Dr. Vibor Lake­ta

vibor.laketa@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Phone: ++49-(0)6221–56-34410

Establishment and application of advanced microscopy infrastructure under enhanced biosafety containment 2 and 3 for infectious disease research

Projects

Microscopy and infec­tious dis­ease research have been insep­a­ra­ble part­ners ever since in the 1670s Anthonie van Leeuwen­hoek used his new­ly-invent­ed micro­scope to exam­ine a sam­ple of plaque he had scraped from his own teeth, and observed — for the first time — bac­te­ria and oth­er microor­gan­isms that share the world with us. Undoubt­ed­ly, microscopy was fun­da­men­tal in infec­tious dis­ease research, as it was nec­es­sary for the dis­cov­ery of infec­tious agents by direct obser­va­tion and lat­er on also for their diag­no­sis.

In mod­ern bio­med­ical research that is being real­ized in CIID, microscopy-based exper­i­men­tal approach has a cen­tral role. A com­pre­hen­sive under­stand­ing of host-pathogen inter­ac­tions requires quan­ti­ta­tive assess­ment of mol­e­c­u­lar events across a wide range of spa­tiotem­po­ral scales and orga­ni­za­tion­al com­plex­i­ties Due to recent tech­ni­cal devel­op­ments, this is cur­rent­ly only achiev­able with microscopy. Based on devel­op­ment of new imag­ing modal­i­ties, flu­o­res­cent probes and sen­sors, com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy, image analy­sis algo­rithms and new bio­log­i­cal mod­el sys­tem, the field of bio­log­i­cal microscopy is under­go­ing a rev­o­lu­tion. Only now we are start­ing to appre­ci­ate and make use of the full poten­tial of the microscopy-based exper­i­men­tal approach. Mod­ern micro­scopes have evolved into com­plex robot­ic instru­ments capa­ble of auto­mat­i­cal­ly inter­ro­gat­ing a wide range of bio­log­i­cal process­es at vast­ly dif­fer­ent spa­tiotem­po­ral scales and orga­ni­za­tion­al com­plex­i­ties, from struc­tur­al stud­ies on macro­mol­e­c­u­lar scale all the way to whole organ/body imag­ing in liv­ing ani­mals.

We believe that mod­ern microscopy tech­nol­o­gy is cur­rent­ly unique­ly posi­tioned to pro­pel the infec­tious dis­ease research to a new fron­tier. For these rea­sons, we are estab­lish­ing and apply­ing advanced microscopy infra­struc­ture to allow infec­tious dis­ease research across the range of dif­fer­ent spa­tiotem­po­ral scales and orga­ni­za­tion­al com­plex­i­ties. More infor­ma­tion about IDIP organ­i­sa­tion and instru­men­ta­tion can be found on the IDIP home­page https://www.idip-heidelberg.org/.

If you would like to use the IDIP infra­struc­ture fol­low the instruc­tions at https://www.idip-heidelberg.org/usage-concept

1 | Microscopy infrastructure under BSL2 and BSL3 containment

IDIP projects cov­er all aspects nec­es­sary for the exe­cu­tion of the microscopy-based exper­i­men­tal approach in the con­text of infec­tious dis­eases research. Typ­i­cal­ly, projects are relat­ed to the fol­low­ing activ­i­ties:

A. Imple­ment­ing, oper­at­ing and pro­vid­ing advanced microscopy and cell sort­ing infra­struc­ture under enhanced biosafe­ty con­di­tions (BSL‑2 and BSL‑3). You can find more infor­ma­tion on IDIP infra­struc­ture at https://www.idip-heidelberg.org/equipment

  • Imple­ment­ing, oper­at­ing and pro­vid­ing advanced microscopy and cell sort­ing infra­struc­ture under enhanced biosafe­ty con­di­tions (BSL‑2 and BSL‑3). You can find more infor­ma­tion on IDIP infra­struc­ture at https://www.idip-heidelberg.org/equipment

  • Con­sul­ta­tion dur­ing microscopy-based project plan­ning and exper­i­men­tal design. Col­lab­o­ra­tion with­in projects being exe­cut­ed in CIID

  • Advice and sup­port in image pro­cess­ing, data visu­al­i­sa­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion. Devel­op­ment of data acqui­si­tion and analy­sis automa­tion work­flows

  • Coor­di­na­tion of microscopy infra­struc­ture invest­ments and sup­port for relat­ed grants appli­ca­tions

  • Edu­ca­tion and train­ing in microscopy and microscopy-relat­ed sub­jects. You can find more about these projects at https://www.idip-heidelberg.org/education