Research Overview

Affiliated with UCSD’s Center for Research in Biological Systems (CRBS), the NCMIR is a recognized authority in the development of technologies for high throughput multi-scale imaging and analysis of biological systems at the mesoscale, the dimensional range spanning 5 nm3 and 50µm3. Macromolecules, organelles, and multi-component structures like synapses which are encompassed in this dimensional range have traditionally been challenging to study because they fall in the resolution gap between X-ray crystallography at one end and medical imaging at the other.

While maintaining a focus on neurobiology, NCMIR also conducts research that addresses the cellular and molecular underpinnings of biological systems relevant to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. NCMIR welcomes requests for collaborative projects that will drive development in its core research areas designed to develop and enhance technologies, including

    • the development and enhancement of new probes, labeling technologies, and methods for correlative, multiscale light, x-ray, and electron microscopy;
    • the development of hybrid specimen-preparation methods for multiscale – multimodal imaging;
    • the development of new instrumentation technologies for multiscale, multimodal imaging; and 
    • the development of advanced applications and information technologies for data refinement, integration, and analysis.

NCMIR also maintains a strong research program in computational biology and informatics through affiliated projects. As a leader in the development of informatics resources for microscopic imaging information, NCMIR makes the Cell Image Library (CIL) available to the scientific community. NCMIR also plays a key role in and is associated with the Center for Research in Biological Systems (CRBS) at UCSD. It is a significant domain driver of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-IT2) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC).