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Accessing CALM

CALM prides itself in not only acting as a hub for optical microscopes at McMaster University, but also as a learning center for microscopy and scientific research. This is why we strive to teach the basic components and working principles of microscopy to our users during training. This would allow them to independently operate, troubleshoot and push the microscope to its limits for cutting-edge scientific research. To obtain training on any of our equipment, please follow the steps below.

STEP 1 – Create an Account on MacLIMS

CALM uses MacLIMS as its booking system, visit this link to create an account and request access to CALM. If you already have an account (e.g. user of the CCEM), simply request access to CALM.

STEP 2 – Describe your Research and Sample to CALM

To better help you, please email calm@mcmaster.ca with a brief description of your samples (type of sample, mounting strategy, etc.) and scientific questions you would like to address (fluorescence intensity, cell counting, image segmentation, colocalization, etc). Once we receive your description, we can then advise on the best instrument to tackle your questions.

STEP 3 – Request Instrument Access

Once we have decided on an instrument that is best suited for your needs, request access using the following steps:

  1. Log in to MacLIMS
  2. Click on Account (top right tab) and go to Training Status
  3. Click on Request Training on Instrument and select the appropriate instrument.

Note: If trying to request training while outside the McMaster network, you must connect using VPN (see here).

STEP 4 – Complete Safety Training

Before you can begin your instrument training, you must ensure that you have completed all of the safety training that is required to access CALM. Email calm@mcmaster.ca a screenshot of your MOSAIC training summary, which must include all of the following up-to-date modules:

  • WHIMIS 2015
  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Laser Safety
  • Ergonomics
  • Chemical Handling and Spills
  • Health and Safety Orientation
  • Fire Safety
  • Violence & Harassment Prevention in the Workplace
  • Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Due Dilligence
  • Gas Cylinder Training
  • Biosafety Awareness
  • COVID-19 Awareness Training
  • Primer on Privacy
  • Biosafety Training (for access to Biosafety Room)

STEP 5 – Attend Training Sessions

CALM staff will shortly contact you to schedule your training sessions. All our equipment (except the EVOS plate reader) require two training sessions that are two hours each. The two sessions typically occur within 2-3 days from each other, and the user must have a sample ready for the second session.

Session 1: The first session covers the basic components and operation of the microscope, where we use our own sample to teach the necessary steps needed to obtain high quality microscopy images.

Session 2: The second session is geared towards your own sample and research question, where you will be shadowed by our staff while acquiring a microscopy image from your own samples. You are expected to be able to troubleshoot and show independence and ease at the microscope.

Once both training sessions and the listed safety modules have been successfully completed, you will be granted access to book the microscope through MacLIMS and given card-access to CALM.

If have you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach us at calm@mcmaster.ca