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Independent use of ICBM microscope systems

The microscope systems of the ICBM are available for use Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm excluding university holidays. Systems may be used after hours under special circumstances, such as extended time course studies. Independent use of center microscope systems is restricted to Indiana University faculty and staff who have received the appropriate training from ICBM staff. To start, login to our reservation system, click on "If you are not yet a registered user for LoCal, please click here," enter the requested information and click "Submit." Then contact Gosia Kamocka to schedule a training session. Training sessions involve extensive hands-on training and typically last three hours. Although most of the training is conducted with slides provided by the ICBM, researchers are strongly encouraged to bring their own samples.

Once trained to use a particular system, a new user is provided access to the online schedule for that system. The online reservation system is used to accommodate demand by the ICBM user base and to provide ICBM staff with guidance for the proper configuration of the system prior to use. In general, systems can be reserved up to a week in advance. However, because of ongoing support from the Division of Nephrology and the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, members of these groups are provided access two weeks in advance. Under some circumstances (e.g., time sensitive samples) special scheduling accommodations can be made by arrangement with Gosia Kamocka.

Users are billed by the hours they have reserved in the reservation system, regardless of whether they use the hours. Users may cancel their reservation up to the last 48 hours before the scheduled time but are otherwise financially responsible for the assigned time. Alternatively, users can be released from their financial obligation by “selling” their reservation to another user, using the “Sell” option in the ICBM scheduling software. With special approval, some of the center microscopes are also available at reduced cost for unattended, long-term time-course imaging, which may extend overnight, or over weekends. View rates for 2021-2022, which are determined by the IU School of Medicine core oversight committee.

Data Management

The Center is not responsible for the long-term storage and management of users' image data. Image files must be removed from the microscope computer systems at the end of each session. Instructions are provided that explain how data can be transferred to the user’s own laboratory computer or to the ICBM server, where data may be stored for up to one week (after which time data may be deleted). Data stored on the server may either be transferred to the user’s laboratory computer via Ethernet, stored to CD/DVD or copied to a USB drive.


Users are encouraged to email any of the ICBM personnel with questions, suggestions, complaints and jokes. The topics of these correspondences will be discussed in biweekly meetings of the center staff. Center news, such as new equipment and personnel, significant changes or problems with equipment and observed egregious breaches in user decorum will be posted on the News and Events page and emailed to center users.

Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy Core Policies

by Kenneth Dunn, PhD, ICBM Center Director

a. Confidentiality. Individual users are given an individual password protected account onto which to store their data. The user has sole access to their own data. These data can be transferred over the campus network or downloaded directly onto CDs or DVDs.

b. Conflict Resolution. If a conflict arises between the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy and a client for any reason, and that conflict cannot be resolved between the two parties, then the advisory committee will be consulted in an attempt to mediate conflict resolution. If these efforts still do not produce a satisfactory resolution for either the Microscopy Core Facility or the client, then, School of Medicine Oversight Committees will be consulted, as directed by the advisory committee.

c. Cost recovery/payment policies. The client will be required to provide the account number of an active account to pay the agreed upon costs prior to utilization of the equipment or personnel. Payment will be directly billed to a client’s research-funded account within 90 days. The client will only be required to pay for the costs for the time material and services signed up for or used. This includes training time of the individual or their technical support personnel. In the event of overpayment, the Microscopy Core Facility will be required to remit the overpayment amount within a reasonable timeframe, for example, thirty days. Diabetes center personnel will receive a direct subsidy from the P30 Diabetes Center grant so that the individual investigator will only be charged their portion of the fee. Once a client signs up for time electronically at the website they are charged for this time at an hourly fee based upon the published fee structure at our website. They are allowed to trade this time, and the website is set up to facilitate this, but they cannot relinquish this time for credit if it is not utilized. If a trade occurs the PI is responsible for notifying center personnel so that schedule changes can be made.

d. Prioritization of work. We have always tried to maximize efficiency without sacrificing our policy of first come, first served. Due to ongoing support from the Nephrology Division, members have the right to sign up for facility time two weeks in advance. All other users are restricted to signing up one week in advance. Within this frame the first client to make a request will be given priority, and priority will be given to clients in the order they make their request. No special treatment will be afforded due to a prior relationship or any other reason. However, arrangements can be made if special circumstances (e.g. availability of animals at a particular age) require it.

e. Publication. Publication will be the sole right of the client. The only exception will be any technical advance that was derived from activities within the Microscopy Core Facility that was independent of the client’s projects, and in this case, any publication will maintain the confidentiality of the client’s projects. Users are required to acknowledge the facility in publications. 

f. Authorship. If  ICBM staff contribute to results included in a submission for publication (including experimental design), we expect them to be acknowledged as authors.  If this is not acceptable to a client, this should be made clear to the staff prior to conduct of the studies

Acknowledgment of the Center

Funding of the center and equipment grants critically depend on documentation of center productivity, which is primarily measured in terms of publications. Users must notify the center of new publications that include ICBM imaging data. It is also the responsibility of the primary investigator to include "The Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy" among the acknowledgements in all published data obtained using the ICBM Facility.

Acknowledgment examples:

  • The studies utilized the imaging facility of the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Data presented in this article was obtained using the facilities of the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy.