Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory

Providing a unique collection of leading-edge optical microscopes, small-animal imaging devices, and fluorescent probes

Becoming A User of the ALMS

Please follow the steps below to become a user of the Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy Lab, located in the California Nanosystems Institute at UCLA 


Complete and upload the CNSI Technology Center User Agreement Form.

Complete and upload the CNSI Building Access Request Form.

All forms will be uploaded in step 2.


Complete and submit the ALMS access form. You will need to upload the CNSI Technology User Agreement and the CNSI Building Access Request Form from step 1 during this process.

Step 3

Create a CNSI Lab Management System account. If you already have a CLMS account, you can add ALMS to your current account by logging into your account and follow these steps: select “My Account” >>> “Lab Information,” scroll down to ALMS, and select “Request Authorization.”

CLMS is used to enter billing information. The system accepts campus FAUs, POs, or business credit cards. Contact for questions related to this process.

Step 4

In order to use the ALMS facility, you must be trained on the specific instruments you would like to use. Please fill out the ALMS imaging session request form to request training. You may bring a sample to the training session.

Step 5

Complete the UCLA Environment Health & Safety online Embedded Laser Safety Training course. Once you have completed the training, please upload the certificate here

Members of the UCLA community can access the training course via the WorkSafe Web Portal.

If you are not a member of the UCLA community, please follow the steps outlined in this document to obtain access to the training course.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Do I have to be affiliated with UCLA to use the facility? What are the rates?

We are a completely open access facility and accept users from all backgrounds, regardless of if you are in academia or industry. Rates do differ based on affiliation and can be found here.

Where is ALMS?

The Advanced Light Microscopy & Spectroscopy Lab is located in the basement of the CNSI building at UCLA. The facility is open to users 24/7, lobby and elevators require badge access after 5PM and on the weekends, and lab spaces always require badge access. Feel free to contact to arrange a tour of the facilities if desired.

I need images ASAP! Can I use the ALMS immediately?

Yes! If you would like to forgo training, we also offer ‘assisted usage’, where our staff will operate the microscope on your behalf, for an additional fee. If you would like immediate training, we offer personalized 1:1 training sessions as well. Click here to request a training session or assisted usage session.

I will need ALMS staff assistance throughout my experiment (i.e. clearing of large samples, live samples for several days of imaging, complex data analysis, etc) – how can I save on hourly costs?

We also offer a ‘project rate’ billing option where you can cover the cost of an entire experiment under one flat fee rather than hourly fees. Please email to discuss setting up a project.

How do I decide which microscope is right for my samples?

We are happy to help you decide on a microscope, please email us at with a description of your sample and experimental needs. The more detail, the better. Please reference the flowchart below to visualize this process.