Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy (CAHM)

Overview of Services


Peter MacCallum’s Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy (CAHM) underpins a multitude of cancer research projects and houses four core platforms: 

1. Histology: inclusive of wax and cryo-sections, special stains, and a comprehensive immunohistochemistry suite.

2. Optical Microscopy: houses high-end optical microscopes including laser scanning confocal microscopes, a spinning disk confocal, a super resolution microscope, a multi photon microscope, slide scanner, spatial omics and mIHC equipment. 

3. Electron Microscopy: both transmission and scanning electron microscopy

4. Image Analysis: Sophisticated software for analysing images.

Importantly, researchers utilising the facility receive support, training, and advice from expert technical scientists.


Histology Platform

 The Peter MacCallum Advanced Histology Platform provides a histology service dedicated to research. 

Services and Support Offered

  • Specimen decalcification
  • Tissue processing and embedding
  • Paraffin sectioning of tissues
  • Frozen sectioning of tissues
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Staining and coverslipping
  • OPAL multiplex staining (mouse and human tissue)

Key Equipment

  • Tissue Tek VIP 6 tissue processor
  • Thermo fisher Cryostar Cryostats - NX70 and NX50
  • Tissue Tek Embedding centre
  • Leica XL Auto-stainer
  • Instrumel GCS600 Coverslipper
  • Dako Immunostainer
  • Zeiss Microm Rotary Microtomes x3
  • Leica RM2255 Rotary Microtome
  • Leica Vibratome

Optical Microscopy Platform

The Peter MacCallum Advanced Optical Microscopy Platform incorporates multiple imaging modalities including wide-field microscopy, laser capture microscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, multi-photon intravital microscopy, and super resolution microscopy. The multi-photon microscope is a recent addition and was purchased alongside the Zeiss Elrya super resolution confocal microscope (TIRF, SIM, PALM, dSTORM) and the fully automated slide scanner through a successful $3.5m grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). Five microscopes are dedicated to live cell imaging and are equipped with heated environmental chambers, gas control and motorized stages.

Services and Support Offered 

  • Assistance with experimental design and microscope selection
  • Training and support on all microscopes
  • Imaging of fixed or living cells and tissues

Key Equipment

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopes

  • Zeiss Elyra 780 Confocal Equipped with a Zeiss Observer Z1 microscope and environmental chamber (Tokai Hit) for live cell imaging. Laser lines for confocal; 405, 458, 488, 514, 561 and 633nm.
  • Olympus FV3000 Confocal. Equipped with an Olympus IX83 microscope and live-cell chamber. Laser lines: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 594 and 633nm.
  • Olympus FV3000 Confocal. Equipped with an Olympus IX83 microscope. Laser lines: 405, 488, 561, 594 and 633nm.
  • Nikon C2 Confocal. Equipped with an Eclipse Ni-E microscope. Laser lines 405, 488, 561 and 640nm.

Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope

  • Nikon SoRa Spinning Disk Confocal. Equipped with Nikon Ti-E, Yokogawa W1 spinning disk (50um and SoRa disks), environmental chamber (Oko Labs) and 2x Andor Sona sCMOS cameras. Laser lines: 405, 445, 488, 515, 561 and 640nm. 

Super Resolution Microscope

  • Zeiss Elyra PS1 SIM/3D PALM/dSTORM/TIRF Equipped with a Zeiss Observer Z1 microscope and environmental chamber (Tokai Hit) for live cell imaging. Laser lines for super resolution: 405, 488, 561 and 633nm.

Multiphoton Microscope

  • Olympus FVMPE-RS Upright multiphoton microscope with dual pulsed lasers, MaiTai and DeepSee, and a SIM scanner. Equipped with a BX63 microscope, motorised stage, heat pad, and anaesthesia apparatus for intravital imaging.

Widefield Microscopes (all equipped with DIC and epi-fluorescence)

  • Olympus IX83 optimised for ultra-fast image capture. Equipped with motorised Prior stage and Ludin environmental chamber for live cell imaging
  • Olympus IX81 microscope
  • Olympus BX53 microscope
  • Zeiss Axiovert microscope
  • Olympus SZ61 Stereo Microscope

Automated slide scanner

  • Olympus VS120 automated slide scanner equipped with a BX61VS microscope. Brightfield, DIC and epi-fluorescence imaging is available. 100- slide capacity.

Spatial Proteomics & Transcriptomics analysis

  • Nanostring GeoMX Digital Spatial Profiler
  • Akoya Vectra Polaris microscope - 80 slide capacity for BF & fluorescence slide scanning applications. Capable of spectrally separating 9-plex OPAL Polaris stains.
  • PerkinElmer Vectra 3 Microcope - 200 slide capacity for BF & fluorescence slide scanning applications. Capable of spectrally separating 7-plex OPAL stains.

Electron Microscopy Platform

The Peter MacCallum Electron Microscopy Platform encompasses both scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Biological specimens are processed for ultrastructural morphological analysis and/or immuno-gold labelling of proteins. The platform houses an extensive range of ancillary equipment to facilitate a multitude of processing regimes including chemical or freeze fixation, freeze-substitution, embedding samples in different resins, and cryo-ultramicrotomy.

Services Offered

  • Cryofixation and freeze substitution
  • Cryo-ultramicrotomy
  • Tissue fixation, processing, and embedding (TEM)
  • Tissue fixation, processing, and automated critical point drying (SEM)
  • Resin sectioning
  • Pre- and post-embedding imunogold labelling
  • Imaging (SEM and TEM)

Key Equipment

Electron Microscopes

  • JEOL 1400 Transmitted Electron Microscope.
  • JEOL NeoScope II Scanning Electron Microscope.

Ancillary Equipment

  • Leica EMCPD300 automated critical point drying apparatus.
  • Balzers CPD300 Critical Point Drying apparatus.
  • Emscope SC500 Gold Sputter Coater.
  • EmscopeTB500 Carbon Coater.
  • Leica Empact high pressure freezer.
  • Leica KF80 freeze slammer.
  • Ultramicrotomes
    • Leica EMUC7 with FC7 cryo-attachment.
    • Reichert Ultracut S with FCS cryo-attachment.
    • Reichert Ultracut E.
  • Leica EM AFS2 Automatic Freeze Substitution system.
  • Reichert AFS Manual Freeze Substitution system.
  • Leica EM IGL Automatic immuno-gold labelling apparatus 

Image Analysis Platform

The Image Analysis Platform provides a number of high-end image analysis software programs for powerful multi-dimensional analysis. Software is also provided to design custom items for specialist imaging requirements using our 3D printer.

Key Equipment 

  • 5 High-End 64 bit computer workstations
    • Analysis 1 - Intel Xeon Gold 6230, 64GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro P4000
    • Analysis 2 - Intel Xeon Gold 6230, 128GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro P4000
    • Analysis 3 - Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3, 64G RAM, AMD FirePro W1500
    • Analysis 4 - Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3, 16G RAM, NVIDIA Quadro K620
    • Analysis 5 - Intel Xeon X5690, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA Quadro 4000
  • Imaris (x2 licenses)
  • Volocity x 2 licenses
  • Arivis 
  • Metamorph Offline (x13 licenses)
  • FIJI
  • QuPath
  • InForm/Halo
  • Nikon Elements Offline
  • Zen 2011 Offline
  • VS120 slide scanner Offline

User Group Membership


 Ilia Voskoboinik


Louise Cheng


 Julie Blasioli

Metta Jana

Andrew Cox 

 Vi Wickramasinghe

Katie Owen 

 Kazuhide Okuda

 Marcos Sande-Melon

 Jesse Rudd-Schmidt

 Richard Young

 Dani Tatuka

 Hugo Saunders

 Thu Nguyen

 Josh Hudson





Metta Jana - Interim Head of Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy. 

Contact Information and Facility Use

Use of the facility is available to external users, subject to availability.

Contact: Metta Jana (metta.jana@petermac.org, 03 8559 8757) for enquiries relating to the use of facilities at CAHM and project design/advice.


Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Available to trained users 24/7         

Level 8                

Links and Resources

Please head to the online resources section of our webpage

Research Staff

Head: Metta Jana - Interim Head of Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy

Core staffs: Leah Adolph, Judy Borg, Alysha Dew, Han Aw Yeang, Dhanya Menon, Basia Przybylowski, Rejhan Idrizi



Name Role Phone Email Location
Metta Jana
Interim Head of Centre for Advanced Histology and Microscopy
Level 8