Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling

The Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling (NCCS) was formed in the fall of 2003 by Dr. Margaret Wheelock to create a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) under the IDeA program, which is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The NCCS is currently led by Dr. Keith Johnson (Director) and Dr. Richard MacDonald (Associate Director). This Center, through the collaborations of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton School of Medicine, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, fosters new research initiatives dedicated to improving the oral and dental health of Nebraskans and citizens of other states. Junior and established researchers at these institutions conduct innovative and collaborative research efforts supported by the Center. This Center presents a strong mentoring environment to attract and promote the development of promising investigators.


A number of areas within the field of cell biology are rapidly converging on a common theme: cellular signal transduction. This is particularly true for the fields of cell adhesion, cell motility and cancer biology. The main focus of this Center is to bring together individuals studying signal transduction to form an organized, cohesive group that will provide leadership and mentoring to junior faculty interested in signaling.

Advanced Microscopy Core Facility

The Advanced Microscopy Core Facility combines the the Live Cell Microscopy Facilities located in Lincoln and Omaha together with the confocal and super-resolution microscopy systems located in the Durham Research Center I building. The live cell microscopy systems are located at the College of Dentistry in Lincoln provides a humidity - and CO2 - controlled growth chamber and Intelligent Imaging Innovations software for collecting images. This system includes digital de-convolution, 3D rendering and lasers for FRAP analysis of protein turnover. This microscope is available for use by investigators at UNL or the COD. A second Live Cell microscope is housed in the Eppley Institute. This instrumentation is available to investigators in Omaha (UNMC and Creighton), and provides a humidity- and CO2 -controlled growth chamber and Intelligent Imaging Innovations software for collecting images, spinning disc confocal, digital de-convolution, 3D rendering and lasers for FRAP analysis of protein turnover. 

The UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility Directed by Dr. Steve Caplan has recently obtained a Zeiss ELYRA PS.1 Super-resolution Microscope for SIM, TIRF, PALM and dSTORM microscopy, along with a workstation for processing data. This system will allow 3-D SIM and provide ~100 nm resolution on the lateral axis with about ~300 nm resolution axially, about 3-fold better than confocal resolution. There are 4 laser lines, several lenses and two separate cameras (for SIM and PALM/dSTORM, respectively). PALM will allow resolution to ~10-20 nm on the x axis and 50 nm axially, whereas dSTORM will provide similar resolution with endogenous proteins using antibody-coupled dyes. 2-channel PALM and STORM is also available for 3-D imaging.  Read policies regarding use of the SIM. For more information or to schedule imaging please contact the facility directly: Advanced Microscopy Core Scheduling 

External Advisory Board

Thomas Carey, PhD, University of Michigan
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Jean Schwarzbauer, PhD, Princeton University
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W. Keith Miskimins, PhD Sanford Research
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