Invitation to microscopists from Pécs

2022. március 1.

We received an invitation to the "Super-resolution and Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy and István Ábrahám Memorial Workshop" from the Szentágothai János Research Centre of the University of Pécs.Invitation

Although the University of Pécs is proud to be the oldest university in the country, this does not mean that it is not working towards an even more proud future. The Szentágothai János Research Centre, for example, aims to become the leading research centre in Central Europe! It has been set up according to internationally advanced standards of scientific organisation, is diverse in terms of both its research topics and its collaborative partners, has research teams with highly qualified members, and is therefore justified in hoping to achieve this goal. One of the core facilities is the Nano-Bio-Imaging Core Facility inaugurated last December.
On the opening page of the Hungarian version of the home page next to a brief description of the facility's instruments, probably written for potential future users more or less familiar with today's types of microscopes, there is a photo of Prof. Dr István Ábrahám, the creator and first head of the facility, marked in black.

Although István Ábrahám graduated from the University of Medicine in Pécs, he obtained his PhD degree at KOKI, under the supervision of Krisztina Kovács. After returning from his short but successful career in the penultimate year of his career at the University of Otago, New Zealand, he was given the opportunity to set up his own research group at the University of Pécs and to start one of his lifelong dreams, the creation of a microscopy centre, unique in Europe. This was the time when our institute became involved again.

This dream has been realized by the successor of the Department of Life Sciences, Dóra Zelena, who took over the management of the new microscopy centre and the supervision of the new microscopy centre, and who was a KOKI staff member for many years until the end of December 2021.

- Nowadays, super-resolution microscopes, which are part of the optical microscopes, have become indispensable tools for biomedical research, helping to understand biological function at the molecular level. Not only can super-resolution microscopy be performed on living samples (cells, tissues), but also on moving animals, which is unthinkable with electron microscopy, which gives results with an order of magnitude higher resolution.
István Ábrahám's vision for the Nano-Bio-Imaging Centre was very similar to the KOKI Light Microscopy Centre. It's no secret that he modelled it on that. Like KOKI, we have several microscopes that allow super-resolution based on different principles and approaches.
We have STORM (STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy) and STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscopes, we can detect individual molecules with TIRF (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) microscopy, and we also have a SIM (Structured Illumination Microscopy) microscope.
Important addition is that the systems are equipped with an incubator so that live-cell measurements are also possible. The Femto2D-SMART two-photon microscope, manufactured by our colleagues at KOKI and distributed worldwide by the company Femtonics, is also used for in vivo measurements, and a Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy microscope is currently under construction!

- Might I suggest the MINSTED, created in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Professor Hell, as the next microscope to be purchased? True, it does not reach the atomic resolution of the most modern electron microscopes (0.1 nm), but it is capable of resolving 1-2 nm of the commonly used electron microscopes! However, there is certainly still some time before another purchase, as the building has only recently been inaugurated!

- The Endre Grastyán Theoretical Block of the University of Pécs was finally occupied in the summer of 2021, and here, under the wing of the Institute of Life Sciences, the Centre for Superresolution Microscopy Methods was established. This unit, known as a "core facility", is not only available to non-PTU users but also to market players.
The official inauguration of the microscopy centre took place on 13 December 2021, and in a month's time, on 1-2 April 2022, we would like to honour the memory of István Ábrahám with a symposium on microscopic research, where we welcome applications from our excellent microscopy colleagues at KOKI!

- Apart from listening to presentations and posters by foreign and domestic researchers using and developing super-resolution microscopy and other fluorescence microscopy methods, do the organisers have any other objectives for this event?

- They also have the explicit aim of providing support for the establishment of collaborations between researchers from different microscopy centres, as well as for those who want to learn about issues, solutions and best practices related to the operation of such facilities.

- The title of the invitation also specifically mentions the István Ábrahám memorial meeting.

- For this part of the programme, colleagues from all over the world will come to give scientific lectures and remember István Ábrahám, the former head of the Institute of Life Sciences, the founder of the Nano-Bio-Imaging Core Facility in Pécs, and last but not least, the President of the Hungarian Neuroscience Society, who passed away last April.

The symposium website, which is regularly updated and where you can register, is superresolution.hu