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High-technology microscopes can provide researchers with new knowledge on molecules, cells and tissue

The purchase of three new microscopes will strengthen both the University of Southern Denmark and Denmark’s position within bio-imaging. The grant recipient is Jonathan Brewer, Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark. Photo: University of Southern Denmark.

A Novo Nordisk Foundation grant of DKK 12.3 million is enabling the University of Southern Denmark to purchase three advanced microscopes to upgrade the opportunities of Danish researchers within biological research.

Researchers will be able to use the new microscopes, located at the Danish Molecular Biomedical Imaging Center at the University, to carry out in-depth research that requires access to state-of-the-art microscopes to produce images of such things as individual molecules in a cell or the growth of a tumour.

“The grant will provide access to the most advanced equipment within modern microscopic imaging to benefit researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and the rest of Denmark,” says grant recipient Jonathan Brewer, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.

Three types of microscopes
Jonathan Brewer plans to equip his laboratory with three types of microscopes.

  • Confocal laser scanning microscope. This can be used by researchers who need detailed 3D images of biological, biochemical and molecular processes in tissue or cells.
  • Lattice light microscope. This revolutionary type of microscope can be used to take rapid photographs in 3D of molecules, tissue or cells. The microscope is an important new tool for studying living tissue at high resolutions.
  • Atomic force microscope. This is a powerful tool for studying the structures of and dynamics in biological processes. The new microscope, which replaces a 10-year-old version, will be up to 100 times faster.

“These microscopes will be used on numerous projects, including drug development, studies of gut bacteria, food science and research on diabetes and cancer. The equipment will also be used to train the next generation of researchers in the newest advances in microscopy,” explains Jonathan Brewer.

In addition to purchasing the new microscopes, Jonathan Brewer will use part of the Foundation grant to upgrade existing microscopes to ensure that their application potential meets the needs of Denmark’s research community. Among other things, he will upgrade an existing microscope to enable it to take 3D images at a much higher resolution than previously.

The Danish Molecular Biomedical Imaging Center is a cornerstone of Danish research within microscopy of biological samples. The Center helps researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and from other universities in Denmark and industry to take and analyse the best possible images of microbes and molecules. Jonathan Brewer’s grant will substantially boost the Center and will maintain it at a high international level.

Six Danish researchers awarded Foundation grants for new laboratory equipment

The Foundation has awarded grants totalling DKK 75 million to purchase advanced laboratory equipment. In addition to the grants to researchers at the University of Southern Denmark, the Foundation also awarded grants to researchers at Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen.

All the grants are conditional on the research infrastructure being made widely accessible to researchers from both universities and industry. Read more about the other grants here. 

Further information

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]