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Technology Centers

LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Initiative

Leaders: Gary Karpen, Damir Sudar, and Paul Adams

The main goal of the LBNL integrated biological imaging initiative is to integrate the amazing breadth of imaging expertise and technology currently at the Lab to take better advantage of our capabilities and to address some of the current limitations in performing integrated imaging, analysis and visualization.

The organizing committee for this initiative includes representatives from all interested Divisions and the Lab Directorate, and attempts to cover the entire multi-scale spectrum. The working group is much larger and includes anyone who is interested in participating. This group has the expertise and experience needed to begin to address both the short and long term goals outlined below.

Short-term goals are to:
1) identify the current equipment/technologies at the Lab that span the "bioimaging" spectrum (molecular structure to organisms/ecosystems),
2) identify people with expertise in these technologies, and develop approaches to integrate data from multiple imaging modalities -- probes, sample preparation, and computational approaches to image analysis and visualization (hardware and software),
3) provide a practical foundation (share equipment and expertise) and generate collaborations, programs and funding to address current and future challenges in integrated bioimaging, and
4) create a physical center to facilitate the integration of these complementary technologies.

Long-term goals are to:
1) establish a framework for a true center at the Richmond Bay Campus,
2) recruit scientists to fill gaps in expertise,
3) extend the center to include other Bay area institutions (UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Davis, Stanford University), and
4) obtain large-scale funding to establish and maintain a world-class, unique biological imaging center.

NIH/DOE Electron Microscopy (Structural Biology Technology)

Leader: Kenneth Downing

The electron microscopy (EM) group uses a combination of state-of-the-art instrumentation and conventional instruments in a variety of applications.  Much of the work is done on 300- and 400-kV microscopes, and the group has access to several 100 and 200 kV microscopes as well.  The group has established excellent cryo-EM and tomography facilities that allow work that ranges from determining protein structures at atomic resolution to visualizing structures in intact cells.  Developmental work along several fronts is aimed at enhancing electron microscope resolution and throughput at atomic, molecular and cellular scales.  Among the principal projects are development of a device that provides in-focus phase contrast for the weakly scattering objects that we deal with; improvement of image recording systems by decelerating the high energy electron beam just before it reaches the sensor; development of methods to label molecules of interest within the cellular context, either by attachment of small metal clusters or by photoconversion of fluorescent tags.

NIH/DOE SIBYLS X-Ray Crystallography and SAXS

Leader:  John Tainer

The mission of the X-ray beamline SIBYLS - which stands for Structurally-Integrated BiologY for Life Sciences - is designed and operated to achieve high-impact insights, not high throughput numbers. The SIBYLS beamline (Beamline 12.3.1) located at the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab has two interchangeable end stations, one for macromolecular crystallography (MX) and one for small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). For technical information and instructions to apply for beamtime go to the Beamline 12.3.1 homepage. Construction funding was provided by the Department of Energy OBER (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI).