National Institutes of Health Light Microscopy Interest Group

Light Microscopy Interest Group


cell structure magnifiedThe Light Microscopy Special Interest Group holds monthly meetings, yearly social gatherings and small vendor fairs, and we maintain this website and a listserv for researchers interested in light microscopy.  The group moderators are Jim McNally and Christian Combs.

Monthly topic- based meetings are organized by a group member interested in the particular topic, who arrange for 2-3 mainly local "experts" to talk about the technique and how they applied it to their research. The presentations are informal and short.  Speakers are encouraged to talk about how the technique worked in their hands including failures.  The organizer should give a short overview of the technique or field which is the topic of the meeting.  At the end,meeting members are welcome to stay for an open discussion on problems unrelated to the topic of the meeting.

The yearly social gatherings for interest group members are potentially associated with an invited outside speaker.  Small vendor fairs on special topic occur perhaps twice per year.
The interest group listserv is not used solely for meeting announcements but shall also be open for discussions of microscopy problems/questions, equipment advice.  A FAQ based on the listserv discussion shall be maintained on the Interest group website with an appropriate disclaimer that these represent opinions of individuals and not an official government position.

A subgroup of the interest group will prepare and run a basic microscopy tutorial open to NIH research personnel interested in microscopy.  The main goal of the tutorial is to educate core facility users and microscope novices in basic light microscopy techniques and digital imaging.

The LMIG meets monthly on a Tuesday at 12 noon in Bldg 10, Rm 4B51. 
Topics of interest for future meetings of the interest group:


  • TIRF (total internal reflection microscopy)
  • FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy)
  • FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching)
  • PAF (photo-activated fluorescence)
  • FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer)
  • FCS (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy)
  • GFP / dual GFP
  • 2photon
  • LM and EM (integration of light and electron microscopy)
  • laser tweezers
  • new dyes
  • deconvolution
  • grid based confocal imaging / extended depth of field microscopy
  • near field microscopy
  • image analysis
  • morphometric analysis
  • spectroscopy/spectral scanning
  • illumination systems
  • image databases

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NIH SIGS Administrator.


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