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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy Resources

Department Facilities

The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy is located in 20,000 square feet of newly renovated laboratory space at the Queen Lane Campus of Drexel University College of Medicine. The Queen Lane Campus also houses the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the teaching facilities for medical students.

The Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy imaging facilities include:

  • Automated wide-field fluorescence microscope for multi-color image acquisition
  • Stereology system equipped with Neurolucida neuron tracing software
  • Laser microdissection system for isolating specific cells from tissue samples
  • Automated four-quadrant spectrophotometer plate reader for protein interaction assays
  • High-end spectral confocal microscope with visible and ultra-violet illumination capabilities and corresponding software allowing for virtually artifact-free multi-color fluorescence image acquisition and analysis

For additional information, training and reservations of the imaging facilities, contact Dr. Vladimir Zhukarev at

The Queen Lane Library on the main floor of the Drexel University College of Medicine Campus (2900 W. Queen Lane), houses books, journals and other materials to support the educational needs of students in the first two years of medical school, and the research needs of the basic sciences departments. The collection focuses on the basic sciences, including research literature in biochemistry, microbiology/immunology, neuroscience, physiology, molecular biology and cell biology; there is also a core collection of books on clinical medicine. Approximately 17,000 books and journals and over 200 videotapes and slide sets are available.

Drexel University College of Medicine has developed a reputation for excellence in medical education and research. Together, the Departments of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry form an interdisciplinary core of scientists involved in neuroscience research.

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Software Available from Drexel University

Institutional agreements make some software available, via Drexel FTP server, to members of the Drexel community.

Visit the Drexel software portal. (If the link does not work the first time, click on refresh or reload.)

In order to download the software, you must login with your Drexel domain user ID and password. Enter your user ID as userid@drexel.

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Useful Neurobiology & Anatomy Links

Suggestions, additions, deletions please contact Francis Sessler at

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Neurobiology & Anatomy Laboratory Safety

This page is to help all of us conform to the continually updated and changing university regulations. In addition contact numbers and procedures on how to get things done are included.

Jonathan M. Chase, Exectuive Director, Department of Environmental Health and Safety, 215.895.5891

Office of Research Policy and Procedures, Manuals and Guidelines

  • IACUC Policies
  • IRB Guidelines
  • General Laboratory Safety
  • Right to Know Guidelines
  • Research Conduct Policy

Drexel's Chemical Hygiene Plan (to comply with OSHA's Health and Safety Standards)

Sigma-Aldrich company family material safety data sheets
MSDS Search Engine

Hazardous Material Identification Guide The NFPA Fire Diamond

Getting Things Done

Sharps and biohazard removal is performed by the College of Medicine. Sharps containers are available FREE from Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Hoods need to be calibrated regularly (yearly). This service is scheduled by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Something broke? Hoods down? No DI? Water brown? Contact Facilities Management:

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Confocal Microscope Facility

Confocal image of the dorsal raphe nucleus. Fixed tissue section. Green - Alexa 488 serotonin, red - Cy3 tryptophan hydroxylase. Automatic acquisition and stitching of 12 stack/tiles.

Director: Dr. Vladimir Zhukarev
Phone: 215.991.8459

The Confocal Microscope Facility consists of the Leica TCS SP8 VIS/405 and Leica TCS SP2 VIS/405 confocal microscopes equipped with fully automated Inverted and semi-automatic Upright optical stands correspondingly and ran by Windows computer workstations. The Facility is housed in room 251 on the first floor and room 188H of the ground floor of Queen Lane, in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. The stand-alone Workstation with full copy of the Leica SP8 confocal and Huygens (SVI) post-processing software is in room 177A on the ground floor.

The director, Dr. Zhukarev, trains all new users, oversees day-to-day operation, maintains the facility and updates the reservation calendar and schedule of microscope use. Dr. Zhukarev supervises the overall operation by establishing rules and procedures for the use of the microscope. All problems or issues that arise with the microscope are to be directed to Dr. Zhukarev.

In the long run Dr. Zhukarev will also participate in specific research projects that require complex image acquisition and analysis as specified below.

General Policies

  • Use of the microscope is restricted to investigators within the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. People from outside of the department who wish to use the system must receive authorization from the department chair, Dr. Itzhak Fischer.
  • All users must obtain training prior to unsupervised use of the microscope, even if other workers from the same laboratory have already been trained or the user has had prior experience with a similar microscope.
  • The microscope is available to eligible users after training within the proper procedures and guidelines.
  • Access to the facility is allowed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Special authorization is required to access the facility during weekends or outside of the normal hours of operation.
  • Individual researchers are responsible for conducting their own imaging sessions on the microscope. Problems while using the microscope should be recorded in the log journal. It is important to keep in mind that failure to do so creates the potential of serious hardware breakdown with very expensive repair as a result.


All training of new users will be conducted by Dr. Zhukarev only. Principal investigators should contact the director to request training of their students and personnel.

Help and Collaboration of Research Projects

Dr. Zhukarev will be available to help with research projects in both the acquisition of high resolution images and in image processing steps for all microscope platforms, including the two-photon and the super-resolution microscopes (at Biology).

Arrangement for research help and collaboration are encouraged, but must be approved by the department chair, Dr. Itzhak Fischer.

Reserving the Confocal Microscope

Users should book time on the microscope up to one week in advance; cancellation of planned usage should be made in timely fashion. The Google calendar application that is provided free for Gmail customers is the most user-friendly way to make reservations. It is expected that all confocal microscope facility users will provide their email address to have access to the calendar in sharing mode. While defining a time slot, users should also enter: 1) user name, 2) very brief description of the imaging experiment and 3) the name of PI.

Example: Joe Somebody; Dr. Tom; fixed tissue slices, multi-color

Unless there are urgent needs (e.g., before major meetings such as SFN), the time slot duration can occupy the full working day hours of the facility (i.e., 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.). Exception is for live specimen experiments, when the microscope can be booked for several consecutive days. Due to safety regulations overnight, unsupervised imaging is not permitted.

Under no circumstances may a user sign up for time using another person's name.

Image Facility Rules

  • Users will obtain a key for the facility from the office of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.
  • Users should record their actual log-in and log-out time in the microscope log journal located on the workstation desk.
  • Before turning the system on, users must turn on the air conditioning unit using the remote control. The very last user of the day should turn it off before leaving the room.
  • Entering the room wearing protective gloves is not permitted. Food and drinks are not allowed.
  • Before starting their session, users must clean old oil off their slides using Sparkle cleaner or 70% alcohol. Mixture of oils either on the slide or on the oil lenses (where it will end up staying) corrupts the quality of image acquisition.
  • Spills must be taken care of immediately and reported in the log journal for further technical care.
  • At the end of each session, oil objective lenses must be gently blotted by a stretched Kimwipe provided.
  • If the microscope is not scheduled to be used again for more than one hour after a current session is over (check the Google calendar schedule), all components of the microscope should be shut down according to the posted shutdown procedure. If the interval is shorter, the user needs to close the Leica software program and to log out leaving the confocal microscope hardware running.
  • The last user of the day is responsible for ensuring that the microscope is shut down properly.

Computer Workstations

For additional safety the confocal workstations are kept separated from the institutional network. All needed software updates are done by the director exclusively.

Users are not allowed to download or install software on the computer.

Users should back up their files on their USB drives or other storage medium, and delete their files from the hard disk. Any user data remaining on the hard drive will be removed during routine maintenance by the end of each quarter without notifying users.

Cancellation of User Privileges

Because this is shared use facility, repeated violation of the stated rules and procedures will not be tolerated. Perpetrators will be subject to loss of privileges at the discretion of the facility director.

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Neuroscience Program Graduate Student Forms

Postdoctoral Training Policies

Enlarged neuronet, glassy texture.