Recent advances in physics and chemistry have opened up new approaches in cell biology. In particular, breaking the diffraction limit of light has opened up new possibilities in microscopy. Unlike traditional fluorescence microscopy, super-resolution microscopy can localize and track molecules in a cell at a resolution that is relevant to proteins. Electron microscopes can now be used in combination with super-resolution microscopy to localize proteins to organelles visible in electron micrographs. Finally, electron microscopes can determine the structure of proteins in complexes and provide crucial link in scale between cell biology and X-ray crystallography of proteins.
The mission of the Center for Advanced Microscopy is to provide these advanced technologies to the biosciences community at the University of Utah and to develop new technologies that will drive novel research in the future.