Learning about Microscopy

The iBiology microscopy course is a comprehensive set of online lectures covering all aspects of modern light microscopy.

A family of websites, formerly maintained by Michael Davidson, are an excellent source of microscopy information:

Fluorescent Proteins

The NIC maintains a large library of fluorescent proteins for both mammalian expression and yeast tagging, available to UCSF investigators for $18/plasmid. To request plasmids, please download the plasmid catalog to determine the plasmid you would like and note the box and position number. Then submit a request through the CALM iLab site. If you are not a UCSF investigator, most of these plasmids are available at Addgene. Sequence files for these plasmids can be found here, as well as at Addgene.

Please visit FPbase for the interactive graphs of fluorescent protein properties and of the fluorescent protein table that is searchable by protein properties to help you choose proteins for your experiment.

Other Microscopy Cores

The microscopy cores at the Mission Bay campus have joined to form the Mission Bay Microscopy Collaboration. To browse all microscopes in cores at Mission Bay please visit the Mission Bay Microscopy Collaboration website.

There are a number of other microscopy cores at UCSF that may be useful for your research. They are listed below, with microscopes whose capabilities go beyond what is available at the CALM called out in parentheses.

Other core instrumentation can be found at the Cores search page.

Experimental Design


Sample preparation

More specialized protocols and detailed information are available on the CALM Wiki.

CALM Zotero Library

Visit the CALM zotero library page to see papers published with CALM instruments! If you publish a paper using CALM instruments, please let us know so we can add it. For acknowlegeing CALM instruments, please see grant information and example test on the Acknowledgments page.