MDI Biological Laboratory

Biological Fluorescence Microscopy: Bates College

A short course for students from Bates College.


Fluorescence microscopy is a ubiquitous tool in biological and biomedical research. Guided by the laws of physics, biological imaging has evolved over the past several centuries from observing pond scum to resolving individual proteins at the molecular scale. In this course, students will survey the properties of light, the fundamental physics of imaging systems, fluorescence, image acquisition, and their application towards addressing biological questions. Students will learn to prepare biological samples for fluorescence imaging and the operation of several types of commercially available microscopes.

Learning goals include the following:

  • Understand at a basic level the physical concepts related to light and image formation and how these concepts can be applied to imaging biological structures and processes.
  • Develop the laboratory skills required to prepare biological specimens for fluorescence imaging.
  • Develop the laboratory skills required to operate commercial fluorescence microscopes.
  • Understand the basics of post-acquisition image processing and preparation of images for publication or presentation.

Bates logo


Travis Gould

Bates College

About the Maine INBRE program

This short course is supported and organized by the Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

Maine is one of 23 states that have been identified by the National Institutes of Health as having historically received low levels of NIH funding. The INBRE program was established to strengthen research networks in each of these states, so that they could become more competitive for federal research grants. In Maine, our network is comprised of 14 institutions, with the MDI Biological Laboratory as the lead institution. Other institutions in our network include the following: Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, College of the Atlantic, the Honors College at the University of Maine, the Jackson Laboratory, Southern Maine Community College, the University of Maine, UMaine Farmington, UMaine Fort Kent, UMaine Machias, UMaine Presque Isle, and the University of New England.

Money from Maine INBRE supports research training experiences like this short course, as well biomedical research and laboratory facilities throughout our network. Other training experiences include academic year and summer student research. Please check with Ryan Bavis, the INBRE contact at Bates College, for the most accurate information about opportunities on your campus. He may be able to share additional opportunities with you as well.


This research training opportunity is supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103423.

The IDeA program builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research; faculty development; and infrastructure improvements.