UCLA CNSI–UCLA and Leica establish center of excellence in microscopy at California NanoSystems Institute

The California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Leica Microsystems, Inc. have combined efforts to establish the Leica Microsystems Center of Excellence (CoE) at UCLA. The new Center will support a combined mission to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers and drive new scientific discoveries while furthering UCLA’s efforts as a world-leading academic and scientific institution.

A signing ceremony took place Wednesday, May 9, at UCLA between Jeff F. Miller, director of CNSI who holds UCLA’s Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Science and Doug Spotts, Vice President & General Manager of Leica Microsystems Americas. The Center of Excellence features cutting-edge confocal microscopy technology from Leica, including 3D STED, digital light sheet, super-resolution and multiphoton imaging to capture dynamic processes at the molecular level. 

"We are delighted to launch this Center of Excellence with our colleagues at Leica," said Miller. "We look forward to a collaboration that will provide the very latest technology to UCLA faculty, staff and trainees."
The agreement is the culmination of ongoing efforts between CNSI and Leica, spearheaded by Dr. Laurent Bentolila, Director of the Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory, one of CNSI’s core technology centers and host of the Leica Center of Excellence. “We’re looking forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Leica through this Center of Excellence,” said Bentolila. “The center will provide the cutting-edge technology to help us maintain our leadership in biophotonics research and its application to the imaging of tissues, cells, sub-cellular structures, and biological molecules.”

“Collaborating with a world class organization like UCLA to enable them to push the limits of what is seen is truly exciting for Leica and we look forward to working with UCLA today and for many years into the future,” said Doug Spotts, Vice President & General Manager of Leica Microsystems Americas. “Leica Microsystems’ mission is to provide unrivaled insight for our customers by pushing the limits of what was previously possible and visible. UCLA is a great ally which will truly allow Leica to live up to our mission.”

“One of the most exciting aspects of this agreement between UCLA’s CNSI and Leica is the progress we will make together in using Leica platforms to provide workflows using advanced image analysis techniques,” says Greg Eppink, General Manager of Microscopy for Leica Microsystems. “UCLA will be able to provide us with the feedback we need to drive innovation in not only our technological and software tools, but also through development of workflow solutions.”

“We are excited and honored to extend our relationship with the UCLA core facility beyond the typical vendor user relationship,” adds David LeBlanc, Regional Sales Manager for Leica Microsystems. “The Leica Microsystems Center of Excellence will provide researchers at UCLA access to the latest in innovative microscopy systems while providing Leica with insights into the future requirements of the researchers at UCLA. While some vendors might view this Center of Excellence agreement as the finish line, the Leica team views this as only the beginning!”

Through May 18, Leica Microsystems hosted a hands-on workshop featuring the SP8 DIVE (Deep in vivo Explorer) confocal imaging system with free access and sample preparation guidance using multiphoton microscopy. This type of microscopy allows scientists to deeply penetrate into tissues with super-sensitivity and uncover the finest details of cellular and subcellular processes.

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