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Scottish Microscopy Society Newsletter
Spring 2020


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What's new
Competition winners
Microscopy events in Scotland
Career opportunities
Funding calls
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What's new

Find out what the Scottish Microscopy Society has been up to:

  • Joining the fight against COVID-19
    While most of us are doing our bit to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home in our PJs, we want to applaud Committee Members Leandro Lemgruber Soares and Nikki Paul for joining the front lines and volunteering at the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab testing facility (University of Glasgow, BBC News).

    We want to know about all the amazing thing our members are doing to fight the pandemic. Let us know by email or social media.

    Got a problem you need help solving or wanting to volunteer? Check out these support hubs:

  • The role of the Society in lockdown
    It's tough to stay connected and motivated when stuck at home, but we want to help.

    Always wanted to learn Python, but never had the time? Now could be an opportunity to learn that new skill, or try out that alternative analysis. We've compiled a list of online learning resources we think will be useful; microscopy seminars, online courses, forums. Check out the list here and check out upcoming webinars in the list below.

    We're all having to adapt to this new way of living and working. Let us know what we can do to support you.

  • June Almeida
    For me, lockdown has involved many online "pub" quizzes and trivia. Did you know that the family of coronaviruses was first discovered in 1966 by June Almeida, a Scottish pioneer of electron microscopy for clinical virology? Read more about her on Wikipedia or this BBC article.

  • New Committee Members
    We’d like to welcome our newest members of the committee, Dr Juan Varela and Dr Nikki Paul!

    Juan is a truly interdisciplinary scientist, having studied Physics in his native Uruguay, completed his PhD in the centre for Bio-Nano Interactions at University College Dublin, worked on neurodegeneration in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge and has now established his research group between the Biology and Biophotonics department at St Andrews. Juan is using an exciting range of nanotechnology and high resolution microscopy to help understand and cure neurodegenerative diseases – check out his work here and follow him on twitter for all the up to date info on what his lab is doing.

    Nikki knows how to acquire a good image, and has previously won a number of our imaging competitions with her beautiful entries. Hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nikki did her undergraduate degree at the University of York, and a PhD at the University of Manchester where she first got to grips with more advanced microscope systems to study cell adhesion and migration.  She then moved to the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow and as a postdoc continued to work on the actin cytoskeleton, migration and metastasis in cancer cells.  She now has an exciting new role in the Beatson Advanced Imaging Resource core facility (follow BAIR on twitter), providing lab-based help to others to optimise their imaging and analysis, and developing collaborations in order to bring in new techniques and technologies. Follow her on twitter.

  • Wee Box of Wonders: Microscopy outreach in Scotland
    We are excited to announce our latest project! The Wee Box of Wonders! In partnership with The Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) and The Roslin Institute, our gift of £1000 will fund two loan boxes containing microscopes, samples and activities, to be sent out to schools in Midlothian. Midlothian was chosen as the home of last year’s very successful Scottish Microscopy Society Symposium, so we thought it a wonderful opportunity to inspire the next generation of Scottish microscopists! Boxes will be available this autumn, with teacher training sessions planned. We look forward to bringing a box to every primary school in the county by Summer 2023! Stay tuned for updates and to learn more about the outreach we're doing, visit our website.
  • Image Competition Time!
    For all the talented microscopists out there with an eye for taking beautiful image, we are launching our bi-annual imaging competition! Images can be from any type of microscope – you can be as creative as you want. Submit your images through the JotForm on the website with a brief description of the image and how you acquired it, and be in with a chance to win a £25 amazon voucher. The winner will be announced in the next newsletter.
In October, the SMS selected a new logo from all of the wonderful entries we received in our logo competition. We would like to thank everyone who entered. We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the entries, and had a hard time choosing the winner. 

Winner - £350 prize sponsored by Nikon                   Second Place - £50 prize from SMS                      Third Place - £25 prize from SMS


Thank you to everyone who made it to the annual Scottish Microscopy Society Symposium at the Roslin Institute in December. There was a great turnout, and the quality of the talks and posters was exceptional. You all made it a really fantastic event, and we had a great time.

Congratulations to the winners on the day:

Best Presentation: Spatio-temporal dynamics of GLUT4 dispersal in cardiomyocytes - Anna Koester, University of Glasgow
Best Poster: The novel protein family CYRI cooperatively regulates cancer cell migration and invasion through Integrins trafficking - Anh Hoang Le, Beatson Institute 

SMS will be continuously running competitions throughout the year – check our website for the current image competition and keep an eye out for upcoming competitions!
We will be advertising any microscopy-related events taking place in and around Scotland in here. Please get in touch with us if you would like to advertise your event:

EMAG 2020 will now be held as a virtual event on the same dates. The group committees are now consulting on how best to deliver the event online and further information will be available shortly. Check the organiser's website for more details.

EMAG2020 will show-case the modelling, development, use and analysis of direct electron detectors within electron microscopy. Distinguished speakers will present snap-shots of the opportunities enabled by a new generation of pixellated electron detectors, alongside contributed oral presentations and lively poster sessions. Prizes will be awarded for the best student contributions. The programme will be complemented by a table-top trade exhibition, involving some of the largest manufacturers of electron microscopes and related technologies.

The Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group conferences bring together the UK electron microscopy, materials and physical sciences communities within an international context. They have established a reputation for providing a vibrant snapshot of the ‘state of the art’ in electron microscopy and its application since the inaugural gathering in 1946. EMAG conferences are valued in particular for providing a platform for students to present their work alongside more established researchers.

This year’s theme, Microscopy Enabled by Direct Electron Detection, is intended to capture the tremendous new science now being enabled by modern detector technologies. It is fitting that a conference focused on improved technologies and methodologies for seeing the world should be timed for the year 2020, a number that is synonymous with perfect vision.

Abstract submission deadline: 14th April 2020
Early registration deadline: 22nd May 2020
Registration deadline: 25th June 2020

RESCHEDULED DATES: Meeting now to be held on 17th-18th November, 2020.
This is an ideal meeting for both new and established researchers to engage with a broad range of imaging approaches and to make valuable contacts with leading groups in the field. There will be an exhibition held alongside this meeting, where the tea, coffee, lunch and posters will all be held. We are very grateful to the exhibitors and their support.

Abstract submission deadline: 22nd September 2020
Early registration deadline: 20th October 2020
Registration deadline: 3rd November 2020

  • Upcoming Webinars
    Check out the following webinars that may be of interest.
    • Bone Seminars in Lockdown (Roslin Institute): Himadri Gupta, presenting ‘Insights into the link between structure and mechanical function at the fibrillar-level in bone and cartilage using high-brilliance synchrotron X-ray scattering with in situ nanomechanics’ on Wednesday 27th May at 11am. For information on how to join, please follow this link.
    • SULSA are running a range of webinars throughout June. Check them out here.
    • Luxendo have a series of webinars on their light-sheet microscope. Check them out here.
    • 3i: Lattice light-sheet microscopy. Check it out here.
    • Leica: Microscale element analysis in electronic applications. Register here.
    • Perceptive Communicators: Communicating effectively in challenging times. Register here.
    • Catapult: Data for local resilience and recovery. Check it out here.

Explore current career opportunities for microscopists here. If you'd like to have your job offer advertised here, please send it to us: 

Microscopy related funding call will be listed here. Please, let us know if you want to share more opportunities by emailing us at :

The information on how to stay up to date, join our mailing list and newsletter and share the info with your colleagues and friends.

  • Website
Our new website is up and running and constantly being updated. Check everything Scottish microscopy here:
  • Mailing list
Sign up for our mailing list by sending us a message here. We have created this mailing list to be able to Promote, Inform and Connect you all. You can post to this mailing list by emailing Please feel free to use this mailing list to:
ask questions relating to microscopy, share events relating to microscopy, share interesting new microscopy developments and technologies, share microscopy-related job openings and funding opportunities

  • Newsletter
We have started the SMS Newsletter as the monthly compiler of what we are up to, and what interesting events, job posts, funding calls, etc. we found out for you. Please, sign up for our newsletter here or email us to receive it. You can access the web browser version of the newsletter here or check the previous newsletter editions in our archive. If you'd like us to add anything microscopy-relevant to the next edition, please email us: 

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