The Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience Imaging Core gives investigators access to state-of-the-art, sophisticated microscope and related equipment with advanced capabilities in the visualization, quantification and interpretation of neuronal systems at the cellular level.
Dr. Grazyna Rajkowska serves as the director of the Imaging Core. She is a neuroanatomist with more than 30 years of experience in quantitative image analysis of specific types of neurons and glial cells in human postmortem and animal brain tissues. Dr. Rajkowska provides oversight of investigator training in the use of core equipment, the maintenance of core equipment and the supervision of core personnel.
In addition to the administrative oversight of the Imaging Core, Dr. Rajkowska instructs CPN investigators and other UMMC researchers in the general use of the microscopic imaging equipment and further offers highly specialized expertise in the technical parameters relevant to the design, application and interpretation of quantitative morphological and neurochemical studies. These technical parameters include Western blotting, tissue sectioning and histological staining of human postmortem and animal brain tissues, the application of 3-dimensional cell counting techniques to different types of staining procedures, the determination of optimal conditions for immunohistochemistry and guidance in the anatomical localization of the specific brain regions being studied.
The CPN's Imaging Core and UMMC currently support an imaging facility providing shared use of the following imaging equipment:
- Nikon C1+ confocal scanning microscope
- Leica DMi8-SP8-LIA confocal microscope
- Nikon 600 Light microscopes with MBF Stereoinvestigator and Neurolucide software
- Leica stereomicroscope
- Leica cryostat CM 3050S
- Leica cryostat CM 1860
These sophisticated imaging systems give investigators the ability to visualized confocal images, to estimate, in three-dimensional space, numbers of cells, terminals and the level of specific proteins, giving researchers unprecedented insight into the cellular and molecular composition of brain in health and disease.