Microbeam Training Course

The RARAF microbeam training course at Columbia University's Nevis Laboratory in Irvington, New York is designed to provide a “pipeline” of researchers interested in the use and development of microbeam facilities for research in biology, radiation biology, and radiation physics.

Sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the three-day course is offered to a limited group of scientists, selected by an open competitive application process. Application to the program is open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty with an interest in the use and development of microbeam facilities. Both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens may apply to the program.

This intense program is taught by leading Columbia University biologists and physicists who are pioneers in the development and use of microbeam technologies.

The scientific director for the RARAF Mirobeam Training Course is Dr. Marcelo E. Vazquez, M.D., P.D.  Dr. Vazquez is Associate Professor at the Radiation Medicine Department, Loma Linda University.

Microbeam Training Course Day by Day

Day 1: Lectures

  • Introduction to Microbeams: These presentations are designed to give biologists an understanding of microbeam physics and physicists an understanding of biology requirements and applications.
    • Why microbeams?
    • Physics of microbeams: from accelerator to targeting.
    • Biology of microbeams: specimens, endpoints and motivations.
  • Tour of RARAF microbeam facilities
  • Designing and building a microbeam
  • Designing a microbeam experiment
  • Day-to-day issues running a microbeam
  • Preparing cells for irradiation

Day 2: Lectures, Demonstrations and Wet-lab Experience

  • Microbeam setup: measuring the beam spot size, focusing the beam, locating the beam
  • Imaging procedures
  • Irrdiation procedures
  • Cell irradiation demonstration: operate microbeam for different irradiation protocols
  • Data gathering, processing, and analysis
  • Experimental set-up for the following days

Day 3: Experimental Day

  • Perform microbeam irradations
  • Microbeam facility development
  • User facility interaction

Day 4: Experimental Day and Lectures

  • Data collection from Day 3 microbeam irradiations
  • Data processing and Analysis
  • Lectures on radiobiology and end points
  • Student work day for project proposal

Day 5: Discussion and final lectures

  • Student presentations of data collected
  • Student project proposals