EMBL Imaging Centre

Cutting-edge electron and light microscopy technologies

Our main mission is to provide open access for researchers to cutting-edge imaging technologies integrating methods in the field of electron and light microscopy.

The rapid technological developments of the last two decades have led the scientific community to achieve biological and medical discoveries at an ever-increasing pace. Outstanding advances in imaging technologies such as electron and light microscopy enabled us to directly visualise the molecular machinery of life at an unprecedented level of detail. Cutting-edge microscopy is therefore becoming a central technology platform for life sciences. However, at present, only a minority of scientists have access to the latest imaging technologies as the devices are not only expensive, but also complex in their set-up, maintenance and usage.

The EMBL Imaging Centre represents a new EMBL service unit for the highest resolution electron (EM) and light microscopy (LM) technologies, including academically developed methods not yet commercially available. The main mission of the EMBL Imaging Centre is to rapidly make the most advanced microscopy technologies available to the broad scientific international user community from both academia and industry. A powerful and synergistic portfolio of imaging technologies will be offered both individually and in a combined (correlative) fashion, to enable new ground-breaking research that crosses the scales of biology.

Upon full operation – which is planned for summer 2021 – the EMBL Imaging Centre will provide access to users, support their projects from sample preparation to image analysis, and will offer tailored training opportunities.

During interim operation, the EMBL Imaging Centre is providing access to cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) services in collaboration with EMBL’s Structural and Computational Biology Unit, available for use by external scientists with both single particle and tomography projects.

Our Mission

  • Open access for researchers to new imaging technologies from Cryo-EM to SPIM with a special focus on correlating technologies
  • Tailored project support by expert technical staff on sample preparation, imaging technology and data analysis
  • Advanced training of users and facility staff in new imaging technologies
  • Effective commercialisation of newly developed technologies and workflows, also in ‘open innovation’ with corporate collaboration partners.


Generous support for the EMBL Imaging Centre project is provided by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Wuerttemberg, donations by the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and HeidelbergCement, as well as our industry partners Carl Zeiss Microscopy, Leica Microsystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Abberior.

Latest posts

4 February 2021

Our laboratories are getting equipped!

Less than 2 years after the foundation stone was laid, the main construction of the new EMBL Imaging Centre building was completed at the end of 2020 – now it is the time to get the laboratories equipped!

13 January 2021

Welcome: Anna Steyer

We are very happy to welcome our new Cryo-Electron Tomography Specialist Anna.

Open Positions

The EMBL Imaging Centre is always looking for highly motivated outstanding people to join the team. All interested should be fascinated by imaging technologies, interested in providing service to the wide user community, and curious about how to combine service provision with technology development in the latest imaging technologies. Current vacancies can be found on EMBL’s job opportunity page.

Speculative applications of researchers from all disciplines including your CV can be sent any time to the EMBL Imaging Centre program manager, Stephanie Alexander.

In the Media

Press exposure:

Construction Site

Important updates from the EMBL Imaging Centre construction site

What’s happening now

  • Installation of flooring coverings (internal)
  • Painting of internal surfaces
  • Installation of composite external façade (WDVS)
  • Installation of internal doors

Credit: EMBL Photolab/Kinga Lubowiecka

Aerial view of EMBL Imaging Centre construction site
Credit: EMBL Photolab/Massimo Del Prete