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The Princess Royal opens new microscopy centre at UCL

Photo copyright: Charlie Proctor / Royal Central

A state-of-the-art centre for advanced biomedical research imaging was opened Tuesday by the Princess Royal. That new facility found its home at University College London.

The new centre allows researchers access to cutting-edge new microscopes from ZEISS (to be known as UZMIC), a German manufacturing company, making it the first ZEISS laboratory in Europe outside of Germany. But, much more technology will be available to UCL researchers.

More specifically, the equipment will allow scientists to address fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology. This will provide the ability to move forward in the search for treatments of various infectious and inherited diseases, cancers, and dementia.

During the launch event, the Princess Royal toured the new laboratories and also met with researchers while discussing the wide range of scientific research that will be conducted at UZMIC.

Dr Vilaiwan Fernandes took the time to tell the Princess about her research into glial cells in the developing brain – looking into how those can be affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as Down’s syndrome.

The Princess also saw a demonstration by Dr Chintan Trivedi and Hannah Lemmik. The two demonstrated one of the new microscopes. Their focus is to look at the brains of zebrafish mapping out genes and molecules that, that particular breed of fish shares with humans. The research will include genes regulating stress hormones that are often implicated in depression and anxiety.

UZMIC is managed by Dr Chris Thrasivoulu of the UCL Cell and Developmental Biology department. The facilities are available for researchers from all faculties via UCL’s Science Technology Platforms.

The Princess is Chancellor of the University of London, which UCL is a member institution.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.