Acquisition of a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope for Multidiscipline Research and Research Training

  • Mcgee, Dennis D. (PI)
  • Gal, Susannah (CoPI)
  • Tammariello, Steven S. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


A grant has been awarded to SUNY Binghamton under the direction of Dr. Dennis McGee (PI), Susannah Gal, and Steven Tammariello (Co-PIs) to purchase a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (LSCM). The LSCM has become an essential instrument for modern research in the biological sciences and a variety of other fields. This instrument is capable of high resolution imaging of fluorescent specimens which is far superior to the conventional fluorescent microscope. Furthermore, the LSCM and computer analysis can allow the generation of three-dimensional images and advanced analysis of fluorescence data. The acquisition of this LSCM will create a core equipment facility which will greatly facilitate the research and research training capability at SUNY Binghamton across several departments including biological sciences, chemistry, mechanical engineering, and psychology.

A role for the LSCM in the research projects of twelve investigators have been identified. These include determining the effect and localization of antifreeze glycoproteins in cells, an investigation into the development and regulation of bacterial biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an analysis of protease activity in plant and animal cells, and an evaluation of adult neurogenesis in the cerebral and cerebellar cortex of animals. The LSCM will also be important in studies on the effect of cell surface integrins on the co-localization of intracellular signaling components, an examination of Pseudomonas putida gene expression and biofilm formation on roots, investigating the molecular signaling events associated with programmed cell death and the molecular mechanisms involved in regulating the cell cycle in arthropod dormancy, and examining the molecular basis for cell death in response to exposure to low temperatures. Other studies proposed for using the LSCM include determining the role of immune cells in ovarian development, investigating the neural basis for insect feeding behavior, understanding the mechanisms of microfluid movement as related to biosensors, microscale mixing and biofilm formation, and determining the localization of proteases in seeds and plant tissues. The acquisition of the LSCM will not only enhance the research of the participating users, but should also foster new collaborations between users from different research areas and enhance the recruitment of new faculty and quality graduate students. These activities emphasize the important intellectual merit of this proposal. The LSCM will also be an important part of graduate and undergraduate research training. An existing upper level undergraduate Cell Biology Laboratory will be expanded to include the LSCM so that numerous students will be exposed to this technology. A new mini-course will also be developed to train graduate and undergraduate students to use the LSCM in their research. In addition, a workshop on LSCM will be developed to introduce and train university faculty and visiting researchers in the use of this powerful research instrument.

The broader impacts of this proposal include the integration of experiments using the LSCM into the above courses to expose large numbers of undergraduate and graduate students to this state-of-the-art technology. This will facilitate graduate and undergraduate participation in research and will better prepare students to become part of our society as researchers and educators in the biological and related sciences. Furthermore, use of the LSCM will be made available to the university's preexisting efforts to attract students from underrepresented groups into continuing their education to the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate level through a summer research program with the university faculty. Therefore, acquisition of this instrument will have a positive impact on numerous faculty research programs, the students working in these research laboratories and numerous students participating in courses and summer research programs which make use of the LSCM.

Effective start/end date7/1/036/30/06


  • National Science Foundation: $288,346.00


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