Van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM)

The aim of the van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM) is to boost life sciences research where light microscopy plays a central role. LCAM is a collaboration between Faculty of Science (LCAM-FNWI) of the University of Amsterdam, the Academic Medical Centre (LCAM-AMC) and the Dutch Cancer Institute (LCAM-NKI) in Amsterdam, The Netherlandslogo_LCAM

LCAM-FNWI is embedded within the section of  Molecular Cytology of the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS). The staff of LCAM, headed by prof. dr T.W.J. Gadella, has the expertise, skills and experience to give professional support and coaching to researchers within and outside SILS to use advanced microscopy for their research. LCAM has a complete range of microscopes, image analysis and data storage equipment to facilitate scientific research. LCAM translates biological problems into microscopical solutions.

In addition to enabling life sciences research within the section of Molecular Cytology and scientific collaborations with other research groups, LCAM-FNWI works on the development of novel microscopy and analysis techniques that enable new biological research. New microscopic techniques are being developed in close collaboration with commercial companies. Currently most prominent developments are within the domain of Functional Imaging (FRET, FLIM, FC(C)S, PCH, FRAP) and Super Resolution Microscopy (SIM, RCM, PALM, STORM).


Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
LCAM is named after Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632 – August 26, 1723) who was a Dutch tradesman and scientist. He is commonly known as “the Father of Microbiology”, and considered to be the first microbiologist. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology.

Raised in Delft, Netherlands, Leeuwenhoek worked as a draper in his youth, and founded his own shop in 1654. He made a name for himself in municipal politics, and eventually developed an interest in lensmaking. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, and which are now referred to as microorganisms.

He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa, and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels). Leeuwenhoek did not author any books; his discoveries came to light through correspondence with the Royal Society, which published his letters. For more info click here.