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Vanderbilt Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) Core


The Cell Imaging Shared Resource (CISR) is an institutional, fee-for-service, advanced microscopy resource. The CISR provides researchers with access to state-of-the-art imaging equipment and expert technical support for sophisticated microscopy and analysis of tissue and cellular anatomy and physiology. As of October 2016, the CISR independently manages 16 advanced optical microscopes, one transmission electron microscope and two environmental scanning electron microscopes. All are fully operational and in excellent working condition. Thirteen of these 16 instruments have been acquired through Shared Instrumentation Grants or Center Grant Supplements. These instruments and the array of advanced capabilities offered by them are available to support any investigator with an appointment at Vanderbilt University.


The Departments of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Pathology, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Epithelial Biology Center, and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute provide space for the CISR. The CISR consists of five separate suites within Vanderbilt University. The overall philosophy of the resource has been to place instrumentation in several consolidated locations rather than a single central location. This helps maximize use of the instrumentation. All five locations for CISR equipment are within easy walking distance (3 of the 5 buildings are contiguous and connected) so staff can move easily between instruments as needed.

Services Offered

  • Confocal Microscopy 
  • Specialty Laser-Scanning Microscopy 
  • Wide-field (Conventional) Microscopy 
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy 
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy 
  • General Electron Microscopy Processing 
  • Image Processing and Analysis Systems 
  • Living Cell Support Equipment 
  • Expert training and consulting on the use of the imaging methodologies 
  • Guidance to facilitate development of imaging skills 
  • Automated (self-service) scheduling and access to equipment via a convenient web-based interface


Jenny Schafer, Ph. D.
Managing Director


Sean Schaffer
Research Specialist Senior


Evan Krystofiak, Ph. D.
EM Research Specialist Senior


Bob Matthews Ph. D.
Research Associate Professor


Bryan Millis Ph. D.
Research Specialist, Senior


Mary Dawes MS
Electron Microscopist


Maria Vinogradova
Research Assistant II


Hours of Operation


24/7 via card access
Staffed: Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm        


Links and Resources

  1. CISR website


Matt Tyska, Ph. D.
Scientific Director


Jenny Schafer, Ph. D.
Managing Director


Jay Jerome, Ph. D.
Co-Director EM Core