imaging microscope
(Photo courtesy: Leica Microsystems)

The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center received a $382,000 shared instrumentation grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase a live-cell imaging microscope with multicolor total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and photo-manipulation capabilities. The microscope will assist researchers who rely on live-cell imaging to study cell movement and migration, which play a critical role in the growth, invasion, extravasation and metastasis of cancer cells.

“Having access to this instrument will enhance biomedical research capabilities at the UH Cancer Center and at other units across the university,” said Christine Farrar, director of the Microscopy, Imaging, and Flow Cytometry Core Facility, where the instrument will be housed. This is the first time that this type of imaging system will be available in a core facility at UH Mānoa.

uh cancer center building

The grant comes from the NIH’s Office of Research Infrastructure Programs and is awarded to institutions to purchase equipment that would be too expensive for one researcher to purchase on their own. In order to be eligible for a shared instrumentation grant, an institution must have three or more researchers who demonstrate a need for the requested instrument to complete their currently funded NIH projects.

“This grant provides funding for an advanced research microscope that will allow our researchers to probe the inner functions of cancer cells in greater detail than ever before. As a result, we will better understand the mechanisms that drive cancer cell growth, metastasis and survival, allowing us to devise new therapeutic strategies to treat and diagnose cancer patients here in Hawaiʻi,” said Joe W. Ramos, UH Cancer Center deputy director.

The grant application was a collaborative effort by members of the UH Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Program and the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Cell and Molecular Biology Department.