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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology undergoes name change to the Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging

The Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, a center in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, was recently approved  for a name change to the Center for Quantitative Cell Imaging (CQCI),  to provide a more clear identity. This change was endorsed by all of the departmental, graduate program and school/college stakeholders. The University Research Council unanimously approved the request.

Support for the name change includes:

· A recent LCMB center review committee strongly supported the name change as a means to improve the “brand” of this research unit.

· Based on web searches and consultation with colleagues at other universities, the name CQCI is unique. Further, it uses Center, instead of Laboratory, which both fits the official OVCRGE designation as well as avoiding terminology that will be confusing outside UW-Madison.

· CQCI is far more specific than LCMB and describes both what they are currently doing and where they intend to put effort in the future.

· CQCI is still sufficiently broad enough to allow them to hire new faculty in many different areas, since imaging is becoming increasingly important across a variety of disciplines.

· The name CQCI will make faculty recruiting easier.

· They anticipate that the name change will also strengthen applications to various funding agencies as it indicates that they have both the resources and expertise needed for sophisticated imaging studies.

· It is probable that having an explicitly quantitative imaging center on campus will help the UW-Madison Initiative for Quantitative Biology.

· They believe CQCI will remain an appropriate name for many years as it seems likely that further advances in imaging modalities, imaging software, and probe development will continue for at least the next three or four decades

“One of the challenges we identified in the self-study was improvement of the LCMB ‘brand.’ That is, while each of our faculty has a strong research reputation at the national and international levels, few of our peers at other institutions are familiar with LCMB, in spite of the fact that it is our home and in spite of the fact that we collaborate with each other on a regular basis,” explains Bill Bement, professor of cell biology and zoology and director of the COCI. “We expect some national and international brand improvement to result from our upward trajectory of intra-unit research collaboration and some local brand improvement to result from the opening of our nascent EM tomography core facility.”

The four current members of the COCI—Marisa Otegui, Kevin Eliceiri, Rob Kirchdoerfer, and Bill Bement–study different cellular and molecular processes. However they share in common a focus on the development and application of biological imaging across several levels of organization—molecules and molecular ensembles, organelles and other subcellular compartments, cells, and tissues. They are also all heavily invested in the use of quantitative imaging approaches.