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Beckman Foundation Announces Funding for Light-Sheet Microscopy and Data Science

Note: Post updated Nov 25, 2019

Open Call for Pre-proposals Begins; Grantees to Receive $1.2M for Technology to Advance Research

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation today announced an open call for proposals from nonprofit U.S. universities and research institutions for its Instrumentation Grant for Advanced Light-Sheet Microscopy and Data Science. The grant will provide support of up to $1.2 million per site for the acquisition of instrumentation, development and maintenance; support for data science collaborations within research teams; and costs for proposed research programs. Investing in this instrumentation underscores the Foundation’s mission of supporting research breakthroughs in chemistry and the life sciences.

Light-sheet microscopy, originally invented in Ernst H.K. Stelzer's Light Microscopy Group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, uses a plane of light to perpendicularly illuminate a cross-section of a sample, permitting the user to rapidly produce high-resolution images while imposing less stress and damage on the sample than with conventional light microscopy. The Foundation is eager to expand access to the dynamic, 3D, and long-term imaging capabilities offered by light-sheet microscope modalities such as super-resolution light-sheet, lattice light-sheet, Airy beam light-sheet, single-optic light-sheet, and multi-photon imaging in order to tackle new biological questions enabled by these advanced imaging techniques.

The Beckman Foundation has identified advanced light-sheet microscopy as an exciting new technology area that has the potential to help answer many challenging research questions. This grant has two aims: To provide access to this cutting-edge technology, and also to incorporate the data science experts in the core program teams for innovations in data analysis techniques and sharing results with the broader research community. In 2017 we introduced a similar grant that brought Cryo-EM technology to several institutions, and we are excited to make a new instrumentation investment that will increase access to the field of light-sheet microscopy.

Dr. Anne Hultgren, Executive Director

Proposal details and instructions are available on the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation application submission portal. Questions regarding eligibility can be directed to Dr. Anne Hultgren at [email protected]. Program awards are tentatively scheduled to be funded by May 2021.