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Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience enters partnership with Zeiss

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) announces a new "labs@location" partnership agreement between the MPFI Electron Microscopy (EM) Core Facility and Germany-based microscopy company ZEISS, known for its cutting-edge imaging technologies. As a "labs@location" partner institution, MPFI will have access to state-of-the-art ZEISS technology before it is commercially available, providing researchers with innovative imaging tools that will empower their search for new insights into how the brain works. MPFI is the only the third institution in the United States to earn the labs@location designation.

"ZEISS and MPFI have a long-standing relationship--we have been closely cooperating to push the boundaries of visualizing the brain ultrastructure since MPFI was established in 2012," said Dr. Naomi Kamasawa, Head of EM Facility. "Our facility might be small compared to other institutions, but the scientific excellence and technology feedback we provided, together with the continuous effort and passion to push boundaries in our research, made us a special partner for ZEISS."

Kirk J. Czymmek, Head of the Global ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers praised the EM Lab in his remarks, saying "The team that you have here is special, and they are internationally recognized for their expertise."

MPFI and ZEISS launched the partnership on January 17, 2019 at an event that included lectures focused on Correlative Light-Electron Microscopy (CLEM), facility tours, and a partnership signing and reception held in MPFI's Dreyfoos Atrium.

The first piece of equipment made available to MPFI scientists is known as the "Focal Charge Compensation module (FCC)", which is integrated onto a Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscope system. The FCC introduces a local stream of nitrogen gas onto the sample inside the microscope, which absorbs unwanted electrical charges that interfere with imaging. "This new technology results in much higher quality images and allows us to collect data from even more challenging samples," Dr. Kamasawa explained. "Anything that allows us to better visualize the structure of neurons and correlate it to their function will allow us to achieve a more complete understanding of neural networks, and ultimately, of the brain itself." MPFI received the FCC equipment in August of this year, and was the first institution in the United States to use the technology after ZEISS made a number of significant improvements to the current commercially available model.

"The role of high-resolution imaging in unraveling the functional complexity of the brain cannot be overstated. This partnership is a great recognition of the unique know-how and research expertise provided by our electron microscopy facility. It underlines the importance of connecting core facilities, scientists and commercial partners, providing MPFI access to cutting edge technologies to push the boundaries of neuroscience research" said Dr. David Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director and CEO of MPFI.

"Science is transitioning to utilizing 3D data sets and correlative microscopy, to this end we are pleased to partner with Max Planck Florida. These types of relationships are vital for us to better understand the issues and advantages of our hardware and software," said James A. Sharp, President Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC.


In attendance were: Abdel Barraj, Head of Sales at ZEISS Microscopy North America; Kirk J. Czymmek, Head of the Global ZEISS Microscopy Customer Centers; Geoff Perumal, Academia Life Science EM/XRM Specialist at ZEISS Microscopy; Roger Unger, Regional Sales Manager, ZEISS; Oliver Tress, Systems Specialist, 3D Imaging, ZEISS; Robert Celestine, Area Manager, MICRO OPTICS OF FLORIDA, INC.

About the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), a not-for-profit research organization, is part of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, Germany's most successful research organization with over 80 institutes worldwide. Since its establishment in 1948, 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists. As its first U.S. institution, MPFI brings together exceptional neuroscientists from around the world to answer fundamental questions about brain development and function and to develop new technologies that make groundbreaking scientific discoveries possible. Their research is shared publicly with scholars, universities and other organizations around the globe, providing the necessary foundation of knowledge to develop treatments and cures for brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. For more information, visit


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion ($6.1 billion US) with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).

The Microscopy business group is the world's only one-stop manufacturer of light, electron, X-ray and ion microscope systems and offers solutions for correlative microscopy. The portfolio compromises products and services for the life sciences and materials research as well as for industry, education and clinical practice. The business group is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Oberkochen, Göttingen and Munich, as well as in Cambridge in the UK, and in Peabody, MA and Pleasanton, CA in the USA. The business group is allocated to the Research & Quality Technology segment. Around 6,300 employees work for the segment, generating revenue totaling €1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016/17. Further information is available at

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