Nota Bene

Location: EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
Registration: here
Registration deadline: 18th of September 2016

Dear All,

It is our pleasure to announce the first International Training Courses for Imaging Core Facility Staff organized by the Global BioImaging project consortium!

The two advanced courses address core facility staff working at Euro-BioImaging Node Candidates and at the international GBI partner institutions. The courses will take place back-to-back at the EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany) and will cover the topics of:

“Challenges in image data
management and analysis”
November 13-15th, 2016

The goal of the course on “Challenges in image data management and analysis” is to present the capabilities and technologies currently available to imaging facility staff in the field of image data management and analysis. The aim is to raise awareness on the current challenges in the field and to provide the course participants with a new set of tools (and references) that can be used tackle such challenges and improve their own facility’s working life.

“Management and operation
of imaging core facilities”
November 16-18th, 2016

The course in “Management and operation of imaging core facilities” aims at providing an educational program for facility staff in the field of facility management and administration. It will entail a session on soft skills training, the presentation of case studies of imaging facilities in the fields of biological and biomedical imaging as well as visits to company-owned imaging centres.

If you or your colleagues are interested in participating, please apply here: no later than Sunday, the 18th of September 2016.

The Global BioImaging project can provide a limited number of travel grants to successful applicants from Europe (up to € 750) and overseas (up to € 2.200).
However for administrative reasons we need to charge a registration fee of € 150 per course to all participants. A reduced fee of € 250 will be applied to those of you interested in attending both courses.

Since the number of places available for the courses is limited and in order to assign the travel grants, the applications will be evaluated and the successful applicants will receive an invitation to the course(s) within the end of September.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question, and please spread the news also to your colleagues!

With best wishes and kindest regards,

On behalf of Rainer Pepperkok and Jason Swedlow


Dear colleague,
Dear FBI community,

Following the decision of the Executive Board of June 30, 2016, the National Coordination is proud to announce that the winners of the FBI Image Contest 2016 are:

1. Sébastien Mailfert – Centre d’immunologie de Marseille Luminy – Aix Marseille Université with “Dalton”

Dalton © Hugues Lelouard, Mailfert Sébastien & Mathieu Fallet CIML CNRS-INSERM-AMU
Dalton © Hugues Lelouard, Mailfert Sébastien & Mathieu Fallet CIML CNRS-INSERM-AMU
Confocal microscopy
Revealing sub-population of immune cells on small intestine by 10 colors spectral imaging

AND with “Le Saint Pierre Méditerranéen”

© Noushin Mossadegh & Mailfert Sébastien - CIML, CNRS-INSERM-AMU
Le St Pierre Mediterraneen © Noushin Mossadegh & Mailfert Sébastien – CIML, CNRS-INSERM-AMU
A l’aise comme un poisson dans l’eau, les spermatozoïdes se reposent dans leur habitat, qui ressemble à un œil, avant leur grande migration. Coupe d’un testicule de nouveau-né de souris. Marquage en immunofluorescence des noyaux cellulaires (DAPI) représentés ici en cyan. L’actine représentée ici en jaune, révèle le «squelette de la cellule» (phalloïdine marquée avec le fluorochrome Alexa-647). L’image représente 256×256µm sur 4096×4096 pixels. La coupe est d’une épaisseur de 20µm. Image de microscopie confocale sur Leica SP5 ; laser 405nm et laser blanc à 633nm ; objectif 40X, O.N. 1.25, immersion à huile.


2. Michael Lang – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine with “Fly Monster”

Fly monster © Orestis Falklaris & Michael Lang – Institute Jacques Monod, CNRS UMR7592 - ImagoSeine
Fly monster © Orestis Faklaris & Michael Lang – Institut Jacques Monod, CNRS UMR7592 – ImagoSeine
Multifocal confocal microscopy (spinning disk, Spinning CSU W1)
Drosophila third instar larval head, nuclear-RFP, neronal-GFP and green autofluorescence, 25x magnification, scale bar is 100 μm.

Thank you to the participants for their great contribution:

  • Sébastien Mailfert – Centre d’immunologie de Marseille Luminy – Aix Marseille Université
  • Ariane Peyret – Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques – Bordeaux Imaging Center
  • Melina Petrel – Bordeaux Imaging Center – Université Bordeaux Segalen
  • Patrice Mascalchi – Interdisciplinary Institut of Neuroscience – University of Bordeaux – Bordeaux Imaging Center
  • Michael Lang – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine
  • Olga Nagy – Institut Jacques Monod, Drosophila Evolution Group – ImagoSeine
  • Théophile Déjardin – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine
  • Liu Zeng Zhen – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine
  • Melina Heuze – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine
  • Orestis Faklaris – Institut Jacques Monod – ImagoSeine
  • David Pereira – Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes – ImagoSeine

Thank you also to the core facilities staff and heads for having forwarded the contest to their users and for providing them state of the art Bioimaging.

The next edition of our Image Contest will open early 2017. Get ready!

The National Coordination

Dear colleagues from the BioImaging community,

NEUBIAS, the “Network of European BioImage Analysts”, a recently created network funded by the COST framework, is very glad to communicate the start of its activities which will evolve over the next 4 years and that might trigger interest in your research environment.

Mission : strengthening the bridge between life science, computer science and digital image processing by:

    1) Establishing the role and identity of bioimage analysts in the life science community
    2) Sharing bioimage analysis knowledge and techniques
    3) Improving image analysis technology, foster innovations and collaborations

NEUBIAS aims to promote the mutual communication between Life Scientists, Instrumentalists, Developers and BioImage Analysts and to establish and promote the role of Bioimage Analysts in Life Science. Gathering, as of June 2016, more than 100 members in 33 European countries, the network will implement:

  • A training programme with 3 levels (Early Career, Facility, Analysts), 15 Training Schools for about 400 trainees.
  • An events series (yearly NEUBIAS conference, workshops, Taggathons)
  • Online Resources: Repository of tools and workflows, Benchmarking and Sample datasets, Training material and Open Textbook.
  • A Short Term Scientific Mission mobility programme for Scientists to visit Host Labs and get in depth insights into cutting edge Image Analysis technology.
  • Outreach material and other stuff.

More Information on our preliminary web:

Training School
The 1st of a series of 15 courses in 2016-2020

The first Activity is a Training School in BioImage Analysis for Facility Staff, to enable Imaging Core Specialists to become more proficient at custom Image Analysis and Workflows construction (theory and applications, hands-on, scientific programming, ImageJ- and Matlab- based primarily).

The Training School will be held in Barcelona on 13-16th of September 2016, hosted and co-organized by the University Pompeu Fabra (Dr. Chong Zhang), and by the Training Workgroup within NEUBIAS (Dr. Gaby Martins and Dr. Fabrice Cordelières + co-workers)

  • Registration is open as of today (selection based).
  • Within the COST framework, a few travel grants are available to applicants.
  • Registration deadline: 15th of July, 2016.
  • Selection and Travel Grants notification: 19th of July, 2016.

More information on our preliminary web:

On behalf of all NEUBIAS members,

Julien Colombelli, Chair
Kota Miura, Vice-Chair

Sébastian Munck & Arne Seitz, Strategy & Events WG1 Leaders
Gaby Martins & Fabrice Cordelières, Training WG2 Leaders
Jean Salamero & Paula Sampaio, Outreach and Inreach WG3 Leaders
Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux & Chong Zhang, Webtool WG4 Leaders
Sébastien Tosi & Graeme Ball, Benchmarking & Sample Datasets WG5 Leaders
Juergen Reymann and Natasa Sladoje, Open Publications WG6 Leaders
Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez and Clara Prats, Short Term Scientific Missions and Career Path WG7 Leaders

The R&D division of FBI-Montpellier is focused on the development of super-resolution and fluctuation microscopy methods. On the super-resolution front, we have recently developed a new instrument for the rapid acquisition of single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) images of thick intracellular structures (>5µ) at nanometer resolutions without scanning.
In conventional SMLM, the gain in resolution arises from the precise localization of single emitters labeling the structure of interest, thus enabling the reconstruction of images in 2D with a resolution of ~10-20 nm. Most of the biological structures are, however, three-dimensional. To increase the axial depth while conserving spatial resolution, we combined two ingredients. First, we used multi-focus microscopy (MFM) (Abrahamsson, 2013), a technology that allows for the simultaneous acquisition of several image planes on the same camera chip. We combined MFM with point-spread function (PSF) engineering, a method that relies on the use of asymmetric PSFs to enable axial localization. For this development, we designed and built binary multifocus gratings with ~ 400 nm spacing, ideal for SMLM intracellular imaging of eukaryotic cells using organic dyes or photo-activatable proteins. Our method requires only the detection and localization of emitters in a single imaging plane, thus allowing for an increase in the distance between MFM planes to reach thicker axial imaging depths. Importantly, our method also allows for a considerable increase in image reconstruction speed without sacrificing localization precision, as it requires the fitting of the emitter PSF in a single plane to yield a 3D localization. This development led to a Patent application filing (European Patent EP15305787.2 filed on May 26, 2015) and a publication (Oudjedi, 2016) (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Figure 1: (A) Multi-focus microscopy (MFM) allows for the instantaneous acquisition of whole nuclei in a single camera frame. (B) Reconstruction of the nuclear envelope of a S2 Drosophila cell with >4µm depth of field at nanometer resolutions can be achieved with our microscope, 10-100 times faster than conventional 3D-SMLM.

On the fluctuation microscopy front, we have developed a method to measure protein concentration, diffusion coefficient and brightness for low photon flux fluorophores and eliminating cross-talk between channels. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) techniques allow for the determination of the concentration (N), the diffusion coefficient (D), and the brightness (B) of fluorescent molecules of interest, and thus report on their oligomerization properties and interactions with cellular components (Figure 2). However, FCS measurements are traditionally disturbed by a low photon flux (especially under two-photon excitation), strong photobleaching, and cross-talk between spectrally distinct detection channels. Recently, thanks to a CNRS “Instrumentation aux limites” funding, we have developed a homemade microscope that will overcome all these limitations (Hendrix, 2014), by combining : (1) A pulsed supercontinuum source allowing great versatility of choice of colors of excitation, and therefore of fluorophores used, and an increase in the photon flux, thus improving the signal / noise ratio; (2) An alternating laser excitation scheme (Olofsson, 2013) coupled to a dual-channel TCSPC detection card, to eliminate cross-talk effects; and (3) A laser scanning galvanometric system to reduce photobleaching, and obtained spatially resolved Number, Brightness, and Cross-interaction maps in living cells.

Figure 2

Abrahamsson, S., Chen, J., Hajj, B., Stallinga, S., Katsov, A. Y., Wisniewski, J., … Gustafsson, M. G. L. (2013). Fast multicolor 3D imaging using aberration-corrected multifocus microscopy. Nature Methods, 10(1), 60–63.
Hendrix J., Lamb D.C. Implementation and Application of Pulsed Interleaved Excitation for Dual-Color FCS and RICS (2014). In Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Microscopy: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology. 1076, 371-417
Olofsson L., Margeat E. Pulsed interleaved excitation fluorescence spectroscopy with a supercontinuum source (2013). Optics Express, 21(3), 3370-8
Oudjedi, L., Fiche, J.-B., Abrahamsson, S., Mazenq, L., Lecestre, A., Calmon, P.-F., … Nöllmann, M. (2016). Astigmatic multifocus microscopy enables deep 3D super-resolved imaging. Biomedical Optics Express, 7(6), 2163.

“User Access” and “Technological and Methodology Transfer” projects

After only 6 months of opening, FBI calls for projects are quite successfull and very promising. If the call “Support to events” has already funded more than 40 events since 2012, the two new calls launched in January are also quite successfull; both are available on our Web Access Portal ( The first call is meant to enable “User Access” to highly advanced and rare technologies available in FBI infrastructure. Geo_origin The second one is devoted to “Technological and Methodology Transfer” projects and aims to disseminate emerging approaches and know-how. As a start, on average, France BioImaging has selected and funded two projects of 10 weeks duration per month.

Among the eleven selected projects, 60% were submitted by foreigner colleagues and 40% by French scientists, external to FBI perimeter. Among international projects, two came from North America, two from South America and two from European countries. France BioImaging is proud to attract users from diverse backgrounds and different countries.

The Paris-Center FBI node drains a large number of projects (50%). PICT of the Institut Curie reaches 3 projects submitted by scientists from three different countries. Distribution The Institute Jacques Monod hosted one project and the Photonics lab (Paris-Descarte University) will soon host the last project approved by the Executive Board. Bordeaux Node with the Interdisciplinary Institute of NeuroSciences hosted two projects and the Bordeaux Imaging Center, Jorge Toledo, University of Chile. Until now, other FBI-Nodes were serving external Users at the national level.

Dissemination of our service offering at the European level, beyond the FBI-Web, through the EuroBioImaging WAP should soon allow a wider promotion of imaging technologies and expertise available on France BioImaging Core Facilities and associated R&D labs.

In conclusion after the first six months of opening calls, we are more than ever motivated to continue on this path of opening state of the art imaging technologies to a broad scientific community in France and worldwide. There is still much to do, but the progress already made and the FBI impact beyond our expectation, encourage us to pursue our work for the future of Biological Imaging.

RIA Global BioImaging (GBI) &
ESFRI EuroBioImaging Preparatory Phase II (EuBI PPII)

A series of workshops and meetings on H2020 BioImaging projects, in which France BioImaging is involved, held at EMBL, Heidelberg, from 8 to 10 June. The first Exchange of Experience Workshop (EoE1) of GBI gathered colleagues from Australia, USA, India, Japan, Argentina and Europe. A large number of topics were discussed, including professional training for imaging core facility staff, e-tools for training/teaching.
General Organization at various levels were presented and compared (AIC at Janelia Campus, USA; the Australian program for national infrastructure, ELIXIR, BioImaging France, Czech Republic, Argentina, Indian- BioImaging Bangalore …). Breaking sessions were also held in order to organize the 1st GBI Course in November (at EMBL) on image data management and training services in imaging research infrastructures, two topics in which France BioImaging is heavily involved.

GBI was followed on Friday afternoon for the first meeting of representatives of node candidates for EuBI. The meeting brought together representatives of more than half of EuBI node candidates. Among the many elements showing that EuBI entered a phase of operation ad interim, the Access Web Portal is now operational in its first version (presentation by J. Eriksson), image data management model was proposed (Jason Swedlow), preliminary results of the survey on training activities within EuBI, launched by the FBI, were presented by D. Choquet. Budget templates for user access appear to be particularly heterogeneous and harmonization of access prices, beyond the scope of the project. However, all agreed that an improved model for cost calculation, approved by all of us, would be of great value. The next step is the meeting of platforms personnel, the day before the Mifobio school at Seignosse (30 September), during which a proposal for teaching / training program at EuBI, will be proposed and discussed.

From September 2015 to January 2016, the National Coordination had been leading a pilot survey aiming at listing the actual resources, equipment (including IT dedicated one), tools and expertise in the fields of image data management and bioimage informatics existing in the different FBI sites. It also aimed at identifying bottlenecks in order to recover needs and foresee potential projects. Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux from the IPDM FBI node had been assigned to collect this information by visiting on-site FBI platforms and R&D laboratories, and interviewing staff in charge, mainly engineers and researchers. The overall view and the main proposals for action resulting from this survey are presented below.


When it comes to IT infrastructure for image data, most FBI nodes are disconnected and even sites of the same node do not share IT infrastructures, have different data repositories when they exist, and have access to different network levels.
However, Core Facilities are facing a deluge of data resulting from the novel imaging technologies (see below) , notably acquired in the Frame of the FBI program, and Associated Research & Development teams would consider sharing their data, through dedicated tools ( Image Data Repository) to facilitate development of image processing tools or validation/cross comparisons of data, or exchange in the frame of new collaborations.

As mentioned by multiple sites/nodes, a big jump in data production and inherent difficulties, are expected with innovative approaches (SPIM, Serial Block Face …) but, up to now, no clear and even less commonly approved solutions are proposed for accurate storage and analysis. Image-Data storage requires a dedicated infrastructure and software in use are inadequate for processing and visualization of large data sets (3D). OMERO seems to be the most current centralized system of storage/ Data Base, but others coexist. In any case, there are no bridges between them within FBI. Yet, centralized storage is underused in most of the places.

A data management plan may be needed in order to break practical drag and improve the service in a national process of a qualitative approach involving to:

  • Get a data structure in terms of common semantic
  • Develop interoperable software & tools adapted to big data human assimilation
  • Organize meetings between IT proximity engineers or technician to exchange on current hardware infrastructure for data storage and transfer.
  • Define a common policy of FBI nodes regarding data responsibility
  • Set up a centralized repository to publish FBI working groups data and users gold standard data to facilitate the exchange between users of multiple nodes and present new data modalities to image processing teams

It will be also important to communicate and teach how to use data management systems so as to erase behavioral barriers and involve the research community towards a better understanding of the challenge ahead:

  • Big data valorization (diffusion with correct curation, exploitation, convenient visualization)
  • Training for facility people for data curation and annotation
  • Metrology/facility monitoring from image data base
  • Coding parties/Tagging on tools to facilitate access to software, development and diffusion of user friendly tools, interfacing software tools with data base. Use of Grid computing
  • On-demand focalized training on thematic image processing notions or to more general software platform (Icy or others)

On 1st and 2d February 2016 representatives from the sites of FBI Paris-Centre node met in the Eden Park Hotel of Pont l’Eveque (Normandy, France) to exchange about the implementation of their projects, identify local difficulties and needs, define a strategy and start to work on an action plan for the FBI Paris-Centre node.
For their first global meeting dedicated to the node, engineers and researchers from its different sites (Imagopole-Ultrapole, ImagoSeine, PICT-Curie, IBENS, Institut Curie, Institut Pasteur, ENS, Lab. de Neurophotonique – Univ. Paris Descartes, etc.) were joined by the IPDM team from Pasteur and the FBI national coordination team.

The retreat was organized in two main parts.
The first consisted of scientific and technical presentations of the various projects undertaken by the associated platforms and laboratories FBI, the progress of these projects and their integration into the general schema missions and program of the national distributed infrastructure. Charles Kervrann from INRIA Rennes and one of the responsible of the IPDM Node, was also invited to the retreat and presented the IPDM node (missions and goals of the node, overview of the results of the IPDM survey on-site led by Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux). These various sessions were then followed by informal and fruitful discussions.
The second part of the retreat was organized in workshops and parallel working groups (lead facilitators indicated); the themes were proposed in advance and the reviews were presented “on-the-spot” at the end of the meeting.

Below are some elements of reflections, proposals for action, scientific and technical projects undertaken or proposed during the workshops


  • Organization of an annual meeting about Core Facilities management in order to optimize equipment management, overcome the saturation of technology, standardize administrative procedures, develop the quality of materials to the new standards (NF-X50-900)
  • Creation of a form for tracking collaborations within and between FBI nodes
  • Creation of a Data Base “experts”
  • Proposals to be transmitted to WP “training”: develop and disseminate e-learning modules for users, development of training certificate room for personal Core Facilities


  • To identify, pool and facilitate the access to existing resources (workshops, 3D printers…)
  • To give priority to universal software solutions, develop software for private companies, use appropriate personal and dedicated
  • To conduction an “FBI” action with the CS CNRS so as to develop technologies to make it a source of funding (patents)
  • Develop training tools and tutorials to make time for platform engineers. Setting priorities with% time between service and R & D
  • Solicit bids for systems duplication.


    Action involving developers

  • Metrology and benchmarking: reference samples, comparative studies protocols, image analysis procedures
  • Thematic Appetizers for scientific foresight (educated biologists, newspaper publishers, guardianship)
  • Drafting of collective reviews, comments on articles
  • Developers and platforms

  • Action inventory and good collaborative practices for resource optimization
  • Establishment of a generic alias
  • Some readability rates platforms
  • Inventory sensors and actuators optogenetic. Workshops back experience and foresight (CLEM bimodal probes for example)
  • Dissemination to non-specialists

  • Core facilities: rather a place of advice than a place of technicians
  • Short Videos (3 min) for the dissemination of new systems and instruments explaining what biologists could make users



  • Establishment of a national portal with a Bio-Imaging database. This database will be used first to store data publications from FBI (projects funded or co-financed by FBI). In addition to giving visibility to the FBI inflows, this base is also intended to serve as a “gold standard” for the FBI users, both images themselves and the associated metadata. A reflection should be made on the choice and structure of metadata (OME model?) And the ontology to be used (see to provide a model for the whole community.
  • Implementation of the common API interoperability (as a web service) enabling communication between image analysis software and databases (among others). The portal will provide documentation and all necessary details for the implementation of this API for any center or institute may put in place on its own data management system (organization hackatons in this sense).
  • Setting up a benchmarking platform for image processing algorithms by exploiting both the hardware “gold standard” of the database and API for accessing it (idea to dig).
  • Reflection on storage strategies, choices, sorting, but also the visualization and analysis of its large images.
  • Training

  • Train users to image analysis tools such stand-alone (Icy, Fiji, ImageJ …)
  • Train users of analysis tools distributed cluster-type / grid computing (OpenMole, Galaxy / Mobile)
  • Educate users to databases, provide a vision of the possibilities offered by these systems

Euro-BioImaging On March 9th 2016 was held in Rehovot the kick-off meeting of the INFRADEV preparatory phase II (PPII) European project that aims at bringing EuroBioImaging to a functional European infrastructure (ESFRI) under the status of an ERIC. In that project, France (through FBI) is coordinating the WP7 « Training » that aims at preparing the organization and procedures of training activities, identification of training sites and portfolio of training courses and e-learning, for both users and core facility staff.
France presented the WP7 objectives, working plan, activities already under process: the creation of specific working groups on community surveys, interaction with industry and e-learning.
The next steps is to draft the surveys to analyse the needs and resources for training, and the organization of meetings of heads of EuroBioImaging node candidates as well as core facility staff to gather feedback on training organization.

This project runs for two years with a 1.5 M€ funding and will develop close ties with other projects in which EuroBioImaging is involved such as the Global BioImaging project or linked to, such as the “Neubias” COST action.
Through these projects, France continues to reinforce its position in EuroBioImaging by the demonstration of its capacity to organise, structure and provide training activities.

FLI, FBI and IBF 1st meeting,
on management and analysis of heterogeneous Big Data
Paris, January 22, 2016

Over the case studies presented by the three infrastructures, it appears that the life-science data deluge and in particular Image Data, causes processing and management issues in terms of volume, formats and numbers of parameters to integrate. However, the challenge to find ways to share and analyze the diversity of Biological Data will unquestionably lead, to scientific and medical advances previously impossible. Indeed, the trans-dimensional understanding of the living organisms that such a “Big Data” approach should bring, will allow a multi-scale view of biological mechanisms and provide new tools for the prevention and diagnosis of diseases.

Organization, integration, description and harmonization are essential for the best use, comparison and interoperability of the heterogeneous and large data sets produced by the different fields of Biomedical Sciences. It is therefore necessary to have standards in all stages of processing and validation in a context where most of the formats are not suitable for very large and/or complex data. For this purpose, it was decided to set up inter-INBS think tanks with the aim to develop common projects:

    (1) To explain the specific locks and identify means to solve them
    (2) To Illustrate on “study case” projects the added value of a joint work
    (3) To make recommendations for Big Data management in the Life Sciences Area


fli ifb Bille FBI

Investissmeents-d-avenir For the second time since their creation, the National Infrastructures laureate of the PIA 2011 and 2012, met in November 2015, under the auspice of the ANR. After short introductions on the evaluation modalities of the INBS by ANR (D. Boujard) and presentation of the new National and European Roadmaps for Research infrastructures (E. Guittet), this one day meeting was organized around four Round Tables: Implementation and monitoring of evaluation indicators, inter Infrastructures cooperation, Communication policy: towards a common portal ?, Pricing: common calculation modalities.

Euro-BioImaging Ministry of High Education and Research (MESR) recently nominated France-BioImaging as the unique French Node for the European ESFRI project, Euro-BioImaging. FBI was already evaluated as a “Highly Recommended” primary node for EuBI by an international and independent Evaluation Board. FBI is thus candidate as one of the First generation Nodes, part of the European Infrastructure. EuBI is now entering in a very intense consultation and negotiation step. Both MESR and CNRS are deeply involved and their representatives actively participate to EuBI Interim Board meetings, side by side with FBI.