Microscopy Companies Open Centers to Drive Research and Innovation

Over the past couple years, microscopy companies have been opening centers around the world to advance life science research. With the advent of applications such as precision medicine and immuno-oncology, this trend points towards rise in applications requiring researchers to examine microscopic targets on a much smaller scale. Technology advancements for fields such as neuroscience, super-resolution and nanoscale chemical imaging are gaining traction in the research world, and companies are focusing on establishing collaborative centers to accelerate research for these and other applications.


Leica Microsystems

Leica Microsystems has been busy over the past year, establishing new microscopy centers and partnering with institutions to accelerate the further development and widespread use of confocal microscopy.

The following are selected imaging centers that Leica has opened recently:


  • Leica Microsystems Imaging Center, based in Oyster Point Marina in San Francisco, California, for life science research
  • Leica Center of Excellence, California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, focusing on biophotonics research and its application to tissue, cell, biological molecule and subcellular structure imaging
  • The Advanced Light and Fluorescence Microscopy facility, a partnership between Leica and Germany’s Center for Structural Systems Biology, for the development of new integrated cryo-imaging solutions
  • A formal agreement with the Bordeaux Imaging Center in France, part of the Neuroscience Institute of Bordeaux, which provides the Center with confocal and multiphoton confocal microscopes, as well as electrophysiological microscopes, video microscopes and sample preparation equipment for electron microscopy
  • The Center of Excellence for Optical Microscopy, in a partnership with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technologies (KAUST), in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, including the use of Leica’s SP8 confocal platform for super-resolution microscopy


Nikon Instruments

With a wide offering of imaging and microscopy systems, Nikon Instruments is establishing Imaging Centers and Centers of Excellence, which are facilities promoting collaboration between leading academic researchers with innovative imaging technologies. Nikon has 8 Centers of Excellence in the US and 16 worldwide.

Below are a couple recent imaging centers that Nikon has opened:


  • The Nikon Center of Excellence at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, devoted to research on many topics, such as  cancer biology, reproductive science, neuroscience, microbiology and polymer engineering


  • The Nikon Imaging Center in North America, established at the University of California, San Diego, which includes cutting-edge imaging technology such as super-resolution, point-scanning and field scanning confocal, high-content, TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) and wide-field fluorescence systems



Based in Tokyo, Japan, JEOL is an established electron microscopy systems provider, developing systems for 69 years.

 Two recent JEOL Centers are highlighted below:


  • The JEOL Center for NanoScale Solutions at the University of California, Irvine, for interdisciplinary research, discovery and development of engineered and natural materials, systems and devices


  •  The JEOL-Nikon CLEM Solution Center in Tokyo, Japan, in a collaboration Nikon, focused on the companies’ correlative joint light and electron microscopy offerings



Another company with a long standing reputation in microscopy research tools, Olympus offers a wide range of microscopes for many applications, such as confocal imaging, live-cell imaging, multiphoton imaging, neuroscience imaging, cytology and pathology, and materials science.

The company also opened two North American centers recently:


  • The Olympus Discovery Center at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, aiming to advance microscopy and imaging-based neuron research



  • A Discovery Center at the University of Texas, Dallas, which houses advanced light microscopy systems


Other recently opened microscopy centers include Thermo Fisher Scientific’s collaboration with KAUST in 2017 for the Electron Microscopy Center of Excellence, also in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, which builds upon the two parties’ existing partnership. The Center houses 16 microscopes from Thermo Fisher.

Also in 2017, ZEISS opened its Microscopy Customer Center in Germany, which provides users with the opportunity to demo microscopes and workflows, related to light, electron and x-ray microsope technologies. Other ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers are located in various countries in Europe, East Asia and the US.