Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy Core

Overview of Services


Welcome to the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy (OIVM) Core at Baylor College of Medicine.


The mission of the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy  (OIVM) Core is to provide state-of-the-art instrumentation and cutting edge imaging and image analysis tools for the research applications of a broad range of BCM investigators. This core is dedicated to vital and intravital imaging of cellular processes within cells, intact tissue explants, developing embryos and functioning organs within the live animal. Our users are focused on a variety of applications such as understanding cell migration, optimizing angiogenic therapies, how blood flow influences development and cancer, immune cell recruitment, stem cell-niche interactions and cancer metastasis.



  • Multispectral 4D fluorescence imaging
  • Automated widefield 3D imaging
  • Two-photon and second harmonic imaging
  • Live imaging of tissue/organ development in embryos and live animals
  • Live imaging of flowing fluorescent particles such as fluorescent beads, fluorescently labeled erythroblasts, etc.
  • Excitation and emission fingerprinitng of fluorescent markers


    Image analysis

  • Automated nuclear counting
  • Detection and tracking of fluorescently labeled particles to measure their displacement, speed, etc.
  • 3D rendering of fluorescent structures in z-stack images
  • Quantifying vascular morphology using classical measures and complexity measures such as fractal dimension
  • Enhanced image analysis using parallel computation on multicore processors
  • Custom design of image analysis 



Getting Started


  • BCM Users:  Click the link in the upper right corner to login or register for an iLab account using valid BCM credentials.

  • Non-BCM Users:  Click the appropriate link in the upper right corner to login with your approved iLab credentials or to sign up for an iLab account.






Mary E. Dickinson, Ph.D. | Core Director

Office: T421

Phone: 713-798-2104

Email: mdickins@bcm.edu


Location and Hours of Operation



Cullen Building, Rm 114A

Smith Building, Rm S403

Baylor College of Medicine

One Baylor Plaza

Houston, TX 77030

Phone:  (713) 798-OIVM (6486)

Contact Email:  oivm@bcm.edu


8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday to Friday

Core Approved Users: 24/7

Links and Resources




Publication Acknowledgements


Scientific publications containing data obtained using the services offered by the core should include the following statement in the acknowledgment section: This project was supported by the Optical Imaging and Vital Microscopy (OIVM) core at BCM.



Name Role Phone Email Location
Mary E. Dickinson, Ph.D.
Tegy John Vadakkan, Ph.D.
713-798-OIVM (6486)
Irina V. Larina, Ph.D.