Courses- BISC 578: Illuminating the Invisible

The field of biology has recently undergone a revolution and explosion in imaging capabilities. We can now see cellular and microscopic events at unprecedented temporal and spatial scales. These advancements have affected a wide-array of biological disciplines, reflecting the broad scope of the department of biology at the University of Mississippi. The goal of this course is to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the conceptual and practical aspects of the wide variety of modern light microscopes: from stereoscopes to super-resolution imaging techniques. In particular we focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of confocal microscopy, the workhorse of modern cell biology laboratories. This focus includes training on the department of biology’s advanced confocal microscope, a Lecia TCS SP8 X, with a white light laser. Unlike traditional lecture or lab courses, students actively engage in all aspect of this course, which includes an imaging research project of the students’ own design involving the confocal microscope. Students also learn important skills related to experimental design as well as image processing and analysis. The important technical and conceptual skills taught in this class will help students succeed in biomedical and health science careers.