Two-week EMBO Practical Course

Introducing the Light Sheet Microscopy paradigm to a new generation of scientists

They did it again: Inspired by the two successful EMBO practical course on light sheet microscopy in 2014 and 2016, Pavel Tomancak, Emmanuel Reynaud and Jan Peychl organised yet another one! From August 2-11, 2018, 16 students from all over the world, 18 experienced instructors, eight high-profile speakers and 14 companies came together for two intense weeks of hands-on light sheet microscopy. 

The course was highly interdisciplinary, true to the nature of this technology. It covered diverse areas including sample preparation, microscope assembly, physics of the light sheet, long term live imaging, image processing, high performance computing and IT challenges of big image data. Commercial as well as homemade set-ups were made available for the students to get familiar with the various flavours of light sheet technology. The highlight of this year’s light sheet hardware line-up was the SCAPE system brought by Elizabeth Hillman and her team all the way from University of Columbia in the city of New York.  

The students unleashed the available light sheet systems on diverse set of samples ranging from traditional model species such as zebrafish or Arabidopsis plants to previously uncharacterized species moths to organoids and organ-on-chip systems. All samples were imaged during the course for the first time with the light sheet technology resulting in over 30 Terabytes of novel image data. Large part of the course was dedicated to processing, visualization and analysis of this data that lasted until early morning hours almost every day. 

The outcomes of the student’s hard work were presented at the 10th Anniversary Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy Conference that took place at the MPI-CBG right after the practical course from 12-15 August 2018. The student’s flashtalks were an absolute highlight of the conference and showcased the extremely broad range of biological discovery enabled by the light sheet technology.  

You can find all student presentations from the course all in one thread on Twitter: