Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

CIF Organizes the 1st Workshop on Microscopy Fundamentals and Applications

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Biophysics and Biology of Membranes Research Group of International Centre of Physics (CIF), Colombia, in collaboration with the Colombian Microscopy Association (ASCM) and the Microscopy Unit of the University of Cauca organized the 1st Workshop on Microscopy Fundamentals and Applications, in Bogotá (Colombia), from August 11 to 14, 2010.

The Workshop was directed towards the versatility of microscopy as a tool for basic research and having applications in a number of industries. The seminars delivered on the occasion by various Mexican and Colombian lecturers covered theoretical bases, technologies, techniques, and applications. Various tools having a potential to address the most important microscopy issues, such as image analysis, light, fluorescence, confocus, scanning and transmission electrons, correlative atomic force and interferometric microscopy, were introduced. Colombian studies that used these technologies, applied to plant, animal biology and materials, were also presented.

CIF’s Biophysics and Biology of Membranes Group was established in 1989 as the first research group of the Centre. Today, under the direction of Dr. Marcela Camacho, it undertakes research in the fields of: host-pathogen interaction between protozoa (Leishmania) and macrophages, permeability in the three membranes system of host-pathogen interaction, biomaterials and isolation of fungi enzymes for biomedical applications, tri-dimensional cell culture, neural prosthesis and neurosciences. These research lines have produced outstanding Magister and Doctoral theses. The theses in the areas of Chemistry and Medicine under the programmes of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia were directed by CIF’s researchers and carried out at the Centre. The theses featured during the Workshop were: “Tumoral necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in the Leishmania-macrophage model” (by Montoya G.E. for Ph.D. in Chemistry); and “Study of Leishmania amazonensis exit process from its host cell” (by Quintana M.P. – M.Sc. Biochemistry). Also, recently approved work by the Biophysics and Cellular Physiology Group, on “Melanopsin mediated photoreception: A study in chicken (Gallus gallus) embryo retina” (by Pinzón A. – M.Sc. Physiology), was presented.

The Workshop encouraged exchange among the participants and consolidation of agreements between organizations, for the creation of new local cooperation programmes.