Microscopy and image analysis course at University of Ghana
Recently, the two-week course “Introduction to fluorescent microscopy and image analysis techniques” was held at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at University of Ghana at Legon. It helped 15 Master’s and PhD students from different universities in Ghana and Senegal gain a basic understanding of light microscopy techniques and computerized image analysis. The course consisted of both theoretical as well as practical sessions and was designed to enable students to use these applications in their biological and biomedical research.
Basic optical principles, different light microscopy techniques, appropriate applications, benefits and limitations as well as advanced microscopy methods such as superresolution were the subject of the course. Participants gained practical experience on different sample preparation approaches. Hands-on sessions on ZEISS LSM 800 with Airyscan were also included. The participants gained awareness of the different image analysis approaches and software that can be used and what they can achieve.
“We received a high number of applications for the course and those students who were selected showed a great level of enthusiasm. Both verbal and written feedback after the course emphasized the excitement of the students for the techniques they had learnt about”, said Petra Stockinger, Scientific Officer at University of Gothenburg and one of the organizers of the course.
“Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of the training. I really enjoyed every bit of it and I learnt a lot of valuable skills”, stated one student. “’Do more collab(oration)s with African universities. It would be great if you could offer this kind of opportunity to other African students”, requested another participant.
“For many students, it was the first time they used fluorescent microscopy and they were actually able to directly observe cellular features of trypanosoma parasites as well as of different stages of malaria infection with high resolution”, Petra said, summarizing the success of the course. “Finally, the students spent some time considering how the approaches they have learnt about could be applied to their current and future research.”