Testimonials

Melbourne Fringe Festival poster for the Alice Through the Looking Glass show

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!

Clare Hampson
Creator/Performer, Alice Looking Through the Glass, Melbourne Fringe 2017

Section of frog bone tissue, used to identify growth ring formation in periosteal bone
Section of frog bone tissue, used to identify growth ring formation in periosteal bone

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.

Sophie McCulloch
Master of Science student, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne

Section of a nitrogen-deficient barley root
Section of a nitrogen-deficient barley root

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.

Vanessa Melino
Research Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food, University of Melbourne

Transverse sections of a sea anemone stained with H&E and using fluorescence in-situ hybridisation
Transverse sections of a sea anemone stained with haematoxylin & eosin (A, B) and using fluorescence in-situ hybridisation to show microbial aggregates associated with stinging cells (C)

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).

Ashley Dungan
PhD candidate, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne

Sections of tooth with beta catenin protein and cell nuclei fluorescently labelled
Section of a tooth with β-Catenin protein (green) and cell nuclei (blue) fluorescently labelled

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.

Janita Shah
Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (Paediatric Dentistry) student, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne