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ESRIC’s international super-resolution microscopy course returned for its fourth year this summer, bringing together researchers from 18 different countries and almost all continents across the world for its most global event yet.

Kicking off on the 31st July, this week-long event left its 36 delegates, from research student to professor, teeming with new research ideas and collaborative links; the latter forged over dinners, Scottish treats and an Edinburgh ghost tour. One participant commented, “I learnt more than I had ever hoped. It was an amazing course, not only because of all the new information, experiences and awesome microscopes but also all the interesting people I met”.

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Delegates first learnt theory from the pioneers in the field through intimate talks during the day and relaxed Q&As over wine and canapés in the evening. They next gained practical training from industry experts and trialled their own samples on state-of-the-art equipment, set up exclusively for the ESRIC course.

The teaching faculty took delegates through the foundations of each technique to its most recent advances. Professor Silvio Rizzoli joined again this year to demonstrate the pitfalls of improper sample preparation, while other veterans of the course, Professor Christian Eggeling, Dr. Erik Manders, Dr. Christian van de Linde and Dr Susan Cox returned to discuss the fundamentals of STED nanoscopy, SIM, dSTORM and single molecule localisation analysis.

ESRIC also welcomed two new faculty members for 2017, Dr. Jonas Ries, an expert in single molecule localisation methods and Professor Michelle Peckham, president of the Royal Microscopical Society, to divulge her experiences on the trials and tribulations of super-resolution microscopy.

After the theoretical part of the course, delegates took to the microscopes in small group workshops led by ESRIC’s industry partners. These included ever-evolving favourites on 3D multi-colour gSTED, N-SIM, Airyscan, SMLM and multi-camera imaging, led by Leica, Nikon, Zeiss, Olympus and Hamamatsu, who have supported the course since its inception.

New workshops for 2017 included a demonstration of ONI’s Nanoimager carrying out live smFRET, an introduction to Bitplane’s Imaris software for super-resolution image visualisation and analysis and a team effort from Ricardo Henriques and Nikon to demonstrate N-STORM, live super-resolution using SRRF and quality control with SQUIRREL.

The ESRIC summer school is made possible only by the extraordinary support of its sponsors, industry partners and speakers. This year’s event was co-organised by the Royal Microscopical Society as an RMS course and financially supported by a BBSRC Stars grant awarded earlier this year. Thank you to all of this year’s sponsors.

The ESRIC super-resolution summer school will return in 2018. 

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