Previous Virus updates

Previous CALM updates:

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