Our mission in the BIC can be separated into three components. University-wide student instruction, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, remains as one of our primary goals. We also incorporate a basic research program in the area of host/parasite relationships that includes both bench research and international monitoring of human health. We also provide comprehensive scientific/technical expertise both university-wide and to our collaborators in the industrial community.

Institution Profile

The Biological Imaging Center (BIC) is a core facility within the College of Arts & Sciences at Western Michigan University. The facility is under the direction of Dr. Rob Eversole. Dr. John Stout is a full-time laboratory manager in the facility and is aided by several part-time student employees. The BIC mission includes a basic research program, educational programs for Undergraduate and Graduate students, as well as providing comprehensive scientific/technical expertise for both University-wide and external grants and contracts.

The vast majority of our outside services are centered on providing professional and technical expertise for improving human health. This includes our work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in monitoring the efficacy of drug treatment in patients who suffer from lymphatic filiariasis and river blindness (Onchocerciasis). We also provide electron microscope imaging for local hospitals to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with kidney problems. Additionally, we work with the pharmaceutical industry by providing data at the cellular level on new drug safety and efficacy prior to their use in humans.

We also provide a vast array of imaging services to all areas of research and industry. We have found drill holes in dental implants, performed failure analysis on anything from pumps to sun visors and have sized sugar particles for the food industry. We have light microscopes capable of every contrast mode and equipped with the highest resolution lenses. All of our equipment has digital image capture capability therefore providing both rapid access to hardcopy and Internet transfer of images. Our latest addition to photonic imaging is a state-of-the-art laser scanning confocal microscope. This instrument combines laser illumination with computer analysis to allow for 3-dimensional imaging in tissues, cells and even semi-opaque samples like polymers.

Of course, we have both transmission and scanning electron microscopes, which can provide the highest magnifications possible for many types of samples. Included on our scanning electron microscope is an elemental analysis and mapping system for determining the atomic makeup of an unknown sample. All of our work is performed under federal guidelines of good laboratory practice to assure proper tracking of specimens and data.

We invite industrial collaborators to contact us with your research questions in light and electron optics.

We can be reached by phone at 269-387-5640 or EMAIL at eversole@wmich.edu.


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Last modified: 01/11/05