Pathology and Imaging

The Pathology and Imaging Core offers a number of services for investigators with funded NEI R01s and those planning on submitting an R01 to NEI. Among the services provided by the Pathology and Imaging Core are advanced histology through the Translational Research Initiative in Pathology TRIP) lab. Assistance with light and electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, live cell imaging, image analysis, and quantitative morphometry of tissue sections and cultured cells is also available (see list of services below).


The TRIP Lab provides routine histology, including paraffin and frozen processing, embedding, and sectioning. To submit a service request, please set up an account with iLab. They also do routine and some special histological staining. Please inquire at for the stains. The histopathology services of the UW TRIP Lab are available at no charge to qualified NEI R01 investigators and investigators gathering preliminary data for their NEI R01 grant submissions.

Immunocytochemical and histochemical evaluations

Vision Core technical staff is also available to help embed samples in either paraffin, glycol methacrylate, Epon, OCT or gelatin. If there is something special that your research requires, please contact the Core Director – Dr. Donna Peters.

Our staff can help the investigator develop antigen retrieval procedures and post-fixation labeling studies. The client will provide any primary and secondary antibodies and/or linkers (e.g. streptavidin) necessary for visualization by light, fluorescence, or transmission electron microscopy. Expertise is available for a variety of labeling procedures, including live cell staining  to visualize and quantify the viability of cells in cultured anterior segments.


The Pathology and Imaging Core can assist with qualitative and quantitative morphometry utilizing well established histologic procedures to measure ganglion cell loss, apoptosis, loss of cell contacts, changes in cell morphology or the organization of the cellular matrix. For example, laser protection of retinal ganglion cells in experimental glaucoma can be determined by localizing the positions of surviving ganglion cells on serial sections through the laser spots and performing mathematical 2-D reconstructions and 3-D density plots.

The core also has Zeiss Zen software for morphometry. This software allows the investigator to generate composite images of large objects, measure length, distance, area, circumference and angles and do spot counts either manually or automatically.

Tissue culture cell depository

We have started a human eye tissue/cell depository. The goals of this service are to obtain human eye tissues and fluids (aqueous humor and vitreous) for PIs o use in their studies. We can train investigators to isolate human eye cells or to provide “hard to isolate” human eye cells. To date, we have provided human trabecular meshwork cells (both normal and immortalized), primary human corneal keratocytes, and primary ciliary muscle cells for core participants. We can also help   generate immortalized cell lines using a lentiviral vector expressing telomerase to expand the lifespan of human eye cells.

Subsidies for Service/Equipment Use for NEI R01 PIs and those who are submitting NEI R01 grants

Funding for fee based services or equipment on campus is available to NEI R01 investigators and PIs applying for NEI R01 grants.  Funding for fee based services or equipment use will be determined each year and will be based on the number of qualified users and the level of use. Once the allocated amount is exceeded, the PI will have to provide their own funding. PIs requesting these funds should contact the Vision Core Director to determine the level of funding that may be available. Note, these subsidies are to be used for data needed for  the PIs funded R01 project.

Subsidized Services Are:

For questions regarding Pathology and Imaging services, please contact:

Pathology and Imaging Core Director

Donna M. Peters, PhD
1794 West Wedge, WIMR
1111 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-262-4626

Pathology and Imaging Core Assistant Director

Mrinalini Hoon, PhD
9457 WIMR II
1111 Highland Ave
Phone: 608-263-6648

Hongyu Noel, Core Instrument Manager
561A Bardeen
1300 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-262-8055