Accessibility statement

Dr Peter O'Toole
Head of Imaging and Cytometry



Peter O'Toole gained his PhD in the Cell Biophysics Laboratory at the University of Essex and has been involved in many aspects of fluorescence imaging and flow cytometry. Since arriving at York, he has firmly established the Imaging and Cytometry Laboratory as one of the top European centres.

With multiple close and personal external  collaborations and consultancy agreements, including current agreements with  Carl Zeiss, Beckman Coulter, JEOL and Phase Focus, the lab remains equipped with the very latest equipment and is playing a key role in influencing the direction of future commercial systems.

Peter’s research is now focussed on both technology and method development. Peter is PI on multiple funded grants. These include current funding from the RCUK Next Generation Optical Microscopy (NGOM) Call in collaboration with the CRUK-LRI, JEOL and Delmic and KTP/EPSRC funding in collaboration with Phase Focus and BBSRC/JEOL CASE Award to develop a novel CLEM system.

The NGOM programme is primarily to develop novel Super-resolution microscopy and correlative light and electron microscopy techniques with a focus of making these much simpler for non-specialists to apply and address key biomedical questions whilst also bridging the worlds of light and electron microscopy. The KTP is aimed to developing novel label-free light microscopy of samples.

Aside from running the facility and research, Peter also holds multiple key positions with different organisations.  Peter is Honorary Secretary for Biological Sciences on the Executive Committee of the Royal Microscopical Society, Chair of the Light Microscopy Section, committee member of Flow Cytometry UK and a member of European Light Microscopy Initiative steering committee.

Finally, Peter also organises a host of microscopy and cytometry courses that have now been running for over 9 years and attract delegates from every corner of the industrial world.  These include small hands-on confocal and flow cytometry courses to the Royal Microscopical Society Light Microscopy Summer School and Practical Flow Cytometry Courses. Peter is Chair of the upcoming MicroScience Microscopy Congress 2014 and has been Vice Chair for the European Microscopy Congress 2012, Chair for MicroScience 2010 and Lead Organiser for ELMI 2007.


2002 - Head of Imaging and Cytometry Department of Biology, University of York
1998 - 2002 Post-doc University of Essex
1998 PhD University of Essex
1994  BSc (hons) University of Essex




The below excludes pure commercial funded projects.

2013-2017 Bio-Continuum Microscopy: Seamless imaging from the micro- to the nano-scale. MRC/BBSRC (MR/K01580X/1) £1.55m. PI of collaborative grant in collaboration with CRUK. York share ~£1m

2013-2015 KTP Associate in Stain-free cell imaging using the Phase Focus Virtual Lens®. TSB grant with EPSRC contribution (KTP No. KTP009111)

2010-2013 Novel approaches to CLEM and atmospheric SEM BBSRC/JEOL CASE studentship

2010-2011 Assessment of Virtual Lenses for biological applications N8 METRC £49k with further support from Industrial partner PhaseFocus (£70k plus beta-test microscope system).

2008-2010 Development of Nanoprobes for biological submicroscopic multicolour imaging BBSRC TDRI grant (BB/F004729/1) £1m. PI of collaborative grant with Brunel.

2007-2008 Exploiting advances in imaging in microbiology: methodology development for using a multiphoton laser scanning microscope for biofilm analysis. BBSRC TDRF (BB/F0036921). Co-applicant £35k

2007-2010 High Through-put Imaging of Signaling Pathways in Pericyte – Endothelial Cell Interactions  BBSRC/Astra Zeneca CASE studentship (co-supervisor)

High resolution of SEM imaging of meristems, parasites, bacteria, tissues, sperm and biomaterials in a multi-user facility.  BBSRC REI( BB/D5244241) £150k

Research group(s)

Visiting Research Applications Scientist Rakesh Suman Label-Free imaging
Visiting Research Applications Scientist Richard Kasprowicz Label-Free Imaging
Visiting retired PDRA Ian Morrison Super Resolution Light and Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy
Experimental Officer Karen Hogg Varied
Experimental Officer Joanne Marrison Varied
PhD student Helen Miller Ultrafast SRM


Contact details

Dr Peter O'Toole
Head of Imaging and Cytometry
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328722
Fax: 01904 328804