About Us

The goal of this U24 grant is to disseminate high resolution, large volume serial section electron microscopy data to neuroscientists. Using our serial electron microscopy facility, we provide user training on the use of these new technologies and provide access to a suite of specialized instruments.

Users generate permanent ultrathin sections and create data sets amenable for neural circuit analysis, or neural and glial cell type analysis. We can also provide image processing aid (stitching, alignment, and segmentation).  We also provide large volumetric cell-level resolution datasets via micro computerized tomography.

This U24 grant addresses compelling needs of neuroscience researchers who work on the first high priority goal of the BRAIN 2025 report: “Mapping the Structure and Components of Circuits” by providing them access to tools that are otherwise unavailable or impractical in their current form.

We are seeking to help laboratories who have an interest in this type of data, but don’t have a ready means of obtaining it. There are, at present, no fees required, however one or more persons in the lab must be willing to be trained in various aspects of the Connectomics pipeline that may include (depending on the situation) how to prepare samples, how to section them, how to map wafers, how to run electron microscopes remotely, or on site. While we can store the digital image data temporarily, the lab must provide a site where the data can be sent. We can help with all steps of the connectomics pipeline, from tissue preparation through obtaining a stitched and aligned stack. We can also be of use in showing how to analyze such data with computer-assisted manual and machine learning approaches.    

If interested: email Jeff W. Lichtman (jeff@mcb.harvard.edu) to express interest. He will send you a questionnaire that will help us determine if and how we can be of help. If we think this facility can be of use, we will set up a video conference to discuss the project in greater detail, and go from there.