VETI Success – Department of Biology
Dr. Michael Chao, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biology within CSUSB recently upgraded the department’s biological imaging capabilities with the acquisition of their new laser scanning confocal microscope. By utilizing the VETI grant, the Biology department has new gained a new piece of equipment to not only help students learn within such subjects as Cell Physiology and Microscopy, but to further assist in the faculty-led student research being done within the campus as well.
The laser scanning confocal microscope expands upon the capabilities of traditional microscopes. Unlike bright-field microscopes, the confocal microscope uses multiple lasers to scan and capture images of fluorescently-labeled molecules inside cells. Unlike the traditional method of staining specimens with vital dyes, this florescence imaging allows scientists to visualize individual biological molecules at close to 1000x magnification and a resolution of a few hundred nanometers.
Although an expensive piece of equipment, students are able to utilize the microscope after receiving appropriate training and supervision by the faculty. The funds granted to the Biology department have done much to expand upon the curriculum and research at CSUSB. As Dr. Michael Chao stated during our interview: “The entire process we went through with the VETI Grant was a great experience; they not only worked with our department but encouraged us along the way.”