Biomedical Imaging Research Unit


  • BIRU Level 2 induction - requirements for all equipment users
    25 May 2020
    Before you come to use any system in BIRU, you must contact the BIRU staff member in charge and arrange for them to carry out an induction.
  • Annual image competition results 2019
    06 December 2019
    The results of the annual image competition were announced at the end of year Research Celebration on Wednesday 27 November 2019. The winner of the confocal microscopy category and overall winner and recipient of the annual image trophy was Laverne Robilliard from the Graham Group in the Centre for Brain Research/Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, School of Medical Sciences. Laverne's winning image is now featured on the BIRU home page. The photo above shows Laverne with BIRU Director Dr Gus Grey. See the winning images here... See the highly commended and special mention awards here... Our thanks go to everyone who submitted an image for the competition this year and congratulations to all of the award winners.
  • New Technical Manager for BIRU!
    23 August 2019
    One of the outcomes of the recent Technical Services Review is that long-time Faculty staff member Stephen Edgar has joined the BIRU as Technical Manager. Stephen graduated from the University of NSW. He then spent ten years at the University of Sydney and the University of NSW conducting research on the ultrastructure of fungi and plants, and teaching microscopy at Sydney Technical College. In 1989 he came to Auckland to take charge of the Electron Microscope Unit in the Department of Pathology, in the days before the BIRU was established. Since 2001, he has been in charge of the SMS flow cytometry and cell sorting facility.
  • Zeiss LSM 800 Airyscan confocal microscope installed
    19 August 2019
    A Zeiss LSM 800 confocal microscope was installed in BIRU last week. The system has an inverted microscope stand, Marzhauser motorised XY stage, 4 objective lenses and a Colibri 7 LED light engine (for direct observation). There are 4 lasers available for excitation (405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 640nm). The machine has 2 GaAsP-PMT detectors and an Airyscan module
  • Hilary Holloway retires after almost 50 years!
    29 March 2019
    Hilary Holloway retired from the Biomedical Imaging Research Unit at The University of Auckland at the end of March this year. She initially joined the Department of Anatomy in the 1970 working with Dr Denis Boshier. After leaving to travel through South America, she later returned and took charge of the transmission electron microscope. She was later appointed as the Departmental Manager.
  • NOBIAS, a new Network of BioMedical Image Analysis
    11 January 2019
    Quantitative multi-parametric analysis of biological imaging is fast emerging as a crucial area in biomedical research. This progress towards increasingly advanced image analysis is made possible by the confluence of molecular and cell biology, microscopy (and nanoscopy), image processing algorithms and data science within a single biomedical image analysis workflow. Currently, NZ researchers are doing high quality biomedical imaging through many different modalities. However, the image processing and data analysis parts are mostly low throughput and manual. Collaboration between the different discplines to improve the image analysis workflows is largely ‘ad-hoc’ and many biological researchers are not familiar with the ‘state of the art’ in the other domains (e.g. advanced image processing algorithms for better object segmentation and parametrization or machine learning mediated automatic classification of objects or unsupervised clustering of objects in multidimensional space to identify new patterns and clusters).
  • Annual image competition results 2018
    04 December 2018
    The results of the annual image competition were announced at the end of year Research Celebration on Thursday 29 November 2018. There were over 100 entries this year. The winner of the confocal microscopy category and overall winner and recipient of the annual image trophy was Shelly Lin from the Department of Physiology
  • New Director for BIRU!
    22 February 2018
    Dr Gus Grey has been appointed as the new Director of BIRU, replacing Dr Sue McGlashan who has moved to a new role. Dr Gus Grey is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences. He studied at the University of Auckland, and graduated with a PhD in Physiology in 2007, having investigated the functional implications of ocular lens membrane protein distributions by fluorescence confocal microscopy.
  • New high sensitivity detectors for Olympus confocal microscope
    26 January 2018
    New high sensitivity detectors (HSDs) were recently installed for the Olympus FV1000 live cell imaging confocal system. These GaAsP detectors enable the use of very low laser power which provides huge benefits for time-lapse imaging. Two filter sets are available for the HSDs, green/red and red/far red. The HSDs can be used in tandem with the other detectors.
  • New Zeiss Axio Imager.M2 upright microscope installed
    22 January 2018
    A new Zeiss Axio Imager.M2 fluorescence microscope has recently been installed in BIRU. This microscope replaces the Zeiss Axioplan2 fluorescence microscope. The new microscope is fully motorised with a convenient TFT panel for control of the microscope. All components can be controlled by MetaMorph. The motorised focus drive can be used to acquire z stacks for deconvolution in the same way as the Axioplan2.
  • Annual image competition results 2017
    23 November 2017
    The results of the annual image competition were announced at the end of year Research Celebration on Thursday 23 November 2017. The winner of the light microscopy category and overall winner and recipient of the annual image trophy was Dr Charlotte Johnson from the School of Biological Sciences. Charlotte's winning image is now featured on the BIRU home page.
  • BIRU Seminar - Friday 20 October - 3pm - 4pm
    13 October 2017
    This seminar will focus on analysis and quantitation with the ImageXpress (IXM) high content imaging system, MetaXpress software and its analysis modules. It will also explain how the powerful custom module editor within MetaXpress can help you to design complex highly detailed workflows for your analysis. While it is focused on the MetaXpress software, the ‘analysis logic’ described here is applicable to other software packages.
  • Zeiss Celldiscoverer 7 on demo 9-13 October
    04 October 2017
    The Zeiss Celldiscoverer 7 will be on demo in BIRU from 9-13 October. This is an automated live cell imaging platform. There will be a series of seminars focused on live cell imaging on Tuesday 10 October. Demo times are available.
  • Annual image competition results - 2016
    20 December 2016
    The award winners for 2016 were announced recently at the end of year Research Celebration on Thursday 8 December. The winner of the confocal microscopy category and overall trophy winner was Himanshu Wadhwa from the Department of Ophthalmology.
  • 2016 BIRU image competition open for entries now...
    31 October 2016
    The competition is now open for entries. As for previous years, the categories are Light Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Electron Microscopy and Visualisation and Analysis. Please send your entries to Ratish Kurian at The winner of each category will receive a copy of their image at A3 size, printed and mounted on ArtMount. The overall winner will be awarded the BIRU Image Trophy, which they can keep for one year.
  • New staff member Dr Praju Vikas Anekal joins BIRU
    20 October 2016
    Dr Praju Vikas Anekal has just joined the BIRU from Singapore and his principal responsibilities will be looking after the ImageXpress high content screening system and the MALDI-TOF imaging mass spectrometer. Praju Vikas has 12 years of experience in cell biology imaging with a particular focus on the cell cytoskeleton. He did his Ph.D. at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore.
  • Annual image competition results 2015
    08 December 2015
    The results of the Annual Image Competition were announced at the BIRU End of Year Celebration on Thursday 3 December. There were over 90 entries this year covering a wide range of research interests. The standard was very high and a number of additional awards were made. The BIRU Image Trophy was awarded to Charles (Ho) Kong, School of Chemical Sciences. Charles was the winner of the Electron Microscopy category with a cryo-SEM image of a strawberry specimen.
  • Hitachi Tabletop scanning electron microscope installed
    16 November 2015
    The new Hitachi Tabletop scanning electron microscope (TM3030Plus) has arrived and been installed successfully. It features an ultra-variable pressure secondary electron detector (SE) for low vacuum imaging and a high sensitivity back-scattered electron detector (BSE). It is also equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX) for elemental analysis.
  • Annual image competition results 2014
    11 December 2014
    The results of the Annual Image Competition were announced at the BIRU End of Year Celebration on Thursday 4 December. The BIRU Image Trophy was awarded to Inken Kelch, School of Biological Sciences. Other winners included Zakieh Vahdati, Ravi Jain/Sharon Waldvogel and Renita Martis.
  • 2014 BIRU image competition open for entries
    04 November 2014
    Entries for the 2014 annual image competition are now being accepted. Categories include Light Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy and Visualisation and Analysis. Images do not have to be captured using BIRU equipment. Entries should be sent to Ratish Kurian. The closing date is Wednesday 26 November at 5pm.
  • New staff member for BIRU
    10 February 2014
    Dr Pritika Narayan has been appointed to support and run the newly installed high content screening system, the Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro XLS.
  • Annual image competition results 2013
    06 December 2013
    The results of our annual image competition were announced on Friday 6 December at the end of year event.
  • MetaSystems VSlide has arrived!
    02 April 2012
    The new slide scanner has been installed and is now ready for use. It has a slide feeder, which handles up to 80 slides using a robotic arm.