Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Histology Core

Revised Access Policy during the Pandemic

Training and Consultations

In-person training is currently suspended; however the Histology Core is pleased to offer virtual training for self-service users. Virtual training is available for:

  • Paraffin Microtome – Basic Operation and Safety
  • Cryostat Microtome – Basic Operation and Safety
  • Cryofilm Sectioning

If you are interested in receiving training, please email the Core Technical Director, Dr Waixing Tang. He will email you a link to the training video. After watching the video, email Dr Tang to arrange a phone call to review key training aspects, including safety. He will then provide you with calendar access so you can sign up and use the equipment. Note that standard training fees still apply.

While there will be no in person consultations due to social distancing restrictions, these will be held virtually as needed.

Full Service Histology

We will continue to offer full service histology. Please fill in the project request form. Email the electronic copy to Tang with a drop off date, and leave the paper copy and samples on top of the tissue processor in the hallway. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions

Self Service Histology

The histology core has implemented special rules for self-service users during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Please be aware that these policies will be strictly enforced. Any violations will result in access to the core being terminated.

  • Facial masks MUST be worn at all times. Standard PPE and safety rules must be followed at all times.
  • Per McKay Lab policy: A lab coat, safety glasses and gloves MUST be worn at all times. We only provide gloves and disinfectant spray. You MUST bring your own safety glasses and lab coat. Sharing lab coats and safety glasses is not permitted. If you normally wear prescription glasses, safety glasses must also be worn over these glasses.
  • Equipment must be sanitized using disinfectant before AND after use.
  • All core users are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Penn users must follow University mandatory vaccination requirements.
Equipment Reservations
  • Users who have received training on specific equipment will be provided access to Google Calendars to make reservations
  • For McKay lab users, reservations should use the following format:
    • PI Initials:PennKey:cell phone number
  • For non-McKay users, reservations should use the following format:
    • PI Name:User name:cell phone number

As a reminder, the equipment locations are as follows:

  • Bay 344B: Cryostat I (LEICA), Tissue Embedding Center, Paraffin Microtome B, Plastic Microtome
  • Bay 345B: Cryostat II (Thermo),
  • Bay 364B: Cryostat III (Thermo), Paraffin Microtome A (Thermo), Paraffin Microtome D (Leica)
  • Room 342A: Eclipse 90i Microscope
Additional Action Items for Non-Penn Users
  • Complete new mandatory EHRS safety training. Specifically, users must register with EHRS at this site.  Once registered, you will be directed to an EHRS webpage for training.  When finished, you will be able to download a training certificate and will be forwarded directly to a webform to notify EHRS of completion.  You will receive an email confirmation of your completed training. When completing the form, please enter the following information in the relevant fields:
    • Principal Investigator/Program Director: Lachlan Smith and Ling Qin
    • Department/Program: Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders Histology Core
    • Building Location: Stemmler Hall Room 350
    • Supervisor: Waixing Tang


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