Cell & Molecular Imaging Shared Resource

imaging of metastatic cancer cells spreading on the surrounding tissue

The Cell & Molecular Imaging (CMI) Shared Resource provides investigators with sophisticated optical imaging technologies, methods and project development, and training required for successful, high-end cell and tissue-based imaging and analysis.



John J. Lemasters, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Endowed Chair
Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Li Li, Ph.D.
Drug Discovery Building 522B

Imaging Specialists

Anna-Liisa Nieminen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Senior Imaging Specialist

Jiangting Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
Drug Discovery Building 522B

Kenji Takemoto, M.D., Ph.D.
Drug Discovery Building 524E

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Imaging Scientist

Monika Beck Gooz, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences


  • Access to state-of-the-art confocal and multiphoton microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, and second harmonic generation for imaging living cells in culture, live, and fixed tissues and for intravital imaging in live animals.
  • In-depth training in multiple imaging modalities including microscopic techniques, live cell imaging, multiphoton imaging, and pre-clinical intravital animal imaging.
  • Consultation and assistance concerning experimental design, sample preparation, probe selection, and data analysis for imaging applications.
  • Education in the fundamentals of imaging and image analysis technologies and their application, which are essential for appropriate utilization of these approaches.
  • Dissemination of information concerning the ongoing development of novel experimental strategies, emerging technologies, and data analysis techniques.


Fixed Cell & Tissue Imaging using chromogenic and fluorescence techniques in combination with antibody-based methods to monitor expression, distribution, and interaction of specific molecules.

Live Cell Imaging of parameter-sensitive fluorophores to monitor ions, electrical potentials, oxygen and nitrogen radical generation, NAD(P)H, mitochondrial and plasmalemmal membrane permeability, cell viability (apoptosis and necrosis), fluorescent protein biosensors, and other parameters.

Intravital Microscopy to monitor microcirculation, leukocyte margination, invadopodia, mitochondrial polarization, membrane permeability, radical generation, gene expression, detection of collagen fibers, and other factors in living animals and tissues.

Advanced Imaging Techniques: Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) to characterize and quantify interactions between specific molecules and their mobility; second harmonic generation (SHG) microscope for label-free visualization of collagen; and Fast Airyscan super-resolution imaging with high quantum efficiency GaAsP photomultipliers.


The CMI Shared Resource has a full range of state-of-the-art imaging equipment, including the microscopes listed below. Check out our equipment page for full microscope descriptions and capabilities.

  • Zeiss 880 LSM NLO with Fast Airyscan Super-resolution Detector
  • Olympus FV1200 MPE
  • Zeiss LSM 510 META
  • Olympus FluoView FV10i LIV
  • BD Biosciences CARV II

Imaging Workstation

Two imaging workstations are dedicated for offline image processing and analysis. The following software packages are available for current CMI users: Metamorph, Image J FIJI, Duolink ImageTool, Adobe Photoshop, Olympus Viewer, IP Lab, Zeiss Zen software, Imaris, and Huygens deconvolution suite. Please contact Li Li, Ph.D., for more information and to request software training.

Additional Equipment for Live Cell Imaging

A tissue culture hood and two cell culture incubators (37°C) are available in Drug Discovery 521 for specimen preparation and temporary incubation of cells. One incubator is equipped for 5% CO2.

Publication Acknowledgement

Please acknowledge the Cell & Molecular Imaging Core in your publications: “Supported in part by the Cell & Molecular Imaging Shared Resource, MUSC Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA138313), and the Shared Instrumentation Grant S10 OD018113.”