NL-BioImaging AMNetherlands BioImaging Advanced Microscopy

Contact details:

Prof. dr. Th.W.J. Gadella
Science Park 904 NL-1098 XH Amsterdam

Revolutional developments in microscopy now enable scientists to see bio-molecules at work in living cells. This will lead to major breakthroughs in understanding life at the molecular level. The expanding technology surpasses the capacity of individual microscopy core facilities and urgently asks for a national Innovation and Access policy. NL-BioImaging AM unifies 19 major microscopy centres and appointed 7 centres of excellence internationally ratified by the ESFRI program Euro- BioImaging. Here, our consortium proposes a coordinated infrastructure investment that will optimally foster development of innovative imaging technologies, provide nation-wide open access to the distributed microscopy facility and enable efficient data integration.

Recent developments in advanced microscopy have caused a paradigm shift in life sciences by
enabling the direct visualization of molecules and their interactions inside living cells, tissues and
even whole organisms in healthy and pathological conditions. This information is crucial for
understanding the biological mechanisms that underlie human development and diseases, plant
growth, host-pathogen interactions and provides a strong basis for a wide variety of biotechnological
advances.
The Netherlands traditionally has an excellent position in advanced microscopy worldwide. In the
past four years, we have brought together the National advanced microscopy community to share
equipment and expertise and to increase our international visibility. In this NWO-roadmap program
we capitalize on this potential by generating a top-level microscopy infrastructure, Netherlands-
BioImaging Advanced Microscopy (NL-BioImaging AM). The infrastructure, which incorporates 19
partners, including all the major Dutch Universities, University Medical Centres and research
institutes, will be accessible to all life sciences research groups in the Netherlands. Our initiative is
directly linked to and firmly embedded within the European ESFRI program Euro-BioImaging.
Within NL Bioimaging AM we have identified 7 innovative flagship microscopy nodes, which were
highly ranked as centres of excellence by an independent international evaluation board of top
researchers coordinated by the European ESFRI initiative Euro-BioImaging. After a national
nomination procedure involving NWO and the ministry of OCW, these nodes were recently ratified by
the Euro-BioImaging board to become operational in the interim phase of this European ESFRI
initiative. Our flagship nodes promote progress in emerging cutting edge microscopy technologies
and aim to provide access to these technologies to a broad research community. These flagship
nodes, located at sites of leaders in the field, focus on Functional Imaging, High Throughput/High
Content Microscopy, Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy, Super Resolution Microscopy and
Intravital Imaging. Applications provided include across-scale microscopy, ranging from single
molecule imaging at nanoscopic scale, to cell organelles, live and fixed cells, tissues slices and
cultures, organoids and whole animal models. The infrastructure encompasses geographically
distributed general access advanced microscopy nodes, which provide open access for high-end
microscopy applications in fundamental and translational biological research. Both the innovative
and the general access nodes collaborate tightly with industrial and academic partners within High
Tech, Life Sciences & Health and Agri & Food sectors.
Synergy between the different nodes will be created through transversal activities with major
emphasis on coordinated image-processing & -analysis and data stewardship. Cross-discipline data
integration with related fields (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics) will be achieved
in collaboration with the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL) of which we are founding partner.
With this integrated approach we ensure an optimal cost-effective and productive access for
performing top-level microscopy-based bio-imaging in life sciences, and thereby fuel applications
and further development with respect to other Dutch initiatives such as OpenScreen, NeCEN,
population imaging (BBMRI-NL), and Translational Biomedical Research (EATRIS).

Connection to strategic developments
Topsectoren: 
Chemie
High Tech Systemen en Materialen
Life Sciences & Health
Agri & Food
ESFRI:
Faciliteit
Health and Food