The Boulder Laboratory
For 3-D Electron Microscopy of Cells

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National Institutes of Health
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

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The Boulder Laboratory for 3D Electron Microscopy of Cells Department of MCD Biology
Campus Box 347
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309


Dr Keith Porter

1912: Dr. Keith Ported born in Yarmoth, Nova Scotia where his family had farmed for several generations and his father was a cabinet maker.

1934-1960: Porter (2nd from left) graduated from Acadia University in Nova Scotia then left Canada for Harvard University and graduate school. Dr. Porter did post-doctoral studies at Princeton University and continued his work at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. During this time Dr. Porter initiated the study of cell architecture using electron microscopy and advanced data acquisition by developing a microtome for cutting thin sections of plastic embedded cells and tissue.

1961-1970: Dr. Porter was a professor and later the chair of the Biological laboratories at Harvard. Here he worked with students and trained many young scientist.

1970: Keith Porter moved to Boulder and the University of Colorado to establish a new Department of Cell Biology and the best in modern electron microscopy laboratory.

Over the course of his career Dr. Porter made numerous contributions to cell biology by describing:

  • the synthesis and assembly of collagen
  • the role of coated vesicles in endocytosis
  • the process of lipid digestion in the intestine
  • the universality of the 9 + 2 axoneme in cilia
  • the ultrastucture of endoplasmic and sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • the role of T-tubules in the excitation-contraction of muscle
  • the role of the cytoskeleton in cell shape changes

1983: Dr Porter retired from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Richard McIntosh

1968: Richard McIntosh graduated from Harvard University in the Biophysics graduate program with Keith Porter. Dr. McIntosh was offered an assistant professorship at Harvard where he tackled the research question of microtubule assisted chromosomal movement on the mitotic spindle.

1970: Dr. McIntosh came to Boulder where he worked with Dr Porter and others to construct a conclusive model for mitosis.

1983: Dr. Richard McIntosh took over the directorship of the High Voltage Electron Microscopy Lab, which became known as the Boulder Laboratory for 3-D Electron Microscopy of Cells (BL3DEMC). As a Professor and researcher at the University of Colorado, Richard McIntosh trained many students and scientist. Dr McIntosh is highly regarded in his field and by those who know him as an articulate, creative, and thoughtful human being.

2000: Dr. McIntosh is awarded the title of Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado.

2005: Dr. McIntosh retired and turned the direction of the Lab over to Dr Andreas Hoenger.

Currently: Dr. MacIntosh continues to direct laboratory studies investigating the interaction between microtubules and other molecules and structures important in chromosomal motion during mitosis, and the structure of mitotic spindles. Dick also serves as a consultant on projects in the BL3DEMC and the Hoenger Lab in his retirement