Develop expertise in optical microscopy and core facility management

Optical microscopy has become central to progress in many areas of science.  At the same time, the complexity of instruments and quantitative imaging experiments has dramatically increased, with many requiring extensive expertise to operate.  Microscopy facilities managed by PhD-level scientists who advise and train researchers on imaging experimental design, the best instruments to use for their experiments, and proper use of instruments have become essential sources of expertise in many research institutions, and core facility management has become a stimulating career path for scientists with experience in advanced quantitative microscopy techniques and an interest in facilitating science broadly.

The Advanced Microscopy Fellows at Harvard Medical School learn quantitative microscopy techniques including confocal, TIRF, FRET, FRAP, photo-activation, single-molecule imaging, light sheet and super-resolution microscopy, and key skills needed to manage a large, heavily-used core facility. Fellows learn to train core facility users to select and apply the appropriate techniques, using a wide range of biological specimens and experimental approaches. Fellows are also encouraged to identify scholarly projects that match their interests, such as: organizing and teaching microscopy lectures and workshops; organizing microscopy discussion groups/journal clubs; troubleshooting equipment problems; developing protocols for testing equipment performance; designing and/or implementing novel or custom imaging techniques.



The skills the Fellows learn can open up opportunities for several career paths, including:

  • Managing a core facility, in academia or industry
  • Teaching microscopy at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Application scientist, technical support, or sales positions with companies that make equipment for microscopy


 The fellows are mentored by Jennifer Waters, Microscopy Director and Lecturer in Cell Biology, and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Imaging Scientist.  Jennifer has over 25 years experience in optical microscopy, and has been at Harvard Medical School since 2001.  Jennifer directs three optical microscopy core facilities on the Harvard Medical School campus:  The Nikon Imaging Center at Harvard Medical School, the Systems Biology Microscopy Facility and the Cell Biology Microscopy Facility. These three cores contain 20 light microscopes used by over 100 labs from Harvard Medical School.  Jennifer also helped to establish the Microscopy Resources on North Quad (MicRoN) core, and serves as Co-Chair of the steering committee for the Image and Data Analysis Core.  Jennifer teaches microscopy courses at Harvard and elsewhere, including a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory she organizes. She received a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Imaging Scientist award in 2019.


 Harvard Medical School places great value on core facilities.  Core facility staff are respected and valued members of the Harvard Medical School community.  This fellowship offers a supportive and stimulating environment in which to develop skills and expertise in optical microscopy.

Read the Advanced Microscopy Fellows Training Plan
Fellow, 2014-2015
Talley J. Lambert, Ph.D.
Fellow, 2015-Present
Anna Payne-Tobin Jost, Ph.D.
Fellow, 2016-2018
Michael Weber, Ph.D.
Fellow, 2018-Present
George Campbell, Ph.D.