ZEISS and University of Oxford Collaborate to Advance Biomedical Imaging

ZEISS and University of Oxford Collaborate to Advance Biomedical Imaging

(IN BRIEF) The University of Oxford and ZEISS have inaugurated the Oxford-ZEISS Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Imaging, promising cutting-edge microscopy and imaging technologies to further research in global health and disease. This collaboration between the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, the Institute of Developmental & Regenerative Medicine, and ZEISS aims to provide researchers with access to state-of-the-art microscopy equipment and expertise. The center’s focus on observing single-cell behavior within tissues and living samples will support research addressing prevalent diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and inflammatory conditions. By integrating advanced imaging resolution with fast imaging capabilities, the center aims to facilitate robust quantification of complex biological phenomena, driving forward bioimaging research and enabling new scientific discoveries.

(PRESS RELEASE) OXFORD/JENA, 24-Feb-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — On February 21, 2024, the Oxford-ZEISS Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Imaging (Oxford-ZEISS CoE) officially opened its doors to the research community at the University of Oxford. The new center is a collaboration between the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (KIR) and the Institute of Developmental & Regenerative Medicine (IDRM), in partnership with ZEISS. It promises to deliver the latest imaging technologies and analysis approaches to advance the study of global health and disease.

Realizing imaging needs

The Oxford-ZEISS CoE provides life scientists with access to the latest commercially available microscopy and imaging technologies from ZEISS, as well as the unique expertise of ZEISS engineers in their research and development team.

Providing advanced microscopy resolution and fast imaging, the Oxford-ZEISS CoE enables researchers to observe single cells fulfill their functions and behavior at the single-cell level, within tissues, across whole organisms, and within living samples. It supports the research at the KIR and IDRM that aims to treat some of the world’s most prolific diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuro-degenerative diseases, or conditions related to inflammation or tissue repair.

Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of the University, who officially opened the Oxford-ZEISS CoE said: ‘Seeing is no longer sufficient for believing. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the grand challenge for the biological imaging community is robust quantification of real biological phenomena from increasingly complex and demanding imaging data sets.’

One of the most future thinking aspects of the partnership is its ability to evolve the imaging technologies based on the latest research questions.

‘Developing our solutions in line with the rapidly changing demands of the scientific community continues to be vital for our success. Strong collaborations with leading-edge academic partners are key for reaching this goal. Thus, extending and reinforcing our interactions with the world class research teams at Oxford through the Oxford-ZEISS CoE is putting us in an excellent position to develop new technologies that are tailored to support new and upcoming application demands. We are extremely excited and honored to be working with the Oxford-ZEISS CoE,’ says Dr. Bernhard Zimmermann, Head of Life Sciences at ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions.

Professor Marco Fritzsche, Scientific Director of the Oxford-ZEISS Centre of Excellence said: ‘We have already seen several ‘firsts’ through our collaboration with ZEISS, including the development of new software to acquire stacked three-dimensional image volumes, and a new approach to imaging that means more complex live tissues can be imaged than before. This positions the Oxford-ZEISS CoE at the forefront of bioimaging research and will likely be a place where future scientific questions become answerable for the first time.’

Professor Paul Riley, Director of the IDRM, said: ‘Advanced bioimaging is essential if we are to understand the molecular and cellular events that underpin normal development, birth defects and tissue repair and regeneration. The Oxford-ZEISS CoE represents a unique strategic opportunity for the IDRM with colleagues at the Kennedy Institute and ZEISS engineers which will challenge and improve existing microscopy capability to address our major research questions and advance our therapeutic pipeline.’


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling 10 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2023).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world’s leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company’s significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS’ technology and market leadership. ZEISS invests 15 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.

With around 43,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2023). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

Further information at www.zeiss.com

ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions

ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is the leading provider of light, electron, X-ray microscope systems, correlative microscopy and software solutions leveraging AI technologies. The portfolio comprises of products and services for life sciences, materials and industrial research, as well as education and clinical routine applications. The unit is headquartered in Jena. Additional production and development sites are located in Germany, UK, USA and China. ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions is part of the Industrial Quality & Research segment.

Further information at www.zeiss.com/microscopy

About the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS)

The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) is a multi-disciplinary department focusing on discovering the causes of musculoskeletal and inflammatory conditions to deliver excellent and innovative care that improves people’s quality of life. The largest European academic department in its field, NDORMS is part of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford, and is a rapidly growing community of more than 500 orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and scientists all working in the field of musculoskeletal disorders.

The research work of the department takes place in several locations across the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, namely the Botnar Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, and the Kadoorie Centre. The co-location with NHS services puts the department in an excellent position with basic researchers working alongside clinicians. This substantially improves research capacity, improving access for researchers to patients, and facilitating the interaction between clinicians and scientists that is essential for successful medical research.

About IDRM

The Institute of Developmental & Regenerative Medicine (IDRM) is a 6,000 m2, 3-floor, multidisciplinary medical research facility. The unique flagship institution is part of the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division.

The Institute brings together world-leading researchers with cardiovascular, neurological and immunological expertise through a merger of developmental biology and regenerative medicine, dedicated to meeting an ambitious challenge. Two thirds of all deaths world-wide are due to non-communicable diseases, many of which are cardiovascular, neurological or immune system disorders that have a developmental origin, representing an urgent unmet clinical need. The mission of the IDRM is the development of new drugs and therapeutic strategies to tackle these chronic illnesses.

The purpose-built building is sited on the Old Road Medical Campus at the University of Oxford, with access to neighbouring partner research Institutes: Wellcome Centre of Human Genetics; Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Big Data and the Target Discovery Institute and occupants of the BioEscalator, as well as the wider University of Oxford in general.

Scientists from different departments are split across three different research themes, one per floor for cardiology, neurology and immunology. The building is a technically advanced construction with complex mechanical and electrical infrastructure. This infrastructure supports containment level two laboratories, specialist laboratory areas, core advanced imaging and -omics facilities, ultra-low temperature facilities including liquid nitrogen, and glass wash services.

For more information please visit: https://www.idrm.ox.ac.uk/

Media Contacts:

Vybhav Sinha
ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions
tel:+49(0)3641 64-3949

Josie Eade
University of Oxford



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