You are here

580b57fcd9996e24bc43c53e   LinkedIn Logo 500x500   Facebook logo square   Instagram icon

event icon
Start time
End time
2nd Floor, New Science Building, University of East Anglia, Norwich

* * This course contributes to the Royal Society of Biology's Technical Skills Certificate

An Introduction to Brightfield and Fluorescence Microscopy: visualising tissue histology and cell morphology


A revolution in microscopy and bioimaging has provided unprecedented insights into the function of molecules, organelles and cells in living systems. In this course you will learn about some important modes of microscopy, bioimaging and image processing. Hands-on experience will revolve around three main activities: 
  1. Visualise tissue histology with bright field microscopy and optical staining.
  2. Cell type identification within intact tissues using epifluorescence microscopy and knowledge of confocal microscopy.
  3. Utilise image processing techniques for data presentation and analysis. 
A pre-course introductory video will provide the necessary background information for the activities on the day. Preparations and models of the intestinal mucosa will be used throughout the workshop and will provide insights into stem cell biology, tissue organisation, and tumour cell biology. These will include tissue sections and 3D cultures of the epithelial lining of the gut called intestinal organoids. For comparison, 3D cultures from patient-matched tumours (i.e. tumouroids) will also be utilised.

Bright field and phase contrast microscopy will be used to visualise the architecture of the intestinal mucosa and will be complemented by optical (e.g. haematoxylin and eosin) staining to visualise tissue histology.

Fluorescence microscopy utilises fluorescent probes and antibodies to monitor specific cellular components such as nucleic acids, proteins and ions. Fluorescence immunolabelling using cell type specific antibodies will be used in conjunction with fluorescence microscopy to visualise intestinal stem cells and other cell types within intestinal tissue sections and intestinal organoids/tumouroids. 


The purpose of the course is to offer practical experience of microscopy and bioimaging. The over-arching aims are to:
  • Learn about some of the key techniques used in microscopy and bioimaging.
  • Learn about important equipment used for microscopy and bioimaging.
  • Get hands on experience in haematoxylin and eosin staining on tissue sections, sample mounting, and optical microscopy.
  • Operate an epifluorescence microscope to visualise immunolabelled intestinal organoids and tumouroids. 

Who is the course for? 

This course is for individuals with an interest in life sciences who wish to learn how to visualise cells and molecules in fixed and living biological systems. No prior knowledge of microscopy is required. The purpose of the course is to offer a practical point of access to these techniques in a practical user-friendly form.

What will you gain from the course?

  • You will learn how to use an optical microscope.
  • You will learn how to perform optical staining and fluorescence immunolabelling.
  • You will learn how use an epifluorescence microscope.
  • You will learn to understand how image data is acquired.
  • You will learn to understand how to process image data.
  • You will learn how to analyse image data.
  • Take home protocols and images.

Course Tutors

Your course tutors will be Dr Mark Williams, Dr Victoria Jones and Sean Tattan.

Dr Mark Williams is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences. His research group investigates the nature of cellular signals that regulate stem cell-driven tissue renewal and physiological function of the human gut epithelium in health and disease.  Mark is also director of undergraduate programmes in Biomedicine and Applied Biomedical Science, and is module organiser for Introduction to Biomedicine (Level 4) and Translational Biomedicine (Level 6)

Dr Victoria Jones is a senior postdoctoral scientist in the Williams Gastrointestinal Research Laboratory. Vicki has extensive expertise in human intestinal organoid 3D culture systems, bioimaging and image analysis.  

Mr Sean Tattan is final year PhD student in the schools of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences. Sean's PhD is centred around the optimisation and development of 3D in vitro models of the human colon. Sean's research interests span stem cell physiology, calcium signalling, bioimaging, and bioinformatics/high content image analysis. 


The laboratories and building are fully accessible and there are chairs and moveable benches available in the lab. The university can also provide the use of electronic pipettes if your dexterity is impaired. If you have questions surrounding this, please contact the training team.

Technical skills and continuing professional development

This practical based course contributes to the RSB Technical Skills certificate, which can support applications to our professional registers. 

This course is approved for purposes of CPD, and attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and 9 CPD points.


** Early bird additional 10% discount on course fees available until 15th June

Members - £160 + VAT
Members of Member Organisations, SCAS members - £240 + VAT
Non-members - £320 + VAT

Non-members who have completed a membership application and made payment - £160 + 20% VAT - get in touch with to access this rate.

If you or your organisation wishes to book staff in bulk for this course, please get in touch.


For further information about the course please contact Emily Lunn, training and registers officer at or on 020 3925 3447.


Unfortunately, the Royal Society of Biology is unable to offer refunds on training courses that have been attended. We do, of course, welcome and encourage any feedback from a course and will continue to improve the service we offer.

Terms and Conditions

By booking to attend this event, you are confirming you have agreed to the RSB's Terms and Conditions which can be found here.