Stereology Expert Prof. Mark West Teaches Workshop in Woods Hole Next Week

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Stereology has many applications from counting cells in the brains of birds at the Animal Cognition Lab at Luther College in Iowa, to estimating cell populations in rat models of dementia in Newfoundland, or counting cells in the brain stems of rats with Huntington’s disease across the ocean in the Netherlands.

Scientists around the world use stereology to study a range of different types of diseases and disorders, and are finding that this sophisticated research method is the most efficient and effective way to quantitatively analyze the size, shape, and number of objects in biological tissue.

Next week, Dr. Mark West, a professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, teaches a “NeuroStereology Workshop” at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. A stereology expert and pioneer for nearly four decades, Dr. West is the most cited author of scientific papers on the application of modern stereological methods to the nervous system.

“The unique aspect of the new design-based stereology is that, unlike previously available methods, these methods involve no prerequisite information about the structural features being quantified, and emphasize the importance of estimates of total quantities such as number, length, surface, and volume,” Dr. West told us last year in an interview about his book Basic Stereology For Biologists and Neuroscientists (2012, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press).

The course takes place Saturday, March 16 – Thursday, March 21 and focuses on teaching students how to design, supervise, and critically evaluate unbiased stereological studies of the nervous system.

Learn more about the workshop at Neurostereology.info.

Do you use stereology in your research? We’d love to know what you’re studying. Tell us in the comments section.

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A Look Inside Dr. Mark West’s New Book, Basic Stereology for Biologists and Neuroscientists

Stereology has come a long way since Dr. Mark West started using the method of quantitative analysis in his research. The assumption-based or model-based stereological methods of the 1970s have been replaced by the more sophisticated design-based or unbiased stereological methods used today. Dr. West, a Professor of Medical Neurobiology at Aarhus University in Denmark and author of the most cited scientific papers on the application of modern stereological methods to the nervous system has been there every step of the way. His new book, Basic Stereology for Biologists and Neuroscientists, is a guide to the “new stereology” that presents the fundamental concept behind design-based stereology and offers concise instruction on how to design and critically evaluate your own study. Read our Q&A with Dr. West to find out more about his new book, and why modern stereological methods are better than ever.

Why did you decide to write a book on stereology? During the past two decades, a large number of scientific papers have been published that collectively represent a paradigm shift in thinking about how to derive meaningful quantitative data about structural features in biological tissues; these are often referred to as design-based or unbiased stereological methods. This book is an attempt to present a number of the concepts and principles of the new stereology in one coherent discussion of what these methods involve in terms of their proper application.

How long have you been using stereology in your research? The first paper that I published using stereology was in 1974. It involved the use of assumption or model-based stereological methods and allowed me to appreciate the virtues of the subsequently developed modern design-based stereological methods described in my book.

Why is stereology the best method for quantitative analysis of biological tissues? The unique aspect of the new design-based stereology is that, unlike previously available methods, these methods involve no prerequisite information about the structural features being quantified and emphasize the importance of estimates of total quantities such as number, length, surface, and volume.

Do you have any stereology workshops coming up? I will be teaching a two-day “Introduction to Stereology for Neuroscientists” course July 12-13, 2012 in Barcelona, immediately proceeding the Federation of European Neuroscientists meeting. And I’ll be teaching the same course prior to the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting this October in New Orleans.

Who would you recommend order a copy of your book? Anyone interested in knowing how to design, supervise, and critically evaluate stereological studies of the biological tissue including the nervous system should own this book.

Basic Stereology for Biologists and Neuroscientists will be available in August, 2012 through Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Pre-order Dr. Mark West’s book now to receive a 10% discount.

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Still Time to Register for Two Upcoming Workshops on Stereology and Confocal Microscopy

Do you use stereology in your lab? Would you like to know more about how you can use stereology to accurately estimate total quantities, lengths, areas, and volumes in your research?  This month sees two separate stereology workshops.  Dr. Dan Peterson’s “Practical Workshop in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology” in Chicago, Illinois.  And at Woods Hole, Massachusetts Dr. Mark West leads his “NeuroStereology Workshop.”

Founding Director of the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Dr. Daniel Peterson’s biannual “Practical Workshop in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology” takes place March 18-23 at Club Quarters Hotel in Chicago. The intensive, week-long workshop offers a comprehensive background in the theory and practice of modern histological preparation and microscopic analysis. The workshop covers the entire process of microscopic analysis from specimen preparation to the readying of images for publication. For more information read our Q&A with Dr. Peterson to find out more about his course.

Over on the East Coast, Dr. Mark West’s “NeuroStereology Workshop” takes place March 24-29 at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, on Cape Cod. Professor of Medical Neurobiology at The University of Aarhus in Denmark, Dr. West’s course focuses on how stereological methodology can apply to nervous system research. This year’s workshop will include lectures on the Cavalieri Principle, the Optical Fractionator, and Isotropic Probes. You can find more information about the course at the Neurostereology website.

 

March 18 – 23, 2012
Practical Workshop in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Peterson
Club Quarters Hotel, Chicago

March 24 – 29, 2012
NeuroStereology Workshop
Instructor: Dr. Mark West
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

 

Q&A: Dr. Daniel Peterson Discusses His Courses on Microscopy and Stereology

Talk of zebrafish and Spaceballs probes make Dr. Daniel Peterson’s microscopy and stereology courses sound intriguing. But Dr. Peterson says it’s the hands-on instruction that students enjoy most about the biannual workshops he teaches in Chicago. From August 15-19, 2011, the Associate Professor and Executive Director at the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at The Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, welcomes students to Chicago’s Club Quarters for five days of  instruction on all aspects of state-of-the-art microscopy, stereology, and histological analysis.

He spoke to us about the atmosphere in the classroom, what kinds of students take his course, and what aspects of the workshops participants get most excited about. Continue reading “Q&A: Dr. Daniel Peterson Discusses His Courses on Microscopy and Stereology” »

Stereology Courses Offered this Fall

Researchers around the globe use stereology to efficiently and effectively gather quantitative data on the cellular level. The method is considered one of the most accurate ways to determine cell volume in 3D renderings of two-dimentional images. Two upcoming courses sponsored by MBF Bioscience offer hands-on instruction in the latest stereological methods.

At the Sixth Course “Morphometry and Stereology in Neurosciences,” taking place October 18-22 in Amsterdam, students will use Stereo Investigator to run stereological probes on virtual tissue files of a section of a mouse brain and a mouse striatum. Professors from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the VU University Medical Center will guide students through the steps of design-based stereology. Topics like morphometry, confocal microscopy, and histological shrinkage will be presented in lectures, exercises and demonstrations.

On Thursday, November 11, and Friday, November 12, Dr. Mark West will conduct an “Introduction to Stereology for Neuroscientists.” The workshop occurs in conjunction with the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in San Diego. Limited to 30 students, the course focuses on stereological studies of the nervous system.

For more information, and to register for these courses, go to stereology.info.

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Register for Dr. Dan Peterson’s Practical Training Course in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology

There’s still time to enroll in Dr. Dan Peterson’s course, Practical Training Course in Confocal Microscopy and Stereology offered August 16-20, 2010 in downtown Chicago.

Course content includes:

  • Comprehensive and practical, “hands-on” instruction in state-of-the-art microscopy.
  • Spinning disk and laser scanning confocal microscopes equipped for stereology along with brightfield stereology stations are available for student use and instruction. Substantial amounts of course time are spent using the equipment.
  • Lectures on the fundamentals of tissue preparation and staining, microscopy, and digital imaging.
  • Theory and practice of design-based stereology.
  • Tutorial on the new application of confocal stereology, illustrated through the quantitation of neural stem cells.
  • Extensive group discussion- participants are encouraged to bring their own material and to discuss their projects.

Dr. Peterson is widely regarded as the leading expert in the field of confocal stereology. He designed the course for anyone who would benefit from a comprehensive introduction to microscopy and stereology, including graduate students who need to use modern microscopy or stereology in their projects, and investigators new to histological analysis who need a rapid and complete introduction to these techniques.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.neurorenew.com

P.S. Please note that MBF Mindset only recommends courses taught by capable and qualified instructors. It does not promote any course taught by commercially-affiliated instructors.

Woods Hole NeuroStereology Workshop

Interested in developing your design-based stereology skills? Dr. Mark West’s “NeuroStereology Workshop: An Introduction to Stereology for Neuroscientists” offers an excellent opportunity for scientists to refine their techniques.

The six-day workshop, held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, takes place April 17 – 22, 2010. A small group of graduate students, postdocs, and senior scientists will have the opportunity to design, supervise, and critically evaluate stereological studies of the nervous system, under the expert tutelage of Dr. West, neurobiology professor in the Anatomical Institute of Aarhus University in Denmark.

Learn more, and register for the workshop at Neurostereology.info.

See the full list of this year’s Stereology courses presented by MBF Bioscience

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