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Elizabeth Fischer, M.A.

Chief, RML Microscopy Unit

The Electron Microscopy (EM) Unit is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art technologies to support the ultrastructural imaging needs of NIAID scientists both in the Bethesda, Maryland, area and at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.

The facility provides sample preparation and analysis ranging from basic to high resolution structural studies to immuno-localization of selected antigens for a wide array of specimens. A variety of methods, protocols, and equipment are employed to accommodate different preparative and imaging needs. Real-time viewing of samples by video image-sharing is available to NIAID users, enabling scientists at distant locations the ability to view samples simultaneously with microscopy staff.

Beth Fischer, M.A.
David Dorward, Ph.D.
Vinod Nair, Ph.D.
Bryan Hansen, B.S.

RML Microscopy Unit Research Group
RML Microscopy Unit Research Group - Left to right: Bryan Hansen, Elizabeth (Beth) Fischer, Vinod Nair, David Dorward

Left to right: Bryan Hansen, Elizabeth (Beth) Fischer, Vinod Nair, David Dorward

Chen Z, Fischer ER, Kouiavskaia D, Hansen BT, Ludtke SJ, Bidzhieva B, Makiya M, Agulto L, Purcell RH, Chumakov K. Cross-neutralizing human anti-poliovirus antibodies bind the recognition site for cellular receptorProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Dec 10;110(50):20242-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320041110. Epub 2013 Nov 25. PMID:24277851

Ngamskulrungroj P, Chang Y, Hansen B, Bugge C, Fischer E, Kwon-Chung KJ. Characterization of the chromosome 4 genes that affect fluconazole-induced disomy formation in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33022.

Offerdahl DK, Dorward DW, Hansen BT, Bloom ME. A three-dimensional comparison of tick-borne flavivirus infection in mammalian and tick cell linesPLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47912

Fischer ER, Hansen BT, Nair V, Hoyt FH, Dorward DW. Scanning electron microscopyCurr Protoc Microbiol. 2012 May;Chapter 2:Unit 2B.2.

Belov GA, Nair V, Hansen BT, Hoyt FH, Fischer ER, Ehrenfeld E. Complex dynamic development of poliovirus membranous replication complexesJ Virol. 2012 Jan;86(1):302-12.

Cocchiaro JL, Kumar Y, Fischer ER, Hackstadt T, Valdivia RH. Cytoplasmic lipid droplets are translocated into the lumen of theChlamydia trachomatis parasitophorous vacuoleProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul8;105(27):9379-84.

Visit PubMed for a complete list of publications.

The RML Microscopy Unit has state-of-the-art microscopy equipment, including two scanning electron microscopes, a high-pressure freezer, high-resolution transmission electron microscopes with 3D tomography capabilities, and more.

FEI/Titan Krios 300kV TEM
FEI/Titan Krios 300kV TEM Enables higher resolution for 2- and 3-D imaging of room-temperature or cryo specimens less than or equal to 1 micron

Hitachi SU-8000, a semi-in-lens 30 kV field emission electron microscope with secondary, backscatter, and STEM detector.
Hitachi SU-8000, a semi-in-lens 30 kV field emission electron microscope with secondary, backscatter, and STEM detector.



Group A Streptococcus on primary neutrophil.
Group A Streptococcus on primary neutrophil.

Surface antigen labeling of spirochetes prepared by negative staining (A) or thin sectioning (B) viewed by TEM, or by backscatter detection (C) viewed by SEM.

specimens in suspension
After freezing specimens in suspension, regions of interest are determined under low-dose conditions to avoid radiation damage. Ideal imaging takes place in areas with very thin ice, usually where specimens are well-spread.


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Content last reviewed on December 17, 2013