Oct. 11, 2012

The “German BioImaging” Network

  • German bioimaging facilities and research groups currently registered at www.germanbioimaging.orgGerman bioimaging facilities and research groups currently registered at www.germanbioimaging.org
  • German bioimaging facilities and research groups currently registered at www.germanbioimaging.org
  • Dr. Roland Nitschke (Coordinator), Dr. Nadine Utz (Project Manager), Prof. Elisa May (Coordinator), from left to right

German BioImaging is a national network of imaging core facilities and microscopy research groups. Its mission is to facilitate communication and promote coordinated activities of German scientists involved in developing, applying and providing imaging technologies for life science research.

Spurred by the European project "Euro-BioImaging" which aims at the creation of a pan-European shared infrastructure for biological and medical imaging, a group of microscopists located in Germany has initiated a national network of scientists working in the field of bioimaging. A few dozen researchers came together to explore this idea in October 2010 at the University of Konstanz. A constitutive meeting followed in April 2011. One year later, German BioImaging was granted funding by the DFG within the "Call for Core Facilities and Networks". The German BioImaging network has already published the website www.germanbioimaging.org to offer a communication tool for exchanging know-how, and to collect and distribute information about the existing imaging equipment.

Being set up as a Wiki, the entire community can edit and add content. To date, around 40 core facilities and research groups from all parts of Germany have registered and published information about their instrumentation, and more are expected to join. As a collaborative platform conceived and shaped by microscopists for microscopists, German BioImaging will promote community building activities specifically tailored to the needs of its members. German BioImaging is open and accessible to all interested scientists. Presently, the network is coordinated by Prof. Elisa May (University of Konstanz) and Dr. Roland Nitschke (University of Freiburg). Dr. Nadine Utz has just joined the team as Project Manager.

Ongoing Work

In July 2012 over 40 German BioImaging members gathered in Fulda for a third meeting to delineate a working plan and decide about common actions to be taken. After one and a half days of lively discussions, several working groups were formed.

Their task is to elaborate on issues of interest to imaging facilities and the microscopy community at large. These are: best practice models for the operation of imaging core facilities, their financial and legal framework, and the training of facility users and staff, to name but a few. Topics of broad relevance are the development and sharing of image analysis tools, exchangeable data formats, practical online tools and social media for the nationwide interaction of German BioImaging members. The network will also act as a forum for research groups developing highly specialized, innovative instruments for which standardized access and operation rules cannot be applied. Presently, the contributions by the individual workgroups can be followed on the German BioImaging Wiki page.

German BioImaging will interact closely with related communities such as its partner organizations for medical imaging and electron microscopy, as well as with image analysis groups. Goal of German BioImaging is to become the voice of the national bio-optical microscopy community effectively representing its views and interests within national and international funding initiatives. Become part of it!

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