Sarah Chapman | December 14, 2016
The phrase “larger than life” many times throughout history has been applied to describe the impact of scientific discoveries and revolutionary technologies. At the University of Notre Dame, precision instruments and state-of-the-art facilities, such as the electron microscopy core within the Integrated Imaging Facility, are beginning to fill in gaps and reveal details that are propelling science beyond what is known.
Sharon Stack, Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute and Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, uses the University’s advanced electron microscopy core (EM) to view the intricate surface of cancer cells. One such study examined the correlation of obesity and the role that it plays on the progression of ovarian cancer whereby the researchers discovered a striking change in peritoneal ultrastructure, with a substantial increase in mesothelial microvilli content on the surface of cells that could not be visualized by an optical microscope alone.
“Our research evaluating molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer metastasis has benefitted significantly from use of the EM Core. The facility has enabled us to open new directions in our research program based on the level of ultra-structural detail we are able to visualize,” Stack said.