A view of our research building in November 2022
© Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann

Multiscale Imaging Centre

Imaging experts from various faculties under one roof
This is us! A team event at the Multiscale Imaging Centre in February 2024
© Uni Münster/Michael Kuhlmann

The Multiscale Imaging Centre, MIC for short, is the central research building of the Cells in Motion Interfaculty Centre at the University of Münster and is located on Röntgenstraße 16, right in the middle of our university’s life and natural sciences campus. Working groups from various faculties are based here, bringing together a core of our wide range of expertise in biomedical imaging, as well as the corresponding technologies which we use to investigate the behaviour of cells in organisms. Our research building also provides a central meeting point for scientists from Münster as well as international guests involved in the research field of cell dynamics and imaging.

  • What’s behind the building’s name?

    Imaging is a central element in our field of research which we use systematically to analyse cellular processes in organisms. Using a variety of imaging technologies enables us to observe various aspects: high-resolution microscopic methods, for example, enlarge minute structures and permit the highly detailed examination of individual cells and their components – however, only a spatial snapshot of the organism can be analysed. Methods of whole-body imaging such as positron emission tomography or magnetic resonance imaging have a lower resolution than microscopes – but, in contrast, they enable the entire organism with its tissues and organs to be depicted.

    In order to be able to examine cellular behaviour in various spatial dimensions and over time, we incorporate different imaging technologies into our investigations. We want to integrate information gathered from the individual cellular level up to the level of the entire organism, and we expect that this holistic view will allow us to identify links between cellular mechanisms and the function of organs. This specific “multiscale imaging” methodology is what gives our building its name. It requires new chemical-biological strategies for the labelling of cells that enable us to label the same cell type, or even the same cell, with different signal transmitters – e.g. with fluorescent, magnetic or radioactive molecules – because these generate signals that become visible through different imaging technologies. New challenges are also posed in the evaluation of image data. Here we need to integrate data sets from different imaging techniques to recognise complex patterns in cell behaviour on a holistic level. Mathematical models and the training of artificial intelligence – so-called deep learning – play an essential role here.

  • Who is working and meeting in the building?

    Researchers from the fields of medicine, natural sciences, mathematics and computer science work in the area of cell dynamics and imaging; they are already closely networked concerning the content of their research, and now they also come together physically in the Multiscale Imaging Centre. Around 200 people from the Faculties of Medicine, Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Mathematics and Computer Science are working in the building. These include researchers who were newly recruited to strengthen our research focus and who have built up their teams at Münster University. Nuclear medicine specialist Prof. Michael Schäfers is the spokesperson for the Multiscale Imaging Centre.

    Our research building also provides a central meeting point for scientists from Münster and international guests. We are coming together here to listen to talks, take part in symposia or attend Cells in Motion members’ meetings. The Multiscale Imaging Centre is located in the middle of Münster University’s life and natural sciences campus. Its immediate neighbour is the Max Planck Institute – and little more than a stone’s throw away are the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE), the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN), the Center for NanoTechnology (CeNTech) and many other institutes and clinics where scientists investigate topics relating to cell dynamics and imaging.

    Research groups in the Multiscale Imaging Centre

    Additionally, the following groups are part of the MIC team and working in our interdisciplinary spaces while having additional bases within their disciplinary communities or other institutes:

  • How can I book seminar rooms in the MIC?

    Seminar rooms in the Multiscale Imaging Centre (MIC) are primarily used by the research groups based in the building, but booking requests can also be made for other university events. Our calendars gives a first overview of available time slots – for reservations please contact our MIC office (Karin Deffert, Tel. 0251 83-35500 , cim@uni-muenster.de) or the administrative office of your research group.

    Foyer/courtyard (room 100.601)

    Auditorium (room 100.015)

    Seminar room ground floor (room 100.017)

    Seminar room 1st floor (room 110.121 A)

    Seminar room 1st floor (room 110.121)

    Seminar room 1st floor (room 110.127)

    Seminar room 2nd floor (room 120.223 A)

    Seminar room 2nd floor (room 120.223)

    Bookings form organisers outside the MIC

  • How do I get to the Multiscale Imaging Centre?


    Röntgenstraße 16, D-48149 Münster
    Interactive campus map

    Arrival by public transport

    From Münster central station (Münster Westf Hbf) you can reach the MIC by bus in around 30 minutes.

    Bus stops:

    • Schreiberstraße: bus line 5, every 15 minutes from Münster Westf Hbf/bus platform B1 – bus line 11, every 20 minutes from Münster Westf Hbf/bus platform C1
    • Mendelstraße: bus line 2, every 30 minutes from Münster Westf Hbf/bus platform C1
    • P + R Coesfelder Kreuz: bus line 12, every 20 minutes from Münster Westf Hbf/bus platform C1

    Arrival by plane

    • Airport Düsseldorf (DUS): Several train connections to Münster central station (Münster Westf Hbf), travel time approximately 1,5 hours
    • Airport Münster-Osnabrück (FMO): Small airport, bus connection to Münster central station (Münster Westf Hbf), bus line S50, leaving every 60 minutes, travel time approximately 30 minutes

    (Status as of November 2023)

© Universität Münster - Michael C. Moeller

From the cell to the patient: new MIC research building starts its work

Introducing the Multiscale Imaging Centre (MIC): Our new research building brings together research groups from the fields of Medicine, Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Mathematics and Computer Science. On floor space of 10,000 square metres over three storeys, the researchers are using biomedical imaging to investigate the behaviour of cells in organisms. Three research groups gave some insights behind the scenes – from small to large.

Building the Multiscale Imaging Centre


May 2017: Ready to go! The construction site sign is up and building permission has been granted.
May 2017: Ready to go! The construction site sign is up and building permission has been granted.
© Uni MS/Sylwia Marschalkowski
  • Prior to this, the building site was already searched thoroughly for unexploded bombs from World War Two – luckily, none were found.
    © Uni MS/Sylwia Marschalkowski
  • July 2017: The foundation stone for the Multiscale Imaging Centre is laid! Scientists from the “Cells in Motion” research network who will be doing research in the new building are delighted, as are the Deans of the Faculties involved. The Federal government and the regional State governments had agreed on the construction of the research building after a corresponding recommendation from the German Council of Science and Humanities. Nuclear medicine specialist Prof. Michael Schäfers (third from the left) is the spokesperson for the Multiscale Imaging Centre.
    © Uni MS/Christina Heimken
  • A time capsule is filled with daily newspapers, coins and building plans by representatives of the Ministry of Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the City of Münster, Münster University, the Construction and Real Estate Management Authority for NRW which is carrying out the project for Münster University, and the Gerber architectural practice. The time capsule is then deposited in the foundation walls of the new building.
    © Uni MS/Christina Heimken
  • August 2017: The basement and the lift shaft have now been prepared, …
    © Uni MS/Friedemann Kiefer
  • … and the water and electricity mains for the building have been laid.
    © Uni MS/Manfred Thomas
  • April 2018: With two cranes, the shell construction is growing upwards fast. The workers on the site are currently completing the first storey. Three more are to follow.
    © Uni MS/Sylwia Marschalkowski
  • September 2018: Workers put the first windows into the façade of the Multiscale Imaging Centre.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The interior of the building takes shape, too. A view from the second floor, showing the foyer on the right, which will be flooded with daylight through a glass roof later, and an atrium, open to the sky, on the left.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The atrium, open to the sky, lets in the daylight for the adjacent rooms. The wall on the right will be planted out with some urban greenery later.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The auditorium, in which lectures will be given and symposiums held.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The future laboratory area.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • January 2019: Having built a prototype laboratory, the planning team is finalizing the last details concerning the equipment to be installed in the labs. Of particular importance are functionality and safety issues.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • As to the labs’ appearance, the floor covering will be anthracite, and a glass front will separate the documentation zone with PC work stations (foreground) from the lab area.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The building’s façade will have the clinker brick design typical of the Münsterland region. The photo shows a view from Röntgenstraße, on which the main entrance will be located (view from the south-west).
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • December 2019: The first large device has arrived at our new research building – a cyclotron, i.e., a particle accelerator which will be used to produce radioactive substances for medical imaging. A crane was used to carefully lift the cyclotron under the building’s rear protrusion.
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • With exacting precision, the team placed the device, which weighs approximately 19 tons, on mobile feet …
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • … and then decoupled it from the crane.
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • On a narrow access path, the heavy device was pulled …
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • … and carefully pushed into the building.
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • Finally, the cyclotron is precisely positioned in the basement of the building. It is surrounded by a lead-filled shielding, which ensures radiation protection. Later, radiochemical laboratories will be set up in the adjacent rooms.
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann
  • March 2020: Spring sun and blue skies all around our research building. This is how we imagined it – compare the design by the Dortmund architectural practice of Gerber Architekten on the right! As a result of the sloping terrain and taking account of the adjacent buildings, our building has five floors in the northern part and three in the southern part. The outside impression of the compact, tiered structure is dominated by a splendid entrance area, broad window hinges and a brick clinker façade typical of the region.
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann, Gerber Architekten
  • September 2020: In the laboratories of the Multiscale Imaging Centre, a glass front with sliding doors separates the documentation zone (left) from the experimental zone (right).
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The documentation zone (back) will later house computer workstations where researchers can log and evaluate experiments. They will be sitting in a protected area where, for example, laboratory noises are acoustically significantly attenuated.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The close proximity to the experimental zone will allow researchers to keep an eye on ongoing experiments at the same time.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • A look into the foyer of the Multiscale Imaging Centre. In the future, this space will provide a place for hosting events. With its high ceilings the foyer extends over three floors. Daylight floods it through a glass roof.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • From the foyer, you can directly enter the future auditorium. Here, the final installations on the ceiling are being carried out before the ceiling is clad.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • April 2021: In the auditorium, the framework for the seating is now in place. In future, it will have space for almost 200 people.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The view into the building’s foyer from the first floor entrance area …
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • … and from the upper floor. On the right, the installation of an artwork is taking place. On the right, the cantilevered stairs lead to the open, upper floors.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • Areas adjacent to the atrium (right) provide space for informal work meetings and joint breaks.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • The green wall in the atrium has now been planted out. The atrium will provide space for breaks in the fresh air.
    © Uni MS/Erk Wibberg
  • January 2022: The auditorium offering 178 seats
    © Uni MS/Michael Kuhlmann

Construction of our Multiscale Imaging Center began in 2017. The buidling has approximately 4300 m2 of floor space being used for laboratories and 1500 m2 for offices, seminar rooms and a lecture hall. The Federal government and the regional State governments had agreed on the construction of the research building in June 2014 after a recommendation from the German Council of Science and Humanities.