The NIC@HMS is a light microscopy core facility that has been supporting the HMS research community since 2001


The NIC@HMS is staffed with PhD-level expert microscopists who can help you design, execute and troubleshoot imaging experiments. Our Director has 20+ years experience advising research scientists on quantitative imaging applications. Our consultation services are free and open to everyone.



The NIC@HMS is passionate about microscopy education. We offer the greater Boston area free microscopy workshops on a wide range of techniques.



Our state-of-the-art Nikon microscopes include widefield, point scanning and spinning disk confocals, TIRF and super-resolution instruments. Our scopes can do live imaging, FRET, Ca++ imaging, slide scanning, long-term (many hours to days) imaging, FRAP/photo-activation and more.


Meet our team

Jennifer Waters, PhD
Jennifer Waters, PhDDirector
Jennifer has been directing the NIC@HMS since it opened in 2001. She has over 20 years experience teaching microscopy and advising research scientists on a wide range of quantitative imaging techniques. In addition to the microscopy courses and workshops she has developed at Harvard, she has been organizing the annual Quantitative Imaging: From Acquisition to Analysis course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 2011 and is the creator of the MIcrocourses YouTube channel ( In 2019, she received a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Imaging Scientist award.
Talley Lambert, PhD
Talley Lambert, PhDAssociate Director of Imaging Technology
Talley is our super-resolution and light sheet microscopy expert (Lambert & Waters, JCB 216 (1): 53 (2016)), and the creator of the Fluorescent Protein Database (; Lambert, Nature Methods 16, 277–278 (2019). Talley identifies and researches emerging imaging methods and technologies that may be beneficial to the HMS community.
Anna Payne-Tobin Jost, PhD
Anna Payne-Tobin Jost, PhDAssociate Director of Imaging Education
Anna is our microscopy education guru. She has revamped and expanded our popular workshop course program in the past few years. She is particularly interested in providing users with the tools and knowledge necessary to enhance the reproducibility of their imaging experiments (Jost & Waters, JCB 218 (5): 1452 (2019)).
Rylie Walsh, PhD
Rylie Walsh, PhDFellow
Rylie is a post-doctoral fellow in the core. She is learning to run a core facility and is working on mastering a wide range of imaging modalities (


To enhance basic research by providing access to state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging equipment

To provide dedicated expertise for ongoing technical consultation and support

To provide training courses on basic and advanced light microscopy techniques for the benefit of HMS and the greater Boston research community

To introduce the latest innovations in light microscopy and imaging to the HMS community

To serve as a learning center for our corporate partners and contributors

Our mission is supported by generous contributions from….

Our Corporate Partners & Contributors

Nikon Instruments, Inc.

Nikon provides us with microscopes, software, automation and support


Micro Video Instruments, Inc

MVI is Nikon’s local dealer


Located on the Harvard Medical School Quad

Our Sister Nikon Imaging Centers