The Microscopy center puts collaboration first: its full range of instrumentation, technical support staff, and image analysis tools are there to remove all barriers to the Stowers Institute’s research scientists when it comes to electron or light microscopy.
The Stowers Microscopy Center helps advance research at the institute by collaborating with lab members on scientific projects, maintaining a wide variety of microscopes both in the center and throughout the institute, and adapting or developing new technologies in anticipation of future imaging needs. The facility’s resources include electron microscopy, light microscopy, and computational resources. Our multidisciplinary team of physicists, software specialists, chemists, and biologists accelerate the pace of research with experimental design, execution, and analysis.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Sean McKinney, Ph.D., joined the Stowers Institute in 2009 as the group head of Optics Development. He was named manager of Microscopy in 2015, head in 2019, and in 2022 he was appointed Director of Microscopy.
Seeing is believing – being able to find, track, or examine interactions is more important than ever. Our extensive array of microscopes allow Stowers researchers to tease apart details from samples of all sizes: from the molecular level up to whole animals.
Zeiss Elyra 7
Cahoon CK, Yu Z, Wang Y, Guo F, Unruh JR, Slaughter BD, Hawley RS. Superresolution expansion microscopy reveals the three-dimensional organization of the Drosophila synaptonemal complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Aug 15;114(33):E6857-E6866. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705623114. Epub 2017 Jul 31. PMID: 28760978; PMCID: PMC5565445.
With the Zeiss Elyra 7 Lattice SIM, 60 nm optical resolution is achievable, extending sub-organelle or meiotic DNA structure imaging to up to 80 mm deep. For smaller samples the Leica SP8 STED can push the resolution limits even further to 40nm or better.
The center automates the imaging of organisms from whole animals down to single cells for hundreds or thousands of samples with a robot-equipped Nikon spinning disk and a Perkin Elmer Opera Phenix.
More colors equals more information. Using the Zeiss LSM 780 or the Leica SP8 with Falcon Lifetime we can separate up to 8 colors from one another, expanding researchers’ options for finding just the right target. With fluorescence lifetime imaging, looking at protein interactions with FRET is a snapshot away.
Zeiss LSM 780
3View upgrade from Gatan
SEM imaging and reconstructing serial sections becomes routine with the Zeiss Merlin SEM. The 3View upgrade by Gatan does away with cutting artifacts by imaging the surface of the block face and cutting afterwards.
The new Talos 200C Transmission Electron Microscope gives resolution limited only by one’s ability to preserve a sample’s ultrastructure. The software and high beam energy allow users to acquire 3D tomography data in thicker sections for the first time. The accompanying cryo holder allows for screening of grids for single particle averaging analysis.
Software has become as crucial to the enterprise of microscopy as confocal and electron microscopes. This is demanded by the advanced quantitation required in modern biology and by the sheer quantity of data acquired. Much of the ImageJ software we develop is publicly available at research.stowers.org/imagejplugins. Please follow the instructions there to follow our Stowers Fiji update site. Published source code is available on our individual GitHub sites. Here are the links to those sites:
Sean McKinney: https://github.com/jouyun
Chris Wood: https://github.com/cwood1967
Richard Alexander: https://github.com/richard-alexander
Sarah Smith: https://github.com/sarah-ellen-smith
Jay Unruh: https://github.com/jayunruh
08 November 2022
The wtf meiotic driver gene family has been cheating—and winning —for over 100 million years
19 October 2022
Meiotic drivers, a type of selfish gene, are indeed selfish. Present in the genomes of nearly all species, including humans, they unfairly transfer their genetic material to more than half of their offspring.
In The News
17 October 2022
Kansas City Business Journal
12 July 2022
KCTV5, the local CBS affiliate in Kansas City, recently sat down with the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to discuss the extraordinary images captured by NASA’s James Webb Telescope.
Nuckolls NL, Mok AC, Lange JJ, Yi K, Kandola TS, Hunn AM, McCroskey S, Snyder JL, Bravo Nunez MA, McClain M, McKinney SA, Wood C, Halfmann R, Zanders SE. eLife. 2020;9:e55694. doi: 55610.57554/eLife.55694.
Arnold CP, Benham-Pyle BW, Lange JJ, Wood CJ, Sánchez Alvarado A. Nature. 2019;572:655-659.
Chen J, Gardner JM, Yu Z, Smith SE, McKinney S, Slaughter BD, Unruh JR, Jaspersen SL. J Cell Biol. 2019;218:1478-1490.
Hughes SE, Hemenway E, Guo F, Yi K, Yu Z, Hawley RS. PLoS Genet. 2019;15:e1008161. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008161.
Zeng A, Li H, Guo L, Gao X, McKinney S, Wang Y, Yu Z, Park J, Semerad C, Ross E, Cheng LC, Davies E, Lei K, Wang W, Perera A, Hall K, Peak A, Box A, Sánchez Alvarado A. Cell. 2018;173:1593-1608.e20.
He S, Del Viso F, Chen CY, Ikmi A, Kroesen AE, Gibson MC. Science. 2018;361:1377-1380.