The [Platform] undertook some strange requests from me to cut and stain slides for an artistic project, a fringe festival show performed live on a microscope – they immediately worked out what I needed and spent the time with me to embed and cut the slides the specific way they needed to look, and was able to come up with unconventional solutions to help me achieve the right colours in the tissues. We now have a showcase of slides ready to share the beauty of the microscopic world with the public!
Creator/Performer, Alice Looking Through the Glass, Melbourne Fringe 2017
My research investigates the relationship between age and survival of populations of the critically endangered spotted tree frog Litoria spenceri impacted by chytrid fungus. We collect toe clips to use growth lines in the toe bones to age the frogs, tracking how the age structure of populations is changing with threats over time.
The Platform assisted me with processing and embedding my samples and provided training for using their paraffin microtomes to section the tissue. The staff provided guidance for adjusting my sectioning technique and for refining the staining to identify growth ring formation in periosteal bone.
Master of Science student, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
The root endodermis serves as a check-point for the passage of nutrients and toxicants from the soil into the vascular system of the plant. There is little known about how the secondary cell walls composed of suberin (yellow) and callose (blue) respond to nutrient deficiency and salinity.
The Melbourne Histology Platform assisted me to develop the method to section barley and rice roots using a vibratome and to develop a staining protocol. Using these images, we will discover how (i) root barrier development is regulated by nutrient supply and sodium toxicity and (ii) how root barriers mediate nutrient uptake and sodium exclusion.
Research Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food, University of Melbourne
At the Marine Microbial Symbiont Facility, we study the microbial communities of the anemone E. pallida. We use fluorescence in situ hybridization (fISH) to localise bacteria associated with anemones and their microalgal endosymbionts. The Melbourne Histology Platform processes and sections our anemones into 80+ transverse sections and provides haematoxylin & eosin stained sections flanking unstained sections for fISH. These sections have allowed us to identify microbial aggregates associated with the anemones’ acontia: a defensive tissue rich in stinging cells (A-C).
PhD candidate, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
My research investigated the dental pulp and odontoblast cell’s response to dental caries in normal and hypomineralised teeth. The Melbourne Histology Platform assisted with the immunofluorescent (IF) staining of sections of my teeth samples with the dentine-formation biomarkers β-Catenin and Dentine Matrix Protein 1. The Platform staff provided training and helped with the optimisation to develop a IF protocol for my biomarkers. Their equipment and expertise helped me achieve the optimal staining needed for my project.
Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Paediatric Dentistry) student, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne