TRINITY ELECTRON MICROSCOPY FACILITIES


Electron microscopes are among the most important scientific instruments to be developed in the last 50 years.  They serve vital roles in scientific research and medicine, and an ability to use them and interpret the information they provide an be immensely valuable for students, physicians, and research scientists.   

Trinity College has constructed two excellent Transmission Electron Microscopy laboratories, which are available for use by students and faculty for the purposes of education and scientific research.  The first of these laboratories is located in the Life Sciences Center, and houses a Zeiss transmission electron microscope (EM 900) with CCD camera, a lab for preparing tissues and materials samples, an ultramicrotomy lab, and a dedicated darkroom. The second facility has been constructed in the McCook building, and houses a sophisticated Philips CM12 with STEM capabilities.  Constructed at college expense, the TEM laboratories were equipped with the generous assistance of funds from the National Science Foundation and the DeCamp Foundation.  In addition to the two transmission EMs, Trinity has two scanning electron microscopes:  a JEOL JSM series SEM located in the McCook Building, and a Cambridge CamScan series 4 SEM with X-ray detector, located in Clement Hall.  In addition to these instruments, Trinity has an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) located in the MCEC Building, and a Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) which is housed in McCook.  Excellent histology, cryotomy, and computer- interfaced photomicroscopy facilities are also to be found in the Life Sciences Center as well as in Clement.  

The EM laboratory facilities are shared by six departments/ programs: Biology, Neuroscience, Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics. Among the several courses for which they are used is Biological Electron Microscopy (Bio 350), which is taught by Dr. Daniel Blackburn and Ms. Ann Lehman.  The labs are also used in a variety of other courses throughout the natural sciences. The EM instruments and laboratories also are available for faculty research and faculty -sponsored undergraduate research and research training. These facilities enhance the excellent opportunities for Trinity undergraduates to conduct cutting-edge original research with highly sophisticated instrumentation. Examples of transmission electron micrographs taken by Trinity students are shown here.

The TEM laboratories are overseen by Ms. Ann Lehman (the Assistant Director of the EM Facility) and Professor Daniel Blackburn (Director of the EM Facility). Students and faculty interested in using the facilities or learning to use the instruments should contact Ms. Lehman or Dr. Blackburn.