Confocal and Advanced Light Microscopy (CALM) Facility

The CALM facility is a central resource providing optical bioimaging services

Analytical techniques based on light microscopy are the most widely used tools for visualisation of biological specimens in biomedical sciences. They provide scientific results and images with high spatio-temporal information from intact cells, tissues and organisms on a scale from centimetres down to nanometres, and with a temporal resolution of days to milliseconds.

To give access to the required optical analysis ‘tool kit’, the Confocal and Advanced Light Microscopy (CALM) Facility in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute on the  Edinburgh BioQuarter campus provides infrastructure and services for biological optical imaging. We not only provide the technical systems and expertise required for a wide range of imaging applications, but also to give assistance and advice with regard to:

  • multi-dimensional image acquisition
  • live specimen imaging
  • fluorescent labelling techniques
  • planning of imaging experiments
  • image restoration and data handling and analysis.
  • microscopy-related training and teaching

We work on a cost-recovery basis and all activities are managed through our central management system (PPMS). For any queries or registration please contact us at (e-mail link).


All CALM-related activities such as equipment booking, training requests, charging etc are handled though our Pasteur Platform Management System (PPMS). Thus, before you start using any of our services, please make sure you have registered with us to have your PPMS account generated. The following link provides the instructions for registration:

Registration for CIR core facilities PPMS (secured)

Registration is available for members of the University but also for external researchers and companies.

If you already know which imaging equipment you require for your work, you can directly book this through the Pasteur Platform Management System (PPMS).


If you require advice for your selection, you can use our equipment finder,

or ask CALM staff via e-mail to Link

If you are new to the facility or any item of equipment and require training, you can also book this through our PPMS.