Ross Imaging Center

Overview of Services

The Ross Fluorescence Imaging Center is available to all JHU researchers, and outside users, with our main focus being the staff in the Division of Gastroenterology ("GI Center"). We have additional interactions with members of the Division of Cardiology, throughout Department of Medicine, and School of Medicine. We collaborate closely with the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine (ACCM), managing their Leica SP8 confocal microscope core as a separate iLab core (ACCM Confocal Microscope).

July 3, 2023 update: P30 center funding was not renewed. George McNamara, PhD, is now funded 20% by ACCM and GI, so is now 20% here on Ross 9th floor (Ross S913 office; microscopes in 913, S910, S972) and 80% managing the High Throughput Phenotypic Screening ("HPS2") platform in Smith Bldg (10 minute walk across campus). 

   One consequence of George being 20% time at Ross 9 is that new users need to be patient about getting training on new instruments (and old users to get retraining if forgot what to do) -- may be several weeks before training can be done. JHU has many other microscopy facilities (MicFac, Neuroscience, Ophtalmology, as examples). All users need to be attentive to details - especially how to start and finish sessions on any specific microscope. Users need to  be carefulto leave the microscope in a fully functional state for the next user.

  Reminder: all users need to have reservations (its also how we bill) and to sign in at the start of your session (and sign out at end so we do not bill you to next user starts).


out of date as of July 2023: Main users are (were) NIH NIDDK funded P30 "DCC" Center and collaborators in the G.I. division. 

The DCC’s areas of research emphasized include Epithelial transporter function and regulation (with emphasis on trafficking, protein-protein interactions and heavy metal transport), Inflammation, injury and fibrosis, Neurogastroenterology, and GI pre-cancer (with emphasis on signaling pathways, inflammation, epigenetics, and biomarkers).

 The mission of Hopkins DCC Imaging Core B is to provide equipment and service of classical and cutting-edge light microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to our Research Base investigators for study of the physiology and cell biology of the GI track at the level of organs, tissues, cell models, co-cultures, sub-cellular organelles and single molecules. These approaches include wide-field, confocal and multiphoton microscopy with applications for immunofluorescence; single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH); measurements of intracellular pH, Ca2+and other ions by small molecule indicators and fluorescent protein biosensors; methods to determine protein trafficking at a single cell level; FRET microscopy for detection of protein-protein interactions in in vitro and in vivo models; FRAP microscopy for monitoring the changes in protein mobility and binding in protein complexes; and multicolor spectral imaging with more than 4 fluorophores.

 We are located in the Ross Research Building 9th floor (service corridor S913, S910, S972). Our major focus is confocal microscopy, with an Olympus FV3000RS inverted confocal microscope. We also manage ACCM’s Leica SP8 confocal microscope. Our new single molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization microscope (“FISHscope”) is a state of the art 5plex microscope, complemented by development of smFISH probe sets by our core director, Prof. Bin Wu. We have an Olympus FV1000MPE multiphoton microscope, Keyence BZ-X700 “box” microscope, Zeiss inverted microscope with Olympus DP80 dual monochrome & RGB CCDs camera, multiple MetaMorph Imaging System software licenses, and expert fluorescence microscopy consultations and training from Image Core Manager George McNamara, PhD, and Image Core Director Prof. Bin Wu, PhD.

 We additionally manage the iLab schedulers for several additional instruments, including Li-Cor Odyssey CLx Western blot scanner, PerkinElmer EnVision 2104 multi-mode plate reader (absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence, Alpha screen), and two Horiba PTI-fluorimeters.

Sept 2022: single molecule RNA FISH fluorescent oligonucleotide(s) Probe Synthesis "as a Service" idea ended - you can contact Prof. Bin Wu directly about collaborating with their lab (they may be busy withtheir projects). 


Bin Wu, PhD | Director

George McNamara, PhD | Manager

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Training: Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM

Instrumentation is available 24/7 to fully

    trained users (scan card or key access)

as of July 3, 2023: George is now 20% time at Ross 9

  - be patient with respect to training and use the instruments correctly    

Ross Research Bldg., 9th floor

720 Rutland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21205-2195

Rooms: S913, S910, S972 (service corridor)


Web links


20210126Tue: Services - use Schedule Equipment tab ( ) to make reservations. When you use any equipment, enter your name and start time (and date) "first thing", and then sign out when done. Failure to sign in at start of each session means you are trespassing on JHU property. Billing of our confocal microscopes is in 1/2 hour interval (rounded up) from sign-in sheet. Other equipment is billed by reservation. 

Consultation ... with George McNamara, PhD (arrange meeting by email first,
Olympus FV3000RS ... confocal microscope
Zeiss AxioObserver.A1 inverted microscope w/DP80 CCD
Keyence BZ-X710 all-in-one microscope
Olympus IX83 Inverted Microscope ("FISHscope")
Li-Cor Odyssey CLx Western blot scanner
Biotek absorbance plate reader (Ross S972) - all users must sign in
PTI Quantamaster 40 Fluorimeter #1 Ross S913
PTI Quantamaster 40 Fluorimeter #2 Ross S972
MetaMorph image analysis #1
MetaMorph image analysis #2
Olympus FV1000MPE Multiphoton Microscope - ended

VueScan slide scanner ... this service is in preliminary phase, similar image quality as 

See also

 Note: four of our microscopes can "do" tile scanning and image stitching AND/OR automate stage relocation for "cyclic" imaging (ex 12plex RNAscope 3 cycles of 4 probes). This can enable more efficient acquisition at optimum spatial resolution (i.e.high NA objective lens, wavelength limited pixel and Z-step size) (if the analysis computer can handle our 'data deluge') without you being present the whole time (a major benefit of automated microscopy):

  * ACCM Leica SP8 confocal microscope (ACCM core in iLab; standard tile scan or NAVIGATOR 'app' wizard)

  * Olympus FV3000RS confocal

  * FISHscope (Olympus IX83)

  * Keyence BZ-X710

Our Olympus FV1000MPE multiphoton microscope can also tile scan -- a user 'did' a 50 slide project of kidney tissue fibrosis in 2018 -- but currently (1/2021) very nfrequently used microscope (we'd be happy to see more users on it).

1/2021: we have also put on VueScan slide scanner for histology / brightfield IHC slides onto a PC in the image core and an iLab scheduler here. This produces images equivalent to a 4x or 5x objective lens 'nominal resolution' (though sometimes the slide scanner focus is not quite as good). Nice for acquiring large area quickley, and then making measurements of areas in Fiji ImageJ, MetaMorph, Photoshop, etc. If users find it useful, great; if not, we may remove it as a service and just have it at GM's PC. Scanner is a repurposed 35 mm film scanner. You are welcome to scan in your 35 mm film 'cassettes' or film strips, when VueScan is not being used for research.

Leica SP8 confocal microscope is at 

5/2021: New Services 

 Single molecule RNA FISH probe synthesis and specimen preparation training - by Fatemeh Jahan Bakhsh, PhD.

See "Request Services/Training" tab at top and contact Prof. Bin Wu and Dr. Jahan Bakhsh.


Reminder: all users must have an iLab reservation AND sign-in and out of the usage sheet. Failure to do is trespassing on JHU property.



Name Role Phone Email Location
George McNamara, PhD
Ross S913


Search available services:
Name Description Price
FISH Training

FISH Training - single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization training session. Typically 2 hours, conducted by Fatemeh Jahan Bakhsh, PhD ( for one user from one lab. Planning of specimen preparation (i.e. cell line on coverglasses, imaging dishes, frozen or FFPE tissue sections) to be coordinated by email prior to training session.

Typically two hours training.

JHU Internal $100.00 /hr
External - Non-Academic $160.00 /hr
External - Academic $100.00 /hr
External - Fast Forward/Startup $100.00 /hr
New FISH Probe Synthesis (48 oligos)

New FISH Probe Synthesis (48 oligos) - for single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization.

GM note: Priority is for JHU affiliated users.


JHU Internal $200.00 each
External - Non-Academic $340.00 each
External - Academic $200.00 each
External - Fast Forward/Startup $200.00 each
New FISH Probe Synthesis (49-96 oligos)

New FISH Probe Synthesis (49-96 oligos) - for single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization.

GM note: Priority is for JHU affiliated users.

JHU Internal $300.00 each
External - Non-Academic $510.00 each
External - Academic $300.00 each
External - Fast Forward/Startup $300.00 each
Probe Set Re-Synthesis

Probe Set Re-Synthesis (oligos) . Subsequent to initial probe synthesis. This can be same or different fluorophore. 

Re-synthesis is currently the same price for 48 oligos probe set or 49-96 oligos probe set.

JHU Internal $100.00 each
External - Non-Academic $170.00 each
External - Academic $100.00 each
External - Fast Forward/Startup $100.00 each

Map,-76.5970203,17z/data=!3m2!4b1!5s0x89c804624c87ff91:0xc25e49fbee8bc7fa!4m6!3m5!1s0x89c8057f825dd71f:0xe518a3526136db7e!8m2!3d39.2990029!4d-76.5921494!16s%2Fg%2F11ghzn6hkv?entry=ttu ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- . Google Maps (picture is under Ross Bldg - from the adjacent Rutland Garage [JHU staff parking only] - visitors can use Washington Street Garage, on east side of Washington St, entrance between East Monument St (east bound) and East Madison St (west bound). We recommend using a JHU parking garage, not on street parking. . George McNamara, PhD 720 Rutland Ave Ross Research Building S913 (service corridor) 720 Rutland Ave Baltimore MD 21231 Please note: Dr. McNamara is part time at "Ross 9" (Ross Imaging Core and ACCM Confocal Microscope Core), and part time at the Smith Bldg (10 minutes walk) - please plan WELL IN ADVANCE to for training, appointments, etc