Policies

Biosafety requirements and rules

  • Selected rooms in the Image Analysis Laboratory (IAL) have been approved as BL-2 laboratory space. In order to be able to bring the BL-2 material to the IAL, you MUST list the IAL facility and room number 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. Robert Burghardt (RBurghardt@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 an IBC permit.

Procedures for scheduling and use of microscopy services and instrumentation

  • Please register in iLabs for scheduling and billing at https://tamu.corefacilities.org/service_center/show_external/4876.
  • For first-time use of optical and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), please email Dr. Joseph Szule at jszule@cvm.tamu.edu
  • 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 their 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. Joseph Szule in person, by phone at 979.845.9527, or by email at jszule@cvm.tamu.edu.
  • Scheduling any fluorescence imaging equipment may be done up to, but not exceeding four weeks in advance.
  • A maximum of three hours per day per user during regular business peak hours (7:00 a.m–5:00 p.m.) may 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, a notice of cancellation must be received during regular business hours on the day prior to 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 are 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.

Acknowledgment of IAL in Publications

Publications containing data generated by the IAL facility require a citation in the acknowledgment section of the paper to include the facility name, personnel name, and any grants that support facility operations. The facility-specific information is below:

Facility Name

Image Analysis Laboratory

Personnel

  • Robert C. Burghardt, Ph.D. | Director
  • Joseph Szule, Ph.D. | Assistant Research Professor
  • Ernesto Ramos | Research Assistant