COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.

UCSD School of Medicine Microscopy Core

 Campus Phase Yellow 

Phase Yellow can be reversed by UCSD at any time

COVID-19 Testing is free for UCSD

Employees and Students.

For Scheduling Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing:

Access for only UCSD laboratories at this time

All scheduled session on our resources must provide a valid Oracle Chart String from now on. This information consists of:

Project number - Task number - Funding Source

Assisted imaging is still available to Non-UCSD laboratories

With the goal to support important research work by our users while minimizing the risk of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the Core will implement the following rules for physical access by users:

Users found breaking core usage rules will have access revoked

  1. Facility will be open 24/7

  2. Personal SOM access badge is required for entrance

  3. A user should not come if he/she feels sick 

  4. Users must wear a user-furnished mask while in the core at all times, irrelevant of vaccination status. Please do not remove your mask in the microscopy suites.

  5. Users must wash/santize hands before and after use of equipment.

  6. Only 1 person allowed per room regardless of vaccination status

  7. Disinfect area before and after use

  8. Do not enter core without reservation

  9. Use of gloves is allowed

  10. A 50% capacity limit is still in effect for UCSD

  11. For more information on campus COVID-19 procedures, visit UCSD Research Ramp Up Guidance

Booking of Microscopes:

1. Time slots will be available for 2 hour intervals 

2. You may book up to 2 time slots per day (4 hours total per day)

3. You may not book more than four 2 hour time slots per week

4. If an instrument has available time slots day of, you may exceed the 4 session booking rule if booking same day use.

If you see that your time slot was moved or changed by staff, this is to ensure proper booking and productivity and you are to abide by the time on the schedule. Please double check your booking before you attend. Security badge access is required for entrance into the core and the building. 

If you need access to any of these systems on their "off" day, please email Jennifer and we will assist in scheduling to stay within capacity limits.

In person training sessions may be provided during PHASE Yellow if necessary, for one on one trainings only. KN95 masks are required. Remote training is still required for more than 1 attendee.

Contact: Jennifer Santini (

*Group use is available for up to two fully vaccinated researchers of the same lab if written authorization is granted by core staff. Group use is for the purpose of scientific training (not instrument training) between lab members for up to three sessions per application. An application for group use must be filled out by both researchers and PI, and submitted by PI. Research need is required, and core staff must authorize each planned group session date/time to ensure we maintain core capacity limits. If you do not have an approval letter, you are not permitted to gather in a group. Our core does not have proper ventilation or space for social distancing. Contact Jennifer Santini for more information or if you are interested in applying for this privilege.

The Core serves the needs of laboratories across the campus and the local research community. Our cutting-edge instruments push the limits of resolution, speed and sensitivity. We offer resources that range from electron microscopy ultrastructure resolution to whole organism / live animal imaging. The Core strives to promote interdisciplinary, collaborative research among local researchers. Experienced staff are available to assist with everything from sample preparation to imaging and analysis. All instruments are wholly owned by the Core, providing stable resources to support long-term research efforts.

  • Serving the UCSD research community since 2003
  • Open to all UCSD labs and surrounding institutions
  • Designated a Leica Center of Excellence in 2019
  • State-of-the-art instruments owned by the Core
  • 15 light microscopes and 1 electron microscope
  • Software for 3D and 4D analysis
  • Multiple microscope brands represented for best solutions
  • Supported by highly experienced staff
  • No. 1 NINDS P30 center in # of publications supported 

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