In 2021, the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research kindly provided € 85,000 to support transnational user access to and from Italy. The Italian User Access Grants Program was launched in March 2021 and was intended to support Italian researchers traveling to Euro-BioImaging Nodes abroad and international researchers accessing Italian Euro-BioImaging Nodes with their travel and access costs.
This initiative was a great success. Over the course of the year, 15 grants, of which the majority were for access to the Italian Nodes, were assigned. We report on some of the key statistics below.
Funds are still available! If you are an Italian researcher or want to visit an Italian Node, click here for more information: https://www.eurobioimaging.eu/content/italian-fund-for-eurobioimaging-user-access-grants
The Italian User Access Fund
Starting in March 2021, Euro-BioImaging began advertising the Italian User Access Fund, an opportunity for two different researcher profiles.
• Researchers whose home Institution is based in Italy could get grants of up to €2,500, to cover travel/lodging expenses for accessing Euro-BioImaging Nodes hosted by other countries.
• Researchers coming from countries other than Italy could get grants of up to €7.500 to cover travel/lodging expenses and/or access costs when they accessed a Euro-BioImaging Node based in Italy.
Grants were assigned on a first come, first served basis.
Supporting user projects
15 grants, of which the majority for access to the Italian Nodes, were assigned and the user projects are currently ongoing at the selected Nodes. All the 4 Italian Nodes, namely the Advanced Light Microscopy Italian Node, the MultiModal Molecular Imaging Italian Node, the Phase Contrast Imaging Flagship Node Trieste and the Digital Imaging Multimodal Platform Neuromed Node, were requested by the users.
User Projects covered a wide range of applications, from biology to preclinical and ex-vivo studies. Overall, 8 biological and 7 biomedical imaging applications were received.
An important initiative to support user access
We would like to really thank the Italian Ministry of University and Research for this initiative, which was very successful in promoting the Italian Nodes and stimulating transnational user access, in spite of the mobility restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic. We are also convinced that users who visited our Nodes thanks to this fund will contribute to spread the word about the quality and usefulness of Euro-BioImaging services within the international scientific community.
Feedback on the scientific experience for projects supported by the Italian User Access Fund
“An exceptionally good collaborative experience with Andrea Raimondi at the Advanced Light and Electron Microscopy BioImaging Center (ALEMBIC) facility at the Ospedale San Raffaele in Milan. Andrea contributed with high quality correlative light electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and EM tomography to our studies on dissection of autophagic pathways that regulate homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum in mammalian cells.”
- Maurizio Molinari, Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), Switzerland, visiting the Italian Advanced Light Microscopy Node
“Being able to travel and work in the ALEMBIC facility as a Euro-Bioimaging user alongside other experts has been an extremely rich experience. Combining correlative electron microscopy and three–dimensional (3D) tomographic volumes, we were able to decipher the pathogenic signals that lead to accumulation of dysfunctional and/or damaged mitochondria in patient-derived cells with methylmalonic acidemia (MMA)− a life-threatening disorder that often manifests in childhood and with no curative, first-line treatment option available to date. Some earlier results of this ongoing collaboration have been published in Nature Communications (Luciani et al. Nature Communications 11: 970, 2020).”
- Alessandro Luciani, University of Zurich, visiting Italian Advanced Light Microscopy Node
“Even before I arrived at EMBL, the ALMF team had been extremely supportive of our project, advising us at each step of the development of a customer-based RNAi assay, helping us to choose the best cell line and read-out to address our biological question, and helping us to improve our sample preparation to acquire good quality images for co-localization analysis.”
-Chiara Cassioli, University of Sienna, visiting the EMBL Node
Read the full article about Chiara’s work: https://www.eurobioimaging.eu/news/where-do-supramolecular-attack-particles-come-from-/
“Competent, professional, and collaborative staff at the ALEMBIC Node in Milan! I received excellent support for my project: from the sample preparation for electron microscopy to the acquisition and analysis of the data.
- Arcangela Iuso, Institute of Neurogenomics, HMGU”