Skip to Main

General Usage

After-Hours Access

Access to NL1 is by UT Southwestern badge only. Access to K1.222 is by keypad. After-hours access will only be granted to exceptionally qualified users trained and approved by EMCF staff.


Users of electron microscopes and all major equipment must demonstrate competency on the instrument before they may use it unassisted by EMCF staff.

Investigators who have qualified on similar instruments elsewhere must demonstrate competency on the current equipment prior to check-out.

Users must be able to assess the working condition of an instrument. If an instrument is not working properly, the user should report this to EMCF staff by using the "Report an Incident" button on the PPMS home page or at the bottom of the sign up calendar page for the instrument.


All materials stored in the refrigerator, desiccators, or in the prep labs must be labeled with the date and the user's name. Equipment left unattended but still in use must have a note attached designating the user and duration of use.


Because of limited storage space, we cannot store user samples. All samples, including blocks and grids, will be returned to the user upon completion of a project.

Hazardous Materials

Samples that are potentially dangerous to the users or staff of the EMCF may not be brought into the EMCF facilities unless they are rendered harmless according to an IRB approved protocol. The evidence of approval must be on file in the office of the EMCF. This policy includes but is not limited to: bacterial, viral, carcinogenic, and radioactive samples.

The procedures for rendering them harmless must have been approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Research Involving Infectious Agents Committee, and/or the Radiological Safety Board. The evidence of approval must be on file in the office of the EMCF.  

Fixing the samples before bringing them into the EMCF is not sufficient; the full procedure and precautions for preparing the sample for microscopy must be approved in writing after complete discussions with the EMCF staff.

Food, Beverages, Music, and Electronic Devices

Food or beverages are not permitted in the EMCF. This policy reduces the possibility of instrumentation failure and downtime due to spillage accidents.

Music is permitted with earbuds or headphones only.

Users may not use the USB ports to charge phones or other devices. Users may not use USB sticks.