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Policies

New Users

In order to schedule instrument time, new users are required to complete an online new investigator/project form. Trainees should consult with their PI or administrator to ensure accuracy of funding source. New users will be contacted by a member of the IAL staff to discuss the details for the instrument request and scheduling of training.

Biosafety Requirements and Rules

Selected rooms in the IAL have been approved as BL-2 laboratory space. In order to be able to bring the BL-2 material to the IAL, the IAL facility and room number MUST be listed in the investigator's IBC permit, in Section F, Agent use and Storage Locations. The investigator is required to send a copy of the IBC permit listing the relevant IAL laboratory room and the BL2 organisms, to Dr. Rola Barhoumi Mouneimne (rmouneimne@cvm.tamu.edu), before bringing the BL-2 samples. When using the BL-2 labs in the IAL, all users must follow the rules posted. This applies even to those users that do not work with samples requiring IBC permit.

Signup Procedures for Electron Microscopy Instrumentation

Individuals may reserve electron microscopy equipment in person, by phone (979)845-9527, or by e-mail (rpayne@cvm.tamu.edu).

Signup Procedures for Optical Microscopy Instrumentation

Microscopes may be operated by individuals who are trained and checked out by one of the facility staff for the particular application desired. Each investigator using fluorescence facilities is responsible for the design and analysis of his/her experiments. Core facility personnel may provide experimental design and data analysis support based on normal collaborative research agreements. Individualized training and/or instrument use can be scheduled through Dr. Rola Barhoumi Mouneimne in person, by phone (979)458-1149, by e-mail (rmouneimne@cvm.tamu.edu) or electronically.

Scheduling any fluorescence imaging equipment can be done up to, but not exceeding 4 weeks in advance.

A maximum of 3 hours per day per user during regular business peak hours (7:00 am - 5:00 pm) can be scheduled in advance. If no one else has signed up, the machine may be used until the next scheduled user arrives.

To avoid being charged for scheduled use of a microscope, notice must be provided during regular business hours on the day prior to cancellation of an appointment.

Data should be moved from each instrument to each users preferred storage media at the end of each imaging session. The IAL is not responsible for data that is left on the instrument for more than one week.

Equipment Checkout

All new electron microscope and major equipment users will be required to demonstrate competency on the instrument they wish to operate. Investigators who have qualified on instruments elsewhere must be instructed in the use of the current equipment prior to checkout. Individual operators must be able to assess the working condition of an instrument and they will be held responsible for informing IAL personnel if an instrument is not performing properly.

Operator Responsibilities

All microscopes will be maintained in a ready state by IAL staff. This ready state of the microscopes will permit individuals desiring such services to sign-up for instruments during the normal working week. A written log of use for each machine is also maintained with lamp hours, and any issues recorded.

Equipment Billing

Use of the instrumentation will require a user's fee that will be posted annually. All IAL users must have an account number on file prior to using the laboratory.

Invoices will be prepared monthly.

Technical Services

Separate charges will be billed for technical staff-assisted projects.

Safety

All users of the Image Analysis Laboratory are responsible for the safe utilization of instrumentation. Electrical and chemical hazards, as well as hazards associated with the utilization of high-vacuum instruments exist. No biohazardous material may be brought into the laboratory unless procedures for their use and disposal have been approved and all members of the Image Analysis Laboratory are properly informed of potential hazards.

A handbook of safety procedures and a Texas A&M University Hazardous Waste Disposal Manual is located at the entrance of the laboratory. Users of the Laboratory are obligated to use proper safety procedures, and are expected to both read and understand the contents of these documents. Material Data Safety Sheets are maintained on all chemicals used in the laboratory. Contact a staff member for manuals.