Bioimaging Facility


The goal of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Bioimaging Shared Resource is to advance the scientific research programs of the Cancer Center by providing powerful, reliable, and readily accessible light microscopic image acquisition and analysis capabilities to SKCC investigators. The Bioimaging Shared Resource provides laser point-scanning and spinning disk confocal, TIRF (total internal refection fluorescence), and widefield epifluorescence microscopy capabilities allowing for multi-wavelength visualization and analysis of fixed and living specimens, Z series, single molecule events at surfaces and interfaces, as well as image analysis and processing expertise.

Overview of Services

The Bioimaging Facility has:

  • Two point-scanning laser confocal microscopes (Nikon A1R+ and Nikon C2+) ideal for viewing fixed specimens with thicknesses up to several hundred microns, or observation of live samples. Most investigators use these systems, particularly for initial examination.
  • A spinning disk confocal/TIRF microscope (Andor/Nikon) specialized for short-term high-speed observation of live cells, particularly of the cell-substrate interface region.
  • A widefield epifluorescence microscope (Zeiss) for longer-term observation (minutes to hours) of multiple regions of interest in living samples.

Training, Protocol Development & Image Analysis

Our goal is to have all instruments fully operational and ready for usage to accommodate investigators' needs at all times. To this end, the SKCC Bioimaging staff will provide expertise and operate instruments for occasional users who may not need or want to acquire proficiency themselves. For more intensive prospective users, the Resource provides training on the use of all the systems and monitors their usage. Once trained and having satisfactorily demonstrated proficiency to Resource staff, the equipment is available on a 24/7 basis. To insure that skills are maintained, investigators who have not used the Resource equipment for several months are encouraged to schedule a brief refresher session - this may be required at Resource management discretion.

Advice on protocol development, filter and fluorophore choice is also available. Staff will assist with troubleshooting image quality and data quantification, providing information on applications custom-tailored to the individual investigator's needs.

Publication Acknowledgement

To accurately reflect the assistance the Resource plays in your research and to help assure its continued funding, please be sure to include the following Resource name and grant number in the acknowledgment section of all publications:

Bioimaging Shared Resource of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (NCI 5 P30 CA-56036), and any staff (as appropriate).


James Keen, PhD | Facility Director

Maria Yolanda Covarrubias, PhD | Facility Manager

Location and Hours of Operation

Hours Location

Staffed Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm          

24/7 access for trained users


914 BLSB
233 South 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Links and Resources


Name Role Phone Email Location
Maria Covarrubias, PhD
Facility Manager
(215) 503-4770,
914 BLSB
James Keen, PhD
Facility Director
(215) 503-8982
912 BLSB


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