User Guidelines

1. Training
  • All users must undertake an initial mandatory training on any instrument they are planning to operate.
  • Users must contact facility personnel to request training, which is held during normal business hours (Mon-Fri 9-6 pm).
  • Following the initial or successive training sessions, it will be determined by facility personnel whether the user is capable of competently operating the instrument independently. A user’s first 5 hours of independent use of an instrument must be scheduled during normal business hours and facility personnel must be notified so that they may be accessible to the user.
  • During the first training session, users must bring a signed user agreement.

2. Access to HSMIC

  • Independent access to the instruments is restricted to users who have demonstrated competency using the instruments and have 5 or more hours of supervised use during normal business hours. Independent after-hour access is restricted to those who are employed by the University of Hawaii and possess key cards with programmed access to the rooms and/or buildings in which in the instruments are housed. Exceptions can be granted by the HSMIC director or co-director.
  • If there is a long lapse without using equipment (3 months or more), HSMIC reserves the right to revoke after-hour independent access, pending demonstration of proficiency. For lapses of 6 month or more, a refresher or full re-training may be required, pending evaluation by HSMIC personnel.
  • Users without key card access can utilize the instrumentation during business hours under the supervision of HSMIC personnel. Exceptions can be granted by the HSMIC director or co-director. Assisted sessions and training take place only during normal business hours.
  • Access to the IVIS Lumina imaging instrument in the Biosciences Building Vivarium is limited to users who are trained and approved for access to the Vivarium. The Laboratory of Animal Services can provide information regarding specific requirements for access to the Vivarium (Michael Wong, D.V.M.,; Diana Talerico,
  • In order to access instrument computers, users must have an individual computer login that is furbished upon training. Shared use of login information is strictly prohibited and could result in termination of access to the HSMIC.
  • Users are also required to sign up in the manual logbook next to each instrument. The requested information in these logbooks helps to track any problems with the instruments as well as usage of lamp time, gasses, and other consumables. All users must keep track of their time on all instruments or software, whether the user logs in to the computer or not and whether there is an associated fee or not.

3. Instrument Reservation

  • The HSMIC has a first come, first served policy regarding instrument reservation.
  • All users must reserve instrument time through the QReserve website or by contacting HSMIC personnel. In order to reserve instrumentation online:
    • Go to the QReserve website and sign up for a free account.
    • Click the “My Memberships” tab and search for the site “Health Sciences Microscopy and Imaging Core”. Enter the “Join Code” (provided upon request) and select the “Join Site”.
    • Reservation can be made by clicking on the site name and then clicking on the instrument name in the “Resources” tab.
    • Find the date you would like to book the instrument, enter the start and end times you want to use the instrument, and select the “Reserve” button.
    • If you need to cancel or edit the reservation, click on the reservation and select the “Delete” or “Edit” button.
  • All reservations must be honored, or cancelled with a minimum of 24 hr advance notice. For cancellation of reservations done with less than 24 hr notice, the HSMIC personnel must be notified immediately. There should be justification for a short-notice cancellation to avoid charges. Failure to cancel reservations is a violation of HSMIC Policies.
  • Users who are late for their scheduled appointment (30-min grace period) may lose the booked time.
  • User must adhere to the schedule, and vacate the equipment promptly at the end of the booked time if another user is scheduled to use the instrument.
  • Repetitive violations of these instrument reservation policies could result in suspension of user privileges, pending retraining and a new user agreement.

4. General Safety Policy

  • All users must be in compliance with laboratory and biosafety training requirements established by the University of Hawaii Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) and the Office of Research Compliance Biosafety Program (BSP)
  • Use of any hazardous material that may be biological and/or chemical, must be reviewed and receive prior approval by the HSMIC director or co-director. The user is obligated to provide SOPs, which must include handling of the sample and control of potential spills and decontamination. Radioactive material or samples requiring BSL-3 or BSL-4 conditions cannot be handled under any circumstances in this facility.
  • For fixed and processed samples, manipulation should be kept to a minimum within the facility. It is highly recommended that sample preparation (changing media, pipetting, mixing, etc.) be performed in the user’s lab before the samples are transferred to the facility. All biological and chemical waste must be disposed of in the user’s lab.
  • For live-cell imaging with or without perfusion, all materials (media, etc) should be prepared in the user’s lab and must be fully contained (eg. closed perfusion system). Competency to perform live-cell imaging must be demonstrated. All biological and chemical waste must be disposed of in the user’s lab.
  • During any active manipulation of hazardous materials in the facility, users must wear the appropriate PPE, which needs to be provided by the user’s PI. Any spills, sprays or other potential contamination must be handled immediately and reported to facility personnel.
  • Operation of the laser microdissection microscope, the laser scanning confocal microscopes, and the flow cytometers present potential laser hazards; misuse can cause damage and personal injury. Users must review the UH “Laser Safety Manual” before beginning training. Safety Manual.pdf

5. Equipment Maintenance

  • Users should cooperate with HSMIC personnel to ensure that the instrumentation is maintained in optimal conditions.
    Any indication of malfunctioning of an instrument should be immediately reported to HSMIC personnel and recorded in the logbooks.
  • Users should never attempt to repair or modify the instruments. The facility is responsible for the cost of repairs and calibrations.
  • Cost for repairs only becomes the responsibility of the user’s supervisor if the damage is due to: (a) an untrained person operating the instruments without HSMIC personnel supervision or (b) evidence of user’s negligence.

6. Data Storage on HSMIC computers

  • All data must be saved in the designated user’s network, flash media, or hard drive. Any data on the computer may be deleted at the end of the day without warning. In the event of a problem storing data, HSMIC personnel must be notified so the data can be temporarily saved to HSMIC drives. Downloading anything from the internet onto HSMIC computers is strictly prohibited.

7. Charge back – User fees (Click to see Fee Table)

  • There is no charge for training (up to 1 hour) or use of software. The instruments listed in Table 1 can be used for the rates shown. Time of use is based on records generated by time tracking software associated with the instruments and logbook records. An account number must be furnished for invoicing prior to using the instruments. If an instrument is used on an hourly basis, the supervisor will receive an invoice from the fiscal office during the month following the service period. Users can also purchase instrument time at a bulk rate, which is invoiced following the first month of instrument usage.
  • UH users who anticipate high volume usage on an instrument can request the purchase of bulk-rated hours, which allows for access to that instrument for all members of a PI’s lab for 60 hours or one year from the date of purchase (whichever comes first).   Unused hours can be carried over if another bulk-rated purchase of hours is made.  All members of a PI’s lab who intend to use the instrument must be trained by HSMIC personnel and sign a user agreement prior to use.  UH users lacking financial support may inquire with the core directors about using equipment for short-term pilot studies.
8. Acknowledgement in Publications

The existence of core facilities depends in part on proper acknowledgment in publications and grants, and it enables the core to obtain financial support so essential services can be provided in the most economical way possible.  Therefore, it is imperative that you acknowledge the HSMIC in all peer-reviewed publications and grant applications in which data was obtained using HSMIC equipment, expertise, or services.  Suggested wording for acknowledgment is: “Some of the data generated for this research was acquired at the UH Health Sciences Microscopy and Imaging Core, which is supported in part by grants P30CA071789 and  5G12MD007601 from the National Institutes of Health.“ It would be appreciated if you sent a copy of any published paper or grant application title in which the core was acknowledged to the HSMIC director.  In addition, if any facility personnel make a substantial intellectual and/or experimental contribution to a publication, they should be considered for co-authorship. We recommend scientists follow the “ABRF Recommended Guidelines for Authorship on Manuscripts”.

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