→ To carry out a biological imaging project in one of France-BioImaging facilities 

Deadline: June 26th, 2024

How it works:

Submit your project proposal through the form available here before June 26th, 2024, in order to be considered for a grant of up to 5000 Euros to access the imaging services at one of FBI facilities. Projects will be evaluated by a committee including FBI node representants and the national coordination members. Successful applicants will be notified by mid July 2024 and successful projects should be carried out between September and November 2024.

What the grant covers:

This grant covers the user’s travel and accommodation costs as well as access and consumable costs at FBI imaging facilities. Each successful applicant is eligible for up to 5000 Euros of support. 

Who is eligible:

The call is restricted to external users (national or international) of the targeted France-BioImaging facility, i.e. the applicant’s home University should not be within the institutional perimeter of the FBI facility hosting the project. Trans-Node access is eligible. Transnational projects and outside users are strongly encouraged to apply.

All academic scientists, regardless of gender, career phase, or field of interest, are eligible to apply. We strongly encourage early career researchers to apply for this grant.

Evaluation:

All applications will be evaluated for scientific excellence and technical feasibility by a committee including FBI Node representatives, FBI core facility staff representatives and the national coordination. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project and its technical feasibility with the targeted facility before submitting their project.

Up to 12 projects will be supported.

How to apply:

Applicants are invited to visit FBI website to discover the range of technologies provided by France-BioImaging facilities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project and its technical feasibility with the targeted facility before submitting their project. Applicants will then submit their project filling out the form available here: https://france-bioimaging.org/application/france-bioimaging-call-for-user-access-projects-2024/

Projects have to be written in English.

For any question concerning this call, please contact us

France-BioImaging’s roadmap for managing and analyzing data produced by the infrastructure spans several areas, supported by the transversal node Image Processing and Data Management (BioImage Informatics), as well as engineers and researchers distributed across various nodes.

Two geographically distributed teams are developing solutions: FBI.data for managing microscopy data, from metadata management to using data centers and regional computing centers, pooling efforts for the entire infrastructure; and F-BIAS to develop image analysis as a national service offering within the infrastructure. These distributed groups meet frequently via video conferencing and twice a year in person.

The FBI.Data and FB-IAS teams at the FBI Data Sprint Spring 2024 Edition

The Bordeaux Spring 2024 Edition allowed progress on the test deployment of the FBI.data solution, welcoming the latest F-BIAS recruits, and offering a live open desk. It also involved joint sessions between the two teams to address the challenge of making powerful but complex infrastructure accessible to our users, as well as discussing upcoming and ongoing challenges like the Lightmycells – Grand Challenge at grand-challenge.org

The event also featured a public progress update via videoconference, with recordings available here:

Euro-BioImaging just launched its first Cross-Node Job Shadowing programme open to all EuBI node staff members!

The objective of this initiative is that of developing the Nodes through their staff. If you would like to learn from your colleagues at other Nodes, whether that be Scientific/Technical fields (instruments and techniques), Operations (facility management, Node administration, and soft skills) or Data (data management and analysis), this initiative is for you!

The job shadowing program is made possible through EU funding as part of the EVOLVE project.

What is Cross-Node Job Shadowing? 

It is an opportunity for you to visit another Node within Euro-BioImaging, work with them, learn from them and exchange ideas and best practices. It is open to all Euro-BioImaging Node Staff: technicians, administrative employees and Node managers are all encouraged to apply. Visits can last from a few days to a maximum of two weeks.

We highly recommend that a range of topics, rather than just one, be handled during the visit.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is Friday 14th June 2024. 

There are two ways to make your application:

  1. You know what Node you’d like to visit: please contact your host directly and begin to draw up a detailed Training Plan for host approval. Once this is done you can proceed to fill out the Application Form
  2. You know what you want training on, but not what Node you can find it in: Fill out the Call of interest for Match-making. We will put you in contact with the host, and, together with them, you can draw up the training plan. If you need match-making support, please fill out the form as soon as possible, so you have sufficient time to prepare the full application before the deadline. If you fill this in shortly before the deadline, we cannot guarantee successful match-making.

What you will need to apply

Before submitting your application, please make sure that you have the following prepared:

  1. A short Motivation Statement describing the impact that this visit will have on you and your Node.
  2. Host-validated Training Plan including:
    • Date and duration of the visit
    • A detailed plan comprising the timeline and training objectives
    • The Host-Visitor agreement signed by both parties
  3. Dissemination plan

It is important that the knowledge gained during the job shadowing does not stop with you! We would like successful applicants to share what they have learned, and this can be done in a range of ways. For example: 

  • Informal training among work colleagues
  • In-person training sessions in facility
  • Webinars across your node
  • Inter-Node online training sessions

Your Dissemination Plan must include details of how you plan to share the knowledge that you have acquired. Wider and more effective dissemination will result in a stronger application.

Reimbursement Modality

The support for job shadowing will be provided as a reimbursement to be paid upon submission of the Host-Approved Report at the end of the visit. The payment will cover travel and accommodation (reimbursement of invoices) and there will be a meal allowance. Full details will be provided upon approval of application.

Costs (transportation, accommodation and meal allowance) will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 1500 EUR.

For the timeline of the application and selection procedure, please refer to our flyer!

For further information please contact us at info@eurobioimaging.eu.

FBI sent a delegation to Beijing, China to attend the 2nd Sino-French Joint Meeting on BioImaging from April 8th to April 10th, 2024. This event was hosted by Peking University and jointly organized with FBI. 

This joint event took place on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France, and to further promote the innovation and development of biomedical imaging technology, strengthen international academic exchanges and cooperation, leverage the strategic and comprehensive benefits of the national scientific and technological infrastructure dedicated to multimodal cross-scale biomedical imaging.

The meeting gathered preeminent scientists, researchers, engineers, and technical developers from the Chinese and French bioimaging communities to explore the future trajectories of bioimaging technology through the dissemination of the latest research findings, technological advancements, and application cases. During the 3-days scientific event, 12 French (mainly FBI members) and 17 Chinese speakers presented their scientific work and technological developments.

« I really enjoyed participating to this high-level conference gathering top-research works in the field of bioimaging. It highlighted the dynamism and the extremely promising applications we can expect in the next years from the development of both new imaging instruments and dedicated analysis tools. Last but no least, such gathering also show how communication and collaboration between China and France can contribute to the field and to the development of a broader community in bioimaging » shares Remi Galland from the team “Quantitative Imaging of the Cell” at IINS in Bordeaux.

Handbook & programme

Ahead of the scientific meeting, FBI national coordination delegates – Yves Mély, Deputy Director for International Affairs, Caroline Thiriet, External Affairs Manager and Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux, FBI.data mission officer – presented the French infrastructure and its relationship history with the National Biomedical Imaging Center (NBIC) of Peking University, the infrastructure’s activities with a focus on innovation, training and user access, and mutualised Image data services, to the representatives of the Peking University and NBIC.

Antje Kepler, Euro-BioImaging ERIC BioHub Director and Global BioImaging coordinator, was also invited and presented the European infrastructure and global network dedicated to biological imaging.

The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the brand new NBIC facilities in Huairou.

Finally, the FBI representatives also had the opportunity to meet with the CNRS office in Beijing and two scientific advisors from the French Embassy in Beijing. This meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the two Bioimaging communities, and to discuss the tools provided both by the CNRS and the Embassy to promote exchanges between the two countries.

It was a very rich and fruitful scientific and cooperation meeting, and France-BioImaging is looking forward to further its cooperation with the NBIC in the near future. In particular, efforts will be made to build-up an official agreement to develop the future exchanges between the two countries.   

Deadline: May 31th, 2024

The three national infrastructures ProFi, France-BioImaging and FRISBI along with the GIS IBiSA are pleased to announce a third call for a funded access to IBiSA-labelled facilities. Our aim is to promote IBiSA facilities networking through transdisciplinary research projects.

Applications should request access to at least two different IBiSA facilities from two disciplines (structural biology, Biological imaging and proteomics, see below a non-exhaustive list). The call is open to any academic laboratory.

Modalities for application are described in the attached document.

Applications should be submitted to Call-IBISA-FBI-FRISBI-PROFI@i2bc.paris-saclay.fr using the template document https://mycore.core-cloud.net/index.php/s/giICXX1IFBfupGJ

Call description

We are happy to finally announce the date of our next FBI Annual Meeting that will take place in Strasbourg.

Save the date! France-BioImaging will reunite together at the Alsace node on November 20 and 21, 2024!

This year’s edition will focus on “Live functional imaging: From chemical synthesis of the probes to instrumentation“.

Program and registration are coming soon.

Cellular junctions are essential to the integrity of epithelia, which cover most of our organs. In an article published in the journal PNAS, scientists, with among them members of our FBI Marseille node, reveal the existence of a new category of cell junctions. Using Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, they have put forward the need to reconsider the organization of intestinal cell junction described as such for more than 40 years.

Imaging intestine with STED

Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is a super-resolution technique that bypasses the diffraction limit of light microscopy to increase resolution. In our case, scientists were able to resolve the organization of complexes located at cell junctions with a resolution of a few tens of nanometers thanks to STED. Moreover, STED tripled the spatial resolution in the junctional plane and, using cryosections, they achieved imaging with a seven times greater spatial resolution compared to approaches that would use confocal microscopy and thus, without physical sectioning.

Although the resolution of STED is at least an order of magnitude lower than that of electron microscopy, the combination of STED with immunostaining reveals organization up to then unknown as multiple proteins can be efficiently labeled at the same time.

Three types of intestinal cell junctions

The intestine is covered with cells, most of which absorb the nutrients we ingest. These cells are joined together by three types of junctions which coexist and provide different functions, ranging from the selective filtration of certain ions to the mechanical maintenance of the epithelial layer. These junctions, the tight junction, the adherens junction, also called zonula adherens, and the desmosomes, were discovered in the 1960s and their constituent elements as well as their organization were proposed during the 1980s and 1990s.

The adherens junction in particular is established as being organized into a belt of adhesion proteins anchored to the membrane, the cadherins, and supported by filaments, the actin filaments. This junction has an important mechanical role in the cell, for example by impacting the shape of the cell. The zonula adherens (ZA), a fundamental module of epithelial cell–cell adhesion initially observed in intestinal cells, is believed to comprise a single contractile actin belt linked via E-cadherin-catenin to the ones of neighboring cells.

How did microscopy help reevaluate our current knowledge?

By observing the adherens junction of epithelial cells obtained from human intestinal biopsies, or from human cells in culture using STED super-resolution microscopy, scientists have made a very surprising discovery. They show that the ZA consists of two distinct belts of adhesive complexes, a basal one with E-cad-catenin and an apical one with nectin–afadin. Contrary to the prevailing view, the major actin belt aligns with nectin and afadin, not E-cad-catenin.

The authors further demonstrate that this organization depends on the cell maturation state and that the classical ZA found in textbooks corresponds to a less mature state of the intestinal junction. Therefore, they decided to call the junction found in mature cells the zonula adherens matura. Genetic and physical perturbations show that afadin is essential for force transmission across cell junctions. This work redefines the intestinal ZA architecture and prompts a reevaluation of how forces propagate within an epithelial sheet.

Not only, these results are important to better understand the adhesion and mechanics of epithelial cells, but these two essential characteristics of the epithelia are particularly affected in cancers of epithelial origin, which represent 80% to 90% of current cancers. This discovery is, thus, a step forward to the comprehension of cancers and to their treatment.

Get access to one of our services!

You need FRAP, two photon FLIM-FRET, PALM/dSTORM at France-BioImaging? To get open access, please login via Euro-BioImaging website! You just have to choose the technology you want to use, then submit your proposal. All applications will be processed by the Euro-BioImaging Hub in close relation with France-BioImaging. And of course, all scientists regardless of their affiliation, area of expertise or field of activity can benefit from open access services! Users whose projects will be validated by Euro-BioImaging will benefit from a waiver for the access cost on France-BioImaging core facilities (https://france-bioimaging.org/access/).

Fig.: Models of mature and immature intestinal cell junctions © Pierre Mangeol

Mangeol, P., Massey-Harroche, D., Sebbagh, M., Richard, F., Le Bivic, A., & Lenne, P. F. (2024). The zonula adherens matura redefines the apical junction of intestinal epithelia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 121(9), e2316722121. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2316722121

Sources : https://www.insb.cnrs.fr/fr/cnrsinfo/une-nouvelle-categorie-de-jonctions-cellulaires-dans-lintestin

https://www.ibdm.univ-amu.fr/redefining-epithelial-junctions-with-nanoscopy/

My name is Samy Al-Bourgol and I recently joined the France-BioImaging team as a Business Engineer as part of the CNRS “Transfer Engineer” program. In a few words, my mission consists of forging solid links between the academic and the industrial world by facilitating partnerships and finding a common ground.

  • What’s your scholar and professional background?

I originally have a Master’s degree in Genetics and Cell Biology with a specialization in BioImaging at the University of Lyon 1. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to carry out a thesis in Saint-Étienne, on the conservation of corneal grafts integrated into bioreactors. The objective was to improve the storage conditions of the grafts, in order to provide the patient with a better quality and with a significantly increased lifespan. My experiences in the biomedical field, and in the field of lasers, led me, following my thesis, to join a core facility specialized in femtosecond lasers, named Alphanov in nearby area of Bordeaux.

For almost two years, I worked as a research engineer developing a proof of concept to integrate femtosecond lasers into operating theaters for maxillofacial bone surgeries, with the aim of replacing saws and surgical hammers, very traumatic tools for patients during operations. After my position as a research engineer, I undertook an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in marketing and business development at the ESG Bordeaux business school with the aim of developing my functions.

  • Why did you move from research to business?

I have always been interested in the business side of science. Originally, even before the obtention of my PhD, I wanted to enroll in a Technical-Commercial Engineering Master’s degree, with the aim of developing a dual skill in science and commerce. Ultimately, fate decided otherwise, but in reality, this ambition never really left my mind. If anything, the many interactions I’ve had with biomedical and pharmaceutical companies have only reinforced this idea over time.

The moment when I really decided to train in commerce and the valorization of science was during a discussion with surgeons at the Bordeaux University Hospital, an experience which, in my humble opinion, illustrates the purpose of research: to be able to reach and serve society.

For humanity to truly benefit from research projects, it is necessary to involve a plurality of actors and skills. Only in this way can we hope to exploit the work of scientists to their full potential.

“I firmly believe that these collaborations can bring tangible benefits to all parties involved, a notion that I consider not only feasible but also extremely valuable in the current national and international research environment.”

  • What kind of missions do you have? What’s your job’s objectives?

Researchers and research engineers carry out excellent work every day, demonstrating unrivaled expertise in their respective fields. However, science is a demanding art that requires total involvement. It becomes complicated to find the time to respond to funding or to participate in the co-construction of collaboration with manufacturers who have sometimes restrictive specifications. My role is to relieve facilities and academic laboratories that wish to collaborate with industrials. In a nutshell, my overall objective is to create win-win collaborations, bringing tangible benefits, both scientifically and financially, to the platforms and laboratories integrated into France-BioImaging.

  • What’s your vision about the future of core facilities and research infrastructures?

Research infrastructures represent essential tools in a scientific and technological environment that is constantly becoming more complex, especially in an increasingly demanding economic context. They offer their members valuable support by promoting the pooling of technologies and knowledge and by providing undeniable financial advantages. However, in my opinion, each research infrastructure is still missing an essential characteristic: a common culture, a true feeling of belonging, while respecting the specific identity of each entity that composes it.

If we can unify these cultures and encourage mutual understanding and effective cooperation, then research infrastructures can realize their full potential. Indeed, the best technologies and knowledge, when used individually, cannot match the potential and results that sharing and cooperation between platforms and research laboratories can offer.

  • What do you expect from this new professional adventure?

This work is located at the border between the worlds of science, commerce, communication and valorization/innovation. Professionally speaking, it is a real opportunity to be at the interface of these very different but complementary fields of work. My main ambition in this professional adventure is to be able to serve as a bridge between actors and expertise coming from various professional backgrounds, and to succeed in mobilizing collaborations that are beneficial for all parties involved.

Persistent prejudices about the academic and industrial sectors can sometimes generate resistance to possible collaborations, even though they could lead to exceptional results. Having the opportunity to consolidate or establish contacts between these two worlds, with all the benefits that will ensue, represents both my greatest expectation and one of the greatest challenges of this adventure.

Samy will be happy to work with you! Contact him: samy.al-bourgol@france-bioimaging.org

Following the final decision of France-BioImaging Institutional Committee on February 27th, 2024, we are delighted to announce that two new nodes are joining France-BioImaging: the Normandie Node and the Rhône-Alpes Node.


The new Normandie Node is composed of one imaging facilities: PRIMACEN. The node has also six highly visible R&D teams (from COBRA, IRIB, Cyceron, GlycoMEV and SCALE) expert in microscopy techniques and tools.

Mainly located in Rouen and distributed to Caen and Le Havre, the Normandie node is offering high level technical and innovative methodological expertise in multi-scale imaging at the interface between biology, chemistry, optics and physics, from the atom to the small animal/plant.

The Normandie Node has expertise in vascular sciences, microalgal biosciences and intercellular communication. Moreover, they are in a strong collaboration with the International master program in cell imaging where students are intensively trained on PRIMACEN equipment and have the opportunity to go abroad thanks to a cooperation with Finland.

The node provides cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, with among others:

  • STED, FLIM and combination of STED-FLIM for fixed and living cells to study in particular cell-to-cell connections such as Tunneling NanoTubes (TNTs) in PC12, HBEC, H28, MCF-7 cells.
  • Complementary heart advanced light imaging including confocal micro- and macroscopy, light-sheet microscopy and image analysis to study microvascular and lymphatic dysfunction.
  • New multimodal probes to study vascular brain diseases: reporter fusion proteins to track tPA, biodegradable and ultrasensitive microprobes, contrast agent that is targeted to adhesion molecules such as p-selectin, V-CAM1 (Vascular cell adhesion protein 1) and mucosal vascular addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1).
  • Advanced light microscopy and TEM imaging to study microalgae as a cell factory including morphotypes characterization, subcellular localization of molecular actors involved in the N-glycosylation pathway (GDP-Fucose transporter, Fucosyltransferase and GnT I located in the Golgi apparatus).
  • New organic fluorophores and new chemobiology tools: 3-Benzoylquinoxalinone, Fluorophore-assisted click chemistry through copper(I) complexation, Epicocconone-hemicyanine hybrids and Indazole merocyanines.

The new Rhône-Alpes node is composed of two core facilities: LyMIC in Lyon and ISDV in Grenoble. Gathered into one entity, LyMIC consists of three core facilities providing advanced photonic, atomic force and advanced electron microscopies. ISDV comprises five photonic microscopy facilities and three electron microscopy experts. Moreover, six R&D teams complete the node and supports the facility (from ILM, LiPHY, IAB, ENS-Lyon and GIN).

The Rhône-Alpes node aims to maintain the level of scientific excellence in response to the needs of users and the concerns of host laboratories. Four scientific axes are conducted: imaging, quantifying and controlling cell metabolism; biomechanics from molecules to tissues; spatial transcriptomic; and 3D multiscale imaging.

The node provides cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, with among others:

  • The project Confobright (Adaptive Optics for Quantitative Confocal Microscopy-AOQCM) has been designed to correct for optical aberrations, making deeper, better resolved and more sensitive confocal and multiphoton imaging in optically heterogeneous tissues.
  • The project Quantifret is a new calibration and analysis method allowing for quantitative FRET imaging in living cells with a simple fluorescence microscope, giving absolute FRET values, independent of the instrument or the expression level, and usable confidently by non-specialists.
  • Eternity buffer, launched as Everspark by Idylle in 2021 is distributed worldwide (20 countries) to more than 100 researchers (80% abroad including 20% in the States). It represents a major breakthrough in the field due to its long lasting life (several weeks against 2 hours for classical GLOX).
  • FluoRef calibration beads, renamed SpheroRuler by Idylle, is under ß-testing program until the end of January. These 1 µm beads are coated with a fluorophore emitting in the far red channel suitable to blink in dSTORM buffer for calibration imaging on 2D and 3D super-resolution microscopes.
  • An integrated service of methods to measure forces and elastic properties in plants and insect models (through coupling of AFM and confocal imaging).
  • The pipe-line for analysis of deep 3D EM data (FIB-SEM +/- Cryofixation) with the easily accessible integration of multiple aspects of segmentation, training of dedicated IA network and export of characteristic quantitative parameters.

Welcome to the FBI Normandie Node and the FBI Rhône-Alpes Node!

We would like to introduce to you one of our France-BioImaging external users: Sonhita Chakraborty! Post doctoral researcher at the Umeå Plant Science Center, in Sweden, she is interested in studying how plant can adapt to temperature stresses in a context of climate change.

As she needed high-end imaging technology and expertise to move her research to the next step, Sonhita has asked for access to one of France-BioImaging core facilities, the Bordeaux Imaging Center.

Meet her in this short video and see how it was a great experience both scientifically and humanly!