In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Imaging Centers are continuing to provide status updates, and have implemented mandatory cleaning and safety protocols for all users using UIC resources. Please visit our sunrise safety protocols page to learn more 

UIC COVID-19 Updates


Attention University Imaging Centers Users

IMPORTANT Changes in Use Policies

The University Imaging Centers remain committed to supporting research during the Extended Reduced Operations and now the Sunrise period in compliance with University policy. This means that only approved Essential or Sunrise personnel related to formally approved research efforts can utilize the UIC at this time. We do have new policies in place as part of our approved Sunrise plan that will need to be adhered to by all users.

We can provide remote instrument support via Splashtop and Zoom, and have updated the computers on our instruments so we can remotely operate and assist with user sessions as needed. Please read and follow the requirements below.  These and any updates can be found here: 

Using UIC Resources During Sunrise Stage 1:

  1. You must be in good health (temperature <100.4F) to use the UIC. 

  2. You will be asked to provide a copy of your designation as an Essential or Sunrise researcher via this online UIC form. (You will need to login with your UMN Google email address).

  3. You must abide by UMN approved health, PPE, and distancing policies, including that masks are to be worn at all times.

  4. Instrument reservations must be made 24 hours in advance (NO WALK-INS to any UIC location no matter what the instrument calendars indicate). Please plan on padding your reservation 15-30 minutes to allow for decontamination before subsequent users. UIC staff must confirm all reservations in advance of use (No confirmation from staff means no reservation. No reservation means you cannot log into the instrument).  UIC staff appointments are by reservation only and will be performed virtually. This alerts UIC staff, maximizes social distancing, and reduces the possibility of inadvertent interaction with UIC staff and other UIC users. 

  5. Make sure to follow the cleaning and disinfection procedures posted by the instrument before and after use.

Contact us at and let us know what UIC location and instrument(s) you will need to utilize, or if you have any hesitation about using the instrument effectively and safely and would like remote assistance in advance. Please communicate any schedule changes, incidents with the instrument, or need for supplies to UIC staff immediately at

All the best and good luck with your experiments.

For the most up-to-date information on the University’s COVID-19 response, please visit the Campus Public Health Officer website.


University Imaging Centers Support During Extended Reduced Operations

Dear University Imaging Center Users,

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and following University directives, the University Imaging Centers (UIC) have moved to a remote support model for our systems at all three locations. The instrumentation is still available to trained users who are involved in activities critical to maintaining research or research infrastructure

Investigators that want to continue using UIC instrumentation will need to provide evidence that the research has been determined as critical and the instrument operators classified as essential.  These users will 1) continue using our iLab reservation to book time as usual, walk-ins not allowed, and 2) they will have to abide by enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures

UIC support staff will be available by phone, email, videoconference, and remote log in to assist with instrumentation issues during normal business hours (see contact information below). 

In addition, UIC staff will continue supporting researchers by consultation on experiment design, imaging strategies, visualization, processing, and analysis. This will be done remotely by phone, email, and videoconference (see contact information below). 

We have built a new UIC Remote Support webpage with links to free analysis, viewing, and “light” software packages. This “hub” also features online learning content including upcoming webinars, courses, and tutorials. We will continue to update and add content to this evolving user resource. 

In collaboration and support from our  partner vendors we are able to provide temporary analysis  licenses to users on a case-by-case basis. As of today, these include VisualSonics (Vevo LAB for Vevo 2100 instruments), Nikon (NIS Elements), Perkin Elmer (Living Image) and Bitplane (Imaris, on a limited basis). Users may request a temporary access license by submitting a request form on our new Remote Support webpage. If you need UIC-available software that is not described above do not hesitate to contact us. 

We want to assure you that we will do our utmost to support your imaging research projects during these testing times. Please stay safe and thank you for supporting the University Imaging Centers. 

Please coordinate all needs by contacting:, Mark Sanders (mobile phone (612) 867-5885) and Guillermo Marqués (mobile phone (205) 266-8257) and we will make arrangements to support your efforts. 


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, ALL UIC staff will be working remotely as of March 18, 2020.

However, we are still open to serve your needs remotely by offering remote instrument sessions on certain instruments needed for essential experiments, remote meetings, online technical and analysis support, and discussions for future imaging goals. At this point we are able to help work with you under the research guidelines. is external).

List of services currently available:

  • Remote instrument support
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Experimental consultation
  • Grant writing support
  • Manuscript support

If you have any questions call us or drop us an email at UIC-STAFF(link sends e-mail) sends e-mail). We are glad to support you as best we can.

We are looking forward to working with you online!

  • UIC instrumentation will remain available to the best of our ability and staff will remain available to assist remotely.
  • We can also consult on image analysis or future projects via ZOOM, Skype, or phone during normal business hours.
  • All users must still use iLab to reserve and log into instruments.
  • All users must follow the posted checklist with any usage.

Please coordinate all needs by emailing: sends e-mail), Mark Sanders sends e-mail) (mobile phone (612) 867-5885) and Guillermo Marques sends e-mail) (mobile phone (205) 266-8257) and we will make arrangments to support your efforts

Look for current status and updates at: http:/



In the University Imaging Centers we have dozens of people each week touching common work surfaces repeatedly (focus knobs, joysticks, mouse, keyboard, etc.), so we have established a protocol with specific steps to minimize chances of viral transmission through this route: 

  • If you have a fever and/or are coughing/sneezing, please stay at home. We will gladly cancel any reservation at no charge due to illness.

  • Do not show up at our offices unannounced. Contact us by email or telephone to set up an appointment. Many issues can and should be solved electronically to avoid unnecessary exposure to infectious agents. 

Using our instruments:

  • Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before and after (washing stations available in each facility).

  • Consider wearing gloves (powder-free only) that have NOT been worn for sample or slide preparation.

  • Wipe instruments and work surfaces with sanitizing wipes or 70-80% ethanol before and after use. See checklist in instrument rooms.

  • Reminder: No food or drinks in microscope rooms.

We encourage you to continue to follow the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance by taking the most basic measures to protect yourself—and all of us. Wash your hands with soap and water, cover your mouth with tissue or the inside of your elbow (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and do not come to school or work when you do not feel well.

By following these guidelines we hope to minimize the chances of transmission of coronavirus or any other seasonal illness between our users and staff. We aim to keep everyone healthy, so we can stay productive. We will let everyone know when we can revert back to our normal procedures.

Please let the UIC staff know if you have any questions.


Dear University Imaging Centers Users,

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has issued an executive order directing Minnesotans to stay home for all but essential purposes.

Below are the types of activities that are allowed to continue under the Governor’s shelter-in-place directive as defined by the Vice Dean for Research of Medical School. This applies to all UIC users:

  • COVID-19 research that has the potential to mitigate the pandemic’s spread. Labs must still minimize face-to-face contact as much as possible. This includes basic research that will inform serologic and other diagnostic assays as well as vaccine design.
  • Medical research approved under the IRB’s most recent guidelines.
  • Animal feeding and care (in coordination with RAR). This includes animals housed in individual labs, but only for the purpose of maintaining the animal.
  • Maintaining and monitoring lab equipment. If equipment is maintained/monitored by an outside resource (e.g. Research Building Management Services, Public Safety Emergency Communications Center/PSECC), labs must confirm with them that they will continue to maintain/monitor your equipment while we are under the shelter-in-place directive.
  • Maintaining cell cultures. This does not include continuing any experiments. Those must be discontinued.
  • Activities that if discontinued would pose a safety hazard.
  • Activities that if discontinued would result in loss of significant investments of time/resources but ONLY if those experiments can be completed by April 1, 2020.

The University Imaging Centers are still open to serve only the allowed activities by offering remote instrument sessions on certain instruments needed for essential experiments. We will continue to participate in remote meetings, online technical and analysis support, and discussions for future imaging goals.

Everyone using the UIC during the period of extended reduced operations must provide evidence of designation of essential personnel by the University.

In order to abide by University regulations and maximize social distancing, all users must make reservations ahead of time, no walk-ins unless absolutely unavoidable.

List of services currently available:

  • Remote instrument support ONLY for the types of activities that are allowed to continue under the Governor’s shelter-in-place directive listed above
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Experimental consultation
  • Grant writing support
  • Manuscript support

Thank you for continuing to work with us during this rapidly evolving time. If you have any questions call us or send us an email at