The Robarts Vascular, Intravital, MulTiphoton, and Advanced AnaLytics (VITAL) Facility is a multi-user equipment and analysis core facility, funded through Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Ontario Research Fund (ORF) grants submitted by Dr J Geoffrey Pickering, Dr Donald G Welsh and Dr Christopher G Ellis. VITAL Facility is under the umbrella organization of the London Regional Microscopy Facility, which has Dr Donald Welsh as its Director. The VITAL Facility maintains a physical presence at the Robarts Research Institute, in rooms 3277 and 3279.

This CFI-ORF funded facility was designed to provide microvascular and vascular scientists with the advanced technologies necessary to study all aspects of the circulation, including its structure and delivery of nutritive blood flow, in live animals or in ex vivo preparations and immunohistochemistry. This research endeavour will break new ground in bringing together experts who will, in addition to visualizing the dynamic function of the microvasculature, develop the analytical tools necessary for in depth quantitative analysis. We anticipate that this facility, and its various pieces of equipment, will be utilized by members of the greater UWO community, the London Health Sciences network, as well as regional, national and international academic and non-academic users, interested in detecting and treating microvascular disease.

The main objective of the VITAL Facility is to provide access to state of the art microscopy equipment and advanced analytical support on a need basis at a reasonable cost to researchers and health professionals. The VITAL Facility will maintain and operate innovative technologies and software to efficiently implement this objective. The successful implementation of the core objective will result in the operational and financial success of the VITAL Facility and will fulfil the goals of the CFI grant, which is to advance vascular imaging in multiple tissues to aid in research into vascular structures in health and disease models. New research ideas will be borne and tested; research opportunities will be cultivated, and productivity enhanced, and we predict new research dollars will be secured with direct and indirect facility, institute and university benefit.