IMB Microscopy

The IMB Microscopy facility built in 2009 is a world-leading example of technology designed for discovery. It has continued to evolve, with wide-ranging light microscopy capability, employing technology that is programmed specifically for the needs of the research teams. Researchers are enabled to perform complex experiments that produce real-time microscopic insights that impact our understanding of biological processes.

The ACRF Cancer Ultrastructure and Function Facility is a nation-leading facility which enables researchers at IMB to make significant contributions to the global understanding of cellular pathogenesis drivers, mechanisms of tissue invasion and determinants of patient outcomes at the levels of function and phenotype. Leading discoveries emerging from research at IMB are having a major impact at the fundamental single protein level through to medical application, aided by advanced microscopy.

The ACRF Cancer Ultrastructure and Function Facility is the product of 20 years of support from the ACRF, with a road map to provide emerging imaging and analysis techniques to facilitate the scientific research. In 2004, ACRF awarded $1.2 mil to purchase two Zeiss 510 confocal microscopes. In 2008, ACRF awarded $2.5 mil to purchase two Zeiss 710 confocal microscopes, one GE Deltavision microscope and high performance computing (HPC) for image analysis. Most recently in 2017, ACRF awarded $2.3 mil to the IMB Cancer Ultrastructure and Function Facility (CUFF) to purchase one 3i Lattice Light Sheet, one Leica Super resolution microscope and cluster computers for image analysis.

The ACRF Cancer Ultrastructure and Function Facility is an effective conduit for research from cancer targets to drug discovery programs and translational studies. It represents the culmination of our multidisciplinary efforts of observing phenotype from molecules in cells to complex microsystems. We now appreciate the etiology of cancer is impacted by factors not readily analysed by genomics alone, notably tumour cell heterogeneity and the impact of the microenvironment. Analyzing the behaviour of cancer cells in vitro and of tumours in situ is now made possible by recent, revolutionary and complementary advances in optical microscopy that provide the opportunity to directly assess cancer cell function at unprecedented resolution, using engineered cell systems, animal models, tumours and organs. The advanced imaging offered in the facility will help to translate research findings much more rapidly by moving seamlessly between levels of resolution, from single molecule to whole live organism.

Current capabilities 

The Lattice Light Sheet – clearer, faster, longer 

Leica STED 3X Super Resolution Microscope

Andor Dragonfly Spinning Disc Confocal with TIRF

Zeiss LSM 880 Confocal with Fast Airyscan Detector

Nikon SMZ18 Research Stereo Microscope

From the basics to the best and everything in between

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Cluster

Higher Capacity

External Users


Dr James Springfield

Microscopy Facility Manager
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Dr Nicholas Condon

Microscopy Research Officer
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Dr Deborah Barkauskas

Senior Microscopist
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Bookings website 

For mail, please send to the following address:

ACRF Cancer Biology Imaging Facility
Institute for Molecular Bioscience Level 6N
306 Carmody Road Building 80
University of Queensland
4072, St Lucia,
Queensland, Australia

Facility supporters

Australian Cancer Research Foundation