Mission Statement

The Microscopy Core Facility exists to serve the UNT Health Science Center in it’s missions of teaching, research and service.

We assist faculty in the preparation of teaching materials as well as participate in the teaching of graduate students.

Our facilities are open to faculty, staff and graduate students in the performance of research. We also assist technically and professionally with faculty, staff and graduate students in the development and implementation of research programs.

Our facilities and expertise are also available to individuals and organizations outside the institution through tours and collaborations in an effort to serve the community at large.

Facility Usage

1. Usage of specific equipment within the Microscopy Core facility will be limited to those who have either been trained by an MCF staff member or has demonstrated to an MCF staff member an appropriate level of proficiency in the use of that equipment.

2. That determination can ONLY be made by an MCF staff member.

3. Causes for loss of privileges in the Microscopy Core Facility can include but are not limited to:

a. inappropriate use of equipment
b. failure to clean-up an area after working
c. violation of safetey regulations within the Facility
d. non-payment of facility usage fees in a timely manner

4. Those granted access to use equipment must have an active project (see Setting up a Project)

5. Access will be granted only to equipment needed by user to accomplish their stated project goals.

Setting Up a Project

1. A new project should be discussed first with the appropriate staff member(s) and then with the faculty director for input and approval.

2. Project should have a clearly stated set of goals.

3. When approved, an account number must be supplied by the researcher from which usage fees can be billed for Inter-Departmental Transfers of funds when billing occurs


1. Fees are assessed on the service or instrumentation used. A fee will also be assessed for time spent by Microscopy Core Facility Staff on projects (i.e. operating instruments, specimen preparation, staining, image analysis) in addition to any other fees.

2. Researchers with grants are requested to make a contribution toward the upkeep of service contracts in the Microscopy Core Facility. Service Contracts are a major expense and any help in defraying these charges ensures continued access to these instruments. This should be discussed with the Faculty Director when setting up a project.

3. Bills are generated approximately every 3 months and sent to the researcher

4. Researchers should then facilitate the appropriate IDT from the account number they provided when setting up their project.

5. Bills are only payable by cash transfers from and to agreed upon UNTHSC accounts.

6. Technician time outside of normal work hours (8AM – 5PM Monday – Friday : excluding holidays) will be billed at twice (2X) the rate applicable for that project.

Make sure samples and work are brought down to the technician so that they can finish or get to a stopping point within normal work hours if you wish to avoid this elevated charge level.


1. Scheduling of equipment in the Microscopy Core Facility should be done through the on-line scheduling page.

2. Scheduling of each piece of equipment is restricted to those who have permission to use that equipment (each scheduling page is password protected)

3. Scheduling is on a first-come first-served basis so plan ahead.

4. Only under extenuating circumstances will staff step in and over-ride time that has already been scheduled.

5. If there is a time conflict, please go to the user that has scheduled the time and see if you can come to an agreement that allows both access, if at all possible. Do not come to the staff first.

6. Do not sign up for time and not use it. if one does not show up for time they have reserved they will be charged for that time.

  • Make sure to modify or delete your reservation if you cannot make it or if you will be late. If you do not make the changes more than 3 hours before your scheduled start time you will be charged.
  • Also if you are more than 30 minutes late for a scheduled time, that time can be reassigned to someone else needing access to that equipment.

7. Do not use your identity to sign up for another user. This will result in loss of scheduling privileges.

Staff Assistance

1. Staff members will advise researchers and students in the development of projects that use the resources of the Microscopy Core Facility

2. Staff members will train faculty, staff and students how to use the equipment on a need-to-know basis and how to perform techniques needed for the projects being worked on.

3. Staff members will assist in pilot projects.

4. Staff members will train graduate students but not do the work for these students.

5. Those faculty using staff members for projects must realize that scheduling of staff time for their project is on a first-come first-served basis and that a timely return of results may be compromised by the staff member’s other duties.

6. We highly recommend that if you have a post-doc or technician that you have a staff member train them to carry out at least part if not all of the work you need done in the MCF. The turn around time on your material will be shorter.

7. Staff assistance is available during normal working hours (8AM – 5PM Monday-Friday).

Those needing assistance or bringing samples down for processing should make sure that the work needed does not necessitate a staff member working outside of these hours (See Fees Policies for charges outside of staff assistance hours)


1. Tours are available to anyone here at the UNT Health Science Center and to groups and individuals outside the Health Science Center.

2. Tours should be scheduled at least a week ahead of time.

3. Contact Larry Oakford to make arrangements.

4. We have a page with maps and directions on how to find the Microscopy Core Facility.

Confocal Scanning Laser/Multiphoton Microscopes

1. This is a partially self-service facility and requires responsibility and consideration among users. Sign up for time using the on-line scheduling system (see Scheduling policies) or contact I-Fen Chang (x0229).

2. No user will get access to the LSM 510 confocal microscope without training. Training is directed at preparing users to be knowledgeable and independent users.

3. Clean up after you are done. This includes cleaning objectives (use lens tissue and approved lens cleaning solution), counter tops and removing all your materials.

4. Save all your images/data on your own disks (CD, DVD, external hard drive, etc.) and erase each day’s files from the microscope’s computer.

5. Record the time when you begin turning on the instrument as your start time in the log and when you finish AND leave the room as your end time. If you return to just use the computer for ANY reason re-sign back in and then out when you finish, Using just the computer is the same as using the whole instrument and there is no difference in the fees charged. A workstation (South Park) in RES 222 has all the same software as the microscope at a reduced fee schedule ($5/hr).

6. Reserving time on these microscopes is limited to 4 hours per day per researcher between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to allow everyone access during the work week. There are no limits outside of these hours. If you need to sign-up for more than 4 hours on a weekday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM you must first get prior approval from I-fen Cheng (x0229) before reserving beyond the 4 hour limit. Times reserved beyond the 4 hour limit without prior approval will be canceled by the MCF staff.

7. Adhere to the schedule as closely as possible. Remove your name from the schedule ASAP if you can’t make it. If you must cancel within 3 hours of your start time please call the next person on the schedule by phone and also call one of the following facility staff: I-Fen Chang(x0229), Larry Oakford(x2066) or Ignacy Gryczynski (x2036).

8. The director will help you but will not run experiments for you. Staff assisted imaging is available for service charges with arrangements.

9. Sample preparation, image analysis and file archiving is solely the user’s responsibility.

10. Report any problem immediately to facility staff: Ignacy Gryczynski (x2036), I-Fen Chang (x0229) or Larry Oakford (x2066).