CSSB Centre for Structural Systems Biology
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Advanced Light and Fluorescence Microscopy

Key Facts

  • State-of-the-art light and fluorescence microscopes
  • Focus on live cell and correlative light and electron cryo-microscopy


The goal of the ALFM facility is to support researchers as efficiently as possible for light microscopy and correlative light and electron (cryo-) microscopy projects, and to offer them advanced imaging equipment.

According to the need of the users, we offer different levels of support:

  • Independent use of instruments after training
  • Accompanying support for imaging projects
  • Collaborative development and implementation of imaging project

In addition, we support researchers with image processing and image analysis.

Upon request, users of the facility can also access the laboratory space near the microscopes for sample preparation and mammalian cell culture, which is equipped with:

  • lab work benches
  • safety cabinets
  • CO2 incubators

Further information

Advanced light and fluorescence microscopy (ALFM) is a key methodology for studying the function of cellular and macromolecular processes. It provides specific multidimensional information in vivo and in vitro, which is crucial to understand life and is also proven to be particularly powerful within the context of analysing infections, especially host-pathogen interactions. ALFM enables researchers to capture quantitative, spatio-temporal data on structural organization and its coupled functions, thus making it one of the central techniques in cell, infection, structural and systems biology. Altogether, the ALFM core facility is a key element in CSSB’s mission towards integrated imaging in structural systems biology. Given the exciting developments in super-resolution imaging, the gap to other microscopies, particularly electron microscopy, but also X-ray imaging, is about to be closed. The ALFM Facility develops in close collaboration with the CSSB cryoEM facility workflows for correlative light and electron cryo-microscopy.


The user community of the ALFM facility consists of researchers from CSSB, its partners, and other academic research groups. For new users, a meeting will be arranged with the facility staff in order to discuss the project and access to the facility. For any question, the core facility head, Roland Thünauer (roland.thuenauer@cssb-hamburg.de), can always be contacted. Booking of instruments is managed online (Link to booking system coming shortly).

How to acknowledge the ALFM facility in publications:

We kindly ask our users to acknowledge our facility in publications containing data that were acquired or analyzed in the ALFM facility. The text below can be used as template:

We thank the Advanced Light and Fluorescence Microscopy (ALFM) facility at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), in particular XXX, for support with light microscopy image recording and analysis.


ALFM Facility



Facility Head

Roland Thünauer
Phone:40 8998 87730


Scientific Facility Director

Kay Grünewald


Scientific Facility Director

Tim Gilberger



Centre for Structural Systems Biology CSSB
Building 15
Notkestraße 85
D-22607 Hamburg


Universität Hamburg (UHH), Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI), and Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)

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