Usage Policy

By making use of the WUCCI and its resources, you agree to abide by all of the policies and procedures outlined below.

About the WUCCI

The Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) is a new School of Medicine initiative started by the Departments of Neuroscience and Cell Biology & Physiology to build a world-class shared technology resource for Cellular Imaging. The goals of the Center are to provide reliable and affordable access to state-of-the-art cellular imaging technologies, provide professional guidance in experimental design, sample preparation and data analysis, develop and apply new imaging technologies and work collaboratively with WUSM researchers to advance our understanding of human health and disease.

The WUCCI operates an open door philosophy in which we strive to facilitate the best possible experimental solutions for investigators working with the us, whether that means access to resources, help designing experiments or working collaboratively on specific projects. We do this in order to create a collegiate environment, however our expectation is that all users will respect the usage policies so as to guard and protect the equipment against abuse.


New User Access

We encourage that any new user to the WUCCI and its resources will have their lab head contact the Scientific Director, James Fitzpatrick (fitzp@wustl.edu) first to discuss the experimental aims of your project. Contact information can be found on the Contact Page. For instructions on how to setup an account with the WUCCI, please read the New User Information section.

In any case, you should feel free to contact the Scientific Director or WUCCI staff at any time, if you have problems using the services and resources offered by the Center.

Planning an Experiment using WUCCI Resources

Several experimental modalities are generally performed very closely with WUCCI faculty and staff, and need to be planned appropriately:

  • ALL live cell experiments should be planned directly with Mike Shih (c.shih@wustl.edu)
  • ALL live animal or whole tissue experiments should be planned with Dennis Oakley (oakleyd@wustl.edu)
  • ALL Deep Etch-EM (DEEM) experiments should be planned directly with Robyn Roth (rroth22@wustl.edu)
  • ALL FIB-SEM (3DEM) experiments should be planned directly with Matt Joens (mjoens@wustl.edu)

We do ask that you DO NOT turn up at the WUCCI with specimens without prior interaction and experimental planning with WUCCI staff members. Your samples will not be accepted for imaging or processing.


Levels of User Access

Level I - Once training is completed for the microscope(s) you have requested you will be granted Level I access. This allows access to the microscopes and the WUCCI during standard business hours (Monday through Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm). This policy is in place simply to ensure that if any user encounters difficulties that there will be a staff member available assist them

Level II – Once users have satisfied WUCCI staff of their competence in the operation of the microscopes that they are trained on, they may request authorization for after-hours access (24/7). This is granted at the discretion of the Scientific Director.

Level III – This level of access is reserved for EM microscope users and is granted once additional competence has been demonstrated as well as extra training in how to shutdown the microscopes in case of emergency.

Please note that image-processing workstation access is available at any time during the working day and 24/7 for Level II and III authorized users.


Training

ALL training on ALL instruments MUST BE PERFORMED BY WUCCI STAFF. This is mandatory.

NO training under ANY circumstances should be provided by colleagues, lab-mates or friends, if you are found using instruments which you have not been trained on, user privileges will be revoked for a period of one month and until you have been appropriately trained by WUCCI staff.

All training requests for staff, students and post-doctoral fellows must be made via the iLab Solutions on-line management system. Training slots are currently accommodated on an as needed basis, however if instrument scheduled are full, they will be limited to one full day per week for each instrument platform. Training will be limited to those individuals who have actives projects that require the use of WUCCI resources.


Rules for Scheduling Time on Microscopes

The WUCCI uses the iLab Solutions on-line management system that manages all training and service requests and scheduling of the microscopes. You MUST make all requests and microscope reservations through this system. If you do not have an account, please refer to the New User Information section for instructions on how to create one.

Booking amounts are not currently restricted but we reserve the right to amend this policy in times of high demand or usage.

Ad-hoc usage is NOT permitted. If you want to use a piece of equipment that is not currently being used, you MUST book it on the iLab Solutions scheduler.

If you are more than 15 minutes late without notification for your reservation, then you forfeit your imaging slot. If you know you are going to be late, please contact the WUCCI staff to let us know so that we can preserve your reservation.

If you fail to cancel your time 3 times in a row then imaging privileges will be revoked for a period of one month.

Please be respectful of other users reservations and plan to finish your experiment at your booked time.

We recognize that some of our instruments are popular and may on occasion be heavily booked during peak hours. As such we ask that users be flexible with the instrumentation they choose to use and also to work after hours if possible and if authorized by the Scientific Director.


Looking After the Equipment in the WUCCI

Please remember that the WUCCI is a shared technology resource for ALL Washington University School of Medicine researchers and as such we ask that all of our users and collaborators show a responsible and courteous approach when using the WUCCI and its resources. Some general rules of thumb follow which will help us to maintain a friendly and courteous atmosphere.

  • If you are unsure of what you are doing on a microscope or in the lab – please ask us for help!
  • If you are unsure of what you are doing on a microscope or in the lab – do not ask another user.
  • Please DO NOT install anything on ANY of the WUCCI microscope computers or data analysis workstations.
  • Please DO NOT use the microscope computers or data analysis workstations to surf the internet for non-work related things (i.e. no Facebook, Pandora, etc).
  • Please DO NOT move any equipment around in the WUCCI.
  • If you think the microscope you are using is not working – please ask us for help!
  • Please DO NOT let unauthorized people into the WUCCI, especially after hours.
  • Please DO NOT block the card access doors open. Doing so will result in the loss of user privileges.
  • Please clean up after yourself, especially if working with biohazardous samples (see section below).
  • Please DO NOT alter the temperature thermostats in the WUCCI, they are precisely set for the working conditions of the microscopes.

Computational Resources and Image Analysis

The WUCCI operates a shared server with ~1PB of on-line storage space. In addition, the WUCCI houses a dedicated space containing high-end data analysis workstations equipped with most of the current image analysis packages including NIS Elements, ZEN, Imaris, ImageJ, MATLAB, Adobe Photoshop and Autoquant's deconvolution package. It is very easy to get image processing wrong, which means you can waste a large amount not doing good quantitation. So please talk to WUCCI faculty and staff if you are not sure what you are doing.

Each data analysis workstation should be booked using the iLab Solutions on-line management system. We currently DO NOT back up the wide-field, confocal, live-cell, super-resolution or electron microscopes. You must transfer your data to the server and we actively encourage users to make copies of their data on the server as well to ensure redundancy.

Ultimately, it is important to stress that users should look after their own data. We will do our best to help you look after it, but we cannot be responsible if it gets lost.