Imaging Platform Alliance (IPA)

A state-of-the-art Zeiss Gemini 300 scanning electron microscope (SEM) at UEA.

Eastern Arc is developing a framework for sharing equipment across the consortium. One area of common interest and potential benefit is around imaging, both in the facilities each university hosts, and in their imaging analysis capability and expertise.

An Imaging Platform Alliance (IPA) has been set up to facilitate work in this specific area. In July 2022 a memorandum of understanding was signed by PVCs and the DVC at the three EARC universities. This set out the parameters and activity for the IPA.


Underlying the IPA are three principles.

  1. The types of equipment included in the IPA are large, strategic or
    platform facilities, rather than small-scale items held in individual labs.
  2. The administrative processes for accessing the equipment should be,
    where possible, simple and unbureaucratic.
  3. The IPA will, where relevant, include provision for training.

Current progress and future activity

The IPA is currently auditing and preparing an inventory of all the equipment and facilities in scope. It will assess the spare capacity for each and, based on that, create a booking system to enable colleagues at each university to access them. A system of small grants to cover travel and subsistence is also being developed, and details of each of these will be available on this page when complete.

Steering Group

The IPA is led by a steering group. The membership is as follows, but members may be co-opted as necessary.

  • UEA
    • Dr James Mccoll (Bio Imaging Platform Manager)
    • Prof Andrea Munsterberg (Professor of Developmental Biology)
    • Dr Phil Wilson (Instrument Platform Manager)
    • Prof Michael Wormstone (Professor of Ophthalmology)
  • Essex
    • Gregor Grant (Technical Services Manager)
    • Dr Philippe Laissue (Senior Lecturer in Bioimaging)
  • Kent
    • Dan Knox (Head of Embedded IT and Technical Services)
    • Dr Campbell Gourlay (Reader in Cell Biology)
    • Jo Scamp (Technical Manager (Technician Commitment))