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Confocal Microscopy Course

Confocal Microscopy Course

Date tbc.
Please contact for further information

Introduction:  An intensive, hands-on, four-day training course in the rapidly developing techniques of confocal microscopy.

I really appreciated very much what all of you did last week.  It was probably the best course I've ever been to.

The course will initially cover basic confocal but then swiftly move on to the more advanced techniques such as FRAP, FRET and spectral unmixing. Over the four days, all participants will have used four different confocal set-ups; Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan FAST, LSM780 MP and LSM 710 on inverted microscopes, and an Andor Dragonfly spinning disk confocal. To demonstrate each technique, a wide range of both samples (plants to cell culture) and labels (antibody to fluorescent proteins) will be used. Participants are welcome to bring their own samples. 

The course is taught by academic and research staff of the University of York Technology Facility and specialists from Zeiss and Andor. The University of York is pleased to present the course in collaboration with Carl Zeiss and Andor.

Based on nearly 15 years, it is anticipated that participants will come from both academia and industry throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Course Benefits:  This intensive, four-day training course will be of value to anyone wanting to gain hands-on experience of modern confocal techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples. In addition to the hands-on component, the course will include tutorials on the theory and practice of all the techniques and methods covered, as well as many other relevant topics in the field.

An essential feature of our course is the unique combination of practical, laboratory-based work with both taught and tutorial-style classroom sessions. The Technology Facility labs are extremely well equipped for modern confocal work, including the  Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan FAST, LSM780 MP and LSM710 confocal microscopes, and an Andor Dragonfly spinning disk confocal. Participants will have the opportunity to analyse their own samples during the free format session.

Course Programme

The course schedule will involve a tutorial each morning on the techniques relevant to the day's practicals.

Hands-on laboratory activities will include:

  • Operation of all available confocal microscopes
  • Multicolour sequential and simultaneous imaging techniques
  • Live cell imaging
  • FRAP - fluorescent recovery after photobleaching
  • FRET - fluorescent resonance energy transfer
  • Spectral unmixing

There will be ample opportunities during the evenings for further discussion with the course tutors in more informal surroundings.

A preliminary programme is shown below: 

Day 1: Basics Familiarisation, x,y,z and multicolour imaging
Day 2: Live-cell imaging Spinning disk confocal microscopy
FRAP on Laser scanning confocal
Day 3: Advanced Techniques Spectral unmixing
FRET with fluorescent proteins
Day 4: Further advances and free session More samples to explore confocal limit
Participants own sample session

Course Tutors

  • Peter O'Toole, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Grant Calder, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Karen Hogg, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Karen Hodgkinson, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Jo Marrison, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Graeme Park, Technology Facility, Department of Biology, University of York
  • Chris Power, Carl Zeiss
  • Andy Hubbard, Andor

Venue and Accommodation

The course will use the resources and instrumentation of the Technology Facility, which is part of the Department of Biology and is housed in a £25M building completed in 2002.

Delegates will be housed in single en-suite rooms on the University of York campus.

Pre and post course accommodation will either be at the York Pavilion Hotel or on campus, provided sufficient notice is given.

This historic walled city with its medieval guild halls and hostelries offers many attractions for the visitor, including the Jorvik Viking Centre, the National Railway Museum, York Minster, York Castle Museum, Clifford's Tower and the Merchant Adventurers' Hall. York is set in the centre of the Vale of York with the Yorkshire Dales, Moors and Wolds, and stately homes and other attractions are all within easy reach.


8-11 September 2020

The registration fee covers accommodation on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, all meals (except Wednesday evening), refreshments, tuition, laboratory consumables, a bound copy of all course notes. There will be special course dinners on the Tuesday and Thursday evening in the historic city of York. Delegates are free to make their own arrangements on Wednesday evening, either in a dining room or snack bar on campus or in York City Centre. 

The course investment fee is: £1200 Academic Rate | £1600 Industrial Rate 

As the number of places is limited to permit full hands-on practice, early registration is advised. To register for the Confocal Microscopy Hands-on Course, please fill out Registration form Confocal - Sept 2020 (MS Word , 25kb) and send to 

Refund Policy

Following the volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2010,  several delegates had travel plans disrupted and were unable to attend a course.  This has prompted us to remind delegates that the full registration fees are payable in advance and that there is a 10% administrative charge for cancellations received in writing up to 20 working days before the start of the course.  No refunds will be made for cancellations received within 20 working days of the course start date or for the inability to attend the course for whatever reasons. The University is not liable for non-attendance due to travel disruptions,health problems or any other reason that might lead to a delegate not being able to attend the course.  You are strongly advised to ensure you have appropriate insurance.  Substitutions may, of course, be made at any time, providing you inform us in writing. 

How to get here

The University of York enjoys a splendid campus location just two miles from the centre of York itself. Getting to York is easy from anywhere in the world.  There are excellent rail links which have a short travel time to international airports and we have easy to access major road networks.  

The Biology Department is within Campus West at the University and maps and travel information can be found by visiting:

More Information

For any further questions concerning the course itself, please contact:

Dr Peter O'Toole
Department of Biology (Area 15)
University of York
York YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0)1904 328722
Fax: +44 (0)1904 328804

Confocal Course Image

Contact details

Bioscience Technology Facility
The University of York
Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 32 8821

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This was an awesome course covering all the basics and advanced confocal techniques.

I will definitely recommend all our confocal users to do this course.

Well delivered - fantastic course - helped me understand techniques and theoretical principles which had previously given me a headache! Thank you.

Tutors were excellent.  Very nice, helpful and knowledgeable.  One of the most enjoyable courses I have been on.

Small group work meant I had an opportunity to ask specific questions and get a detailed answer.

Most brilliant time I have had on a course!

I really appreciated very much what all of you did last week.  It was probably the best course I've ever been to.


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Posted on 28 May 2019

Confocal Microscopy Training Course

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