Light Microscopy Training

The hands-on training in the Center will provide instructions and consultation on sample preparation, the use of our light microscopes for different observation modes, optimal image capture and processing techniques. Depending on the amount of experience and specific needs, the amount of training time will vary. Each new user must be trained by the MIC staff.  Second-hand learning from another user is not sufficient to gain access to the instrument.


Typically, two hours will be necessary for the basic training on the Zeiss Axiophot and the imaging software. Following the basic training with the instructor,  you will be able to operate the instrument by yourself during normal working hours. Once you and your instructor feel you are capable of operating the equipment alone, you will be checked out. To arrive at this point depends on your background/previous proficiency with similar equipment etc.  After successful checkout, you will get access to the online scheduling system and also can get a key to the facility for a $10 deposit. The MIC is open to qualified users 24hrs/day, 7d/week, except for scheduled shut-down periods (e.g., end of the year holidays, Thanksgiving holidays).

Confocal microscope training: The basic training is done in two sessions, 2-3hr each.  Environmental Health & Safety-Radiation Safety office requires that  all users of the laser scanning confocal microscope MUST take the online Laser Safety course.  It is located at:  https://ehsdtraining.tamu.eduAfter taking the Laser Safety course, print out the confirmation page and bring it to the first training session.
It is recommended that for the training you bring a hard-copy of the confocal microscope user guide, available from the MIC web-site: Olympus_confocal_user_guide.pdf.  When the basic confocal training is completed, you may use the microscope independently during normal business hours. Once you gain proficiency in using the instrument, you will undergo a practical check-out test to demonstrate that you can operate the microscope without endangering yourself or the microscope. The requirements for successful check-out on the Olympus confocal microscope are listed here:  Checkout_Olympus_confocal.pdf.  After successful checkout, you will get access to the online scheduling system,  get building access using your university ID card, and a key to the facility for a deposit ($10.00).

Suggested reading: A. Hibbs: Confocal Microscopy for Biologists. Springer, 2004.

Additional specialized training: the basic training only covers the most common imaging techniques. You can get additional training, help and assistance with advanced methods, such as photoconversion, FRAP, FLIP, FRET, Raster Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS), multi-area time lapse,  as well as with image processing and analysis.

For all light microscopy training, please contact Dr. Stanislav Vitha (; Tel. 845-1607)