Policy Intent

Wellman’s Photopathology Core equipment and services are made available at no direct cost to all Wellman research teams. These resources are supported fully from Wellman Center core funding. It is a testament to the value of this core that one or more of its services are used by virtually every WCP research team.

As a consequence of broad utilization of the core resources, increased management oversight has become necessary to ensure fair scheduling of use and proper operation and maintenance of instruments. These policies delineate user responsibilities with respect to instrument use, facility access and scheduling, and state the penalties that may be imposed for violations of the policies (see last section).

User Classification

All users will be assigned by the Core Director to an access status which will govern their access to specific core instruments. Users can advance their access status through additional training.
     ☐  Supervised users--require assistance from photopath personnel in setting up and/or performing
           their experiments.
      ☐  Independent users-- have received sufficient training to enable them to set up and operate specific
           instruments independently during work hours.
      ☐  Advanced users--have a proven track record of safe instrument operation and have received
           advanced training providing them a thorough understanding of specific instrumentation and the
           capability to operate, safely start up/shut down and respond to instrument problems in after
           hours use.

Instrument Scheduling and Access

       1.  Supervised users for a specific instrument must schedule use by directly contacting photopath
       2.  The calendar scheduler is available only to approved Wellman Center researchers. Photopath
             staff will provide instructions to access the scheduler to approved users. Access to the calendar
             scheduler should not be shared with non-approved users.
       3.  Independent and Advanced users for specific instruments may schedule their use directly on the
             Photopath calendar scheduler.
       4.  Advanced users must pre-schedule after hours use and obtain a key for the instrument room
             from photopath core staff before 6pm.
       5.  Photopath core staff will inform users as soon as feasible if a scheduled use must be cancelled
             because of instrument malfunction or servicing.

       1.   Photopath Core’s standard hours of operation are weekdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm. After
              hour and weekend access is allowed only to instrument specific Advanced users.
       2.  For after hours use, Advanced users must obtain an instrument room key from Photopath staff.
       3.  All users must record their hours of use and any instrument related problems encountered on an
              instrument specific log sheet. Log sheets will be placed adjacent to each instrument.
       4.  Photopath core staff may revoke Independent status privileges and require remedial training for
              users who habitually experience problems with instrument operation.

Table 1: Independent Use Privileges
  Confocal FACS
Axiophot Axiovert Nuance HM550
none none none none none none none none none
9a-6p By special approval only 9a-6p 9a-6p 9a-6p 9a-6p 9a-6p 9a-6p 9a-6p
Any time By special approval only Any time Any time Any time Any time Any time Any time Any time

Cancellation and Delay

       1.   At least 24 hours notice is expected for cancellation of reserved instrument time to accommodate
              other users.
             ☐  Cancellations >24 hours before scheduled use can be made: 1) in the calendar scheduler by
                   Independent and Advanced users; 2) email to Jenny Zhao for Supervised users.
             ☐  Cancellations between 4-24 hours before scheduled use require an email to for
                   all users.
             ☐  Cancellations <4 hours before scheduled use require a phone call to the Photopath Lab
                   (617-726-6983) for all users.
       2.   All users have a responsibility to start on time. Supervised users who anticipate a late start must
              notify photopath staff at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled start to minimize inconvenience to
              core staff and wasteful instrumentation start-up expenses.
       3.  Photopath core staff will terminate the appointment for Supervised users who have not arrived
              within 30 minutes of their scheduled appointment without providing advance notice.
       4.  Users whose required instrument use will run past their scheduled time, for whatever reason,
              must relinquish the instrument to a subsequent user at the scheduled end time, at the discretion
              of the subsequent user.


       1.  To receive Independent and Advanced access status, a user must undertake an appropriate level
              of training in the safe and proper operation of the relevant instrument by Photopath Core Staff.
              Photopath core staff will provide both individual and group training.
       2.  Users who incur a penalty for violating policy will have their access reduced to Supervised status
              and be required to undergo remedial training.

Instrumentation Usage

       1.  Users are expected to conscientiously follow the standard operating procedures that are posted at
              each instrument.
       2.  Users are responsible for reporting any abnormal observations or instrument problems to
              Photopath Core Staff immediately. Failure to report the identified problem may result in user
              being held responsible for the problem.
       3.  Instrument default settings and optical filter configurations should not be changed without
              Photopath core staff permission. If settings or filters are changed for a particular experiment,
              they should be returned to the default configuration after using.
       4.  Users are responsible for keeping the instrument and core lab environment safe and clean.

Radioactivity and Biohazard Materials

       1.  Users may not use radioactive or infectious materials (bacteria, virus, and fungi) on any core
       2.  Users who propose to use BL2 specimens or materials must first discuss proper procedures with
              and obtain approval from photopath core staff.

Radioactivity and Biohazard Materials

       1.  Users may not use radioactive or infectious materials (bacteria, virus, and fungi) on any core
       2.  Users who propose to use BL2 specimens or materials must first discuss proper procedures with
              and obtain approval from photopath core staff.

Additional Histology Core Policy

       1.  Histology projects are served on a first come first serve basis according the project requisition
              number generated.
       2.  Rush orders will be accepted only if they can be accommodated. Plan ahead to avoid rush orders.
       3.  Photopath core staff will notify users by email or phone when their project slides have been
              completed. Users are responsible for retrieving ready slides within two weeks and Photopath staff
              will not be responsible for slides left beyond two weeks.

Additional Microscopy/Imaging Core Policy

       1.  Always properly clean the oil objective lens and the slide containing oil after use and BEFORE
              switching to another objective lens. Use ONLY the lens paper provided to clean objective lenses.
       2.  Use only CDs or DVDs (and never USB drives) to copy files from the Olympus FV1000 confocal
       3.  For the Olympus confocal system, the last user of the day is responsible for turning off the system
              and ensuring all of the lasers are properly turned off (all lights are off, except for the MaiTai
              power supply and the Chiller). Two-photon users will be required to receive additional training.

Additional Flow Cytometry Core Policy

       1.  Due to the complexity and fragility of the FACSAria, all users will be considered Supervised
              status, except in rare instances.
       2.  Users should notify flow cytometry core staff in advance of the types of fluorophores proposed for
              the scheduled experiment to ensure proper instrument configuration prior to experiment start.
       3.  All sorting experiments require a minimum of 30 min pre-sort set-up time. Advanced notice for
              delay or cancellation is critical.
       4.  All the cells for use on the FACSAria must be filtered with 45 µm filters prior to being assayed (or
              sorted) on FACSAria. Photopathology core staff reserves the right to not accept improperly
              filtered samples.
       5.  FACSCalibur users must empty the waste tank and fill the sheath fluid tank after finishing their

Violations of Policies

Minor violations involve non-adherence to administrative processes or carelessness with instruments that do not seriously impact the functionality of the instrument or its availability to subsequent users. Examples of minor violations include:
             ☐  Late for scheduled use without adequate notice as required in the Policy.
             ☐  Not recording usage on log book
             ☐  Not following posted standard operating procedures for instrument
             ☐  Not cleaning oil lens after use
      Minor violators will be granted two warnings after which any subsequent minor violations will
      subject to being locked out of instrument use and access to the calendar scheduler for up to 2 weeks,
      or alternatively project PI pays $500 fine.

Major violations involve actions that seriously damage instruments or otherwise have the potential to significantly impact the availability and/or safety of core resources for other users. Examples of major violations include:
             ☐  Not locking instrument room door after overnight/afterhours use.
             ☐  Improperly shutting down or neglecting to shut down an instrument after use
             ☐  Causing damage that leads to loss of instrument functionality.
             ☐  Not showing up for scheduled use without providing notice to Photopath core staff
             ☐  Not reporting instrument damage/malfunction
             ☐  Sharing calendar access with unauthorized users
      Major violators will be granted one warning, after which any subsequent major violations will be
      subject to being locked out of instrument use and access to the calendar scheduler for up to 4 weeks,
      or alternatively project PI pays a $1000 fine.

Egregious violations involve callous or purposeful disregard for core staff, policies or instrumentation. Examples of egregious violations include:
             ☐  Being abusive or threatening to Photopath staff
             ☐  Allowing non-approved users after hours access to instruments
             ☐  Doing damage to instruments and not reporting damage to photopath personnel
    Egregious violations will be addressed on a case specific basis and may involve permanent loss of
    access to core resources.


             ☐  Costs to repair instrument damage in excess of $1000 which are not covered by a service
                   contract will be charged to project PI.
             ☐  Violation warnings and penalties will be sent by email to the violator and copied to the project
             ☐  Penalized violators will have their access privileges reduced to Supervised status until they
                   have undergone remedial training.