Biological Imaging Facility

Marianne Bronner – Faculty Advisor
Andres Collazo – Director

The mission of the Beckman Institute Biological Imaging Facility (BIF) is to provide state of the art microscopy resources that enable Caltech scientists to conduct the most advanced research possible. Part of this mission is to develop new technologies for the imaging of biological structure and function. As these technologies are refined, they are made available to members of the Caltech research community. The BIF has 6 microscopes. Five are confocal microscopes for optical sectioning of fluorescently labeled samples. Of these, 4 are laser scanning confocal microscopes and one is a Spinning Disc confocal for high speed imaging. Three of the laser scanning confocal microscopes have multiphoton/two-photon lasers (MP, a category of nonlinear optics, NLO) which allow for deeper imaging of tissues. The sixth microscope is a wide field deconvolution microscope for high throughput fluorescence imaging. All but one of these microscopes are equipped with incubation chambers to permit specimens to be properly maintained on the stage of the microscopes.

In addition, the Biological Imaging Facility provides computational facilities for the processing and analysis of imaging data using multiple software packages. These include the powerful Imaris image processing software from Bitplane. We are one of their North American Advanced Imaging Centers, so users are invited to present challenging problems to Bitplane through us. The other software available is Huygens from Scientific Volume Imaging B.V. (SVI), a powerful program for image deconvolution.

Instruments in the Biological Imaging Facility are available to users through an on-line calendar system. New users can register and request training through the calendar system.

All of the major resources are available to users at a modest recharge rate of $30/hour for Caltech users. Users outside of Caltech are charged a higher rate.

In addition to personal training, arranged through the calendar system, the Biological Imaging Facility offers lecture and laboratory classes (Bi/BE 177 and 227, winter term) for students, postdocs and staff.


Dr. Andres Collazo


  • 226 Beckman Institute
  • Mail Code 139-74
  • (626) 395-2761

Prof. Marianne Bronner

Faculty Advisor

  • 234 Beckman Institute
  • Mail Code 139-74
  • (626) 395-3355