Resolution before super-resolution

Hands-on Light Microscopy Course

Light microscopy is one of the most useful tools in life science, but how does it really work?
To break down this question, the MPI-CBG hosted the practically oriented “Principles of Light Microscopy Course” from 11th to 18th September 2017, sponsored by the Dresden International PhD Program (DIPP) and organized by the MPI-CBG Light Microscopy Facility (LMF). Interactive optical demonstrations by Peter Evennett from the Royal Microscopical Society, UK and the support from The Biopolis Dresden Imaging Platform (BioDIP) made this a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the participants.

During the course, twelve students and six dedicated instructors examined, in-depth, the anatomy of a microscope. Participants learned about how forming an image relates to the concepts of resolution, contrast, magnification and lenses. The course continued with an introduction of different modalities of light microscopy such as super-resolution and finished with a voluntary hands-on sessions on advanced imaging systems available in house.

“Our aim is to reduce the fear and to break down the barriers about using microscopes. We give course participants a ticket for the ‘microscopy train’. Ultimately is up to them how long they want to stay in the train, but my guess is that for some of them it will be a life-long journey”, says Jan Peychl, service leader of the LMF. 

Dora, a PhD student from the MPI-CBG and the Technische Universität Dresden, benefited greatly from the course summarizes: “Well-structured and organised, the course is leading you from the basics towards the whole spectrum of more advanced imaging techniques. It managed to clarify all microscope questions I was facing on daily basis. I would absolutely recommend this course to anybody.”

The “Principles of Light Microscopy” course is ideal for novice students and experienced microscope users alike. Physicists and computer scientists who plan to work on images or image analysis and yet have little hands-on experience might also benefit from it. The increasingly popular course fills up soon, stay tune for future opportunities in spring 2018.