Confocal microscopy course

20-23 March 2018

An intensive, hands-on, four-day training course in the rapidly developing techniques of confocal microscopy. 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 LSM780 and LSM710 on inverted microscopes, a Zeiss LSM510 on an upright microscope, and an Andor Revolution XD 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 delegates from the 2015 and 2016 courses, it is anticipated that participants will come from both academia and industry throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

The Course

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 LSM780 NLO, LSM710 and LSM510 meta confocal microscopes, and an Andor Revolution XD spinning disk confocal microscope. 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
  • 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
  • A representative from Carl Zeiss
  • A representative from Andor

Venue and Date

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 on campus is available, provided sufficient notice is given.

Course Fee

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, and a special course dinner on the Thursday evening. Delegates are free to make their own arrangements on Wednesday evening, either in a dining room or snack bar on campus or in the historic city of York.

Please see the registration form Reg Form Mar18 (MS Word  , 26kb) for course fees.


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 download the registration form and return the completed form to:

Course Enquiries
Bioscience Technology Facility
Department of Biology (Area 15)
University of York
York YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0) 1904 328821

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.

More Information

For any 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

York and the University

The University of York enjoys a splendid campus location just two miles from the centre of York itself. There are excellent rail links from London, and Manchester and Newcastle Airports, and the campus is easily reached by road via the A1 and A64.

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.


Posted on 15 August 2017

Confocal Microscopy Training Course

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Please see below some feedback from our recent course delegates: 

"I really appreciated very much what all of you did last week.  It was probably the best course I've ever been to."  September 2015

"This was an awesome course covering all the basics and advanced confocal techniques" March 2015

"I will definitely recommend all our confocal users to do this course" March 2015

"Well delivered - fantastic course - helped me understand techniques and theoretical principles which had previously given me a headache! Thank you" March 2015

"Tutors were excellent.  Very nice, helpful and knowledgeable.  One of the most enjoyable courses I have been on" September 2014

"Small group work meant I had an opportunity to ask specific questions and get a detailed answer" September 2014

"Most brilliant time I have had on a course!" September 2014


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