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history focus26eueuJuly/August 2017 | MicroscopyandAnalysisMike Marko has been very active within the Microscopy Society of America for many years, chairing numerous committees, organizing courses, and serving as President in 2016.Describing himself as 'an enthusiastic member' of MSA, he believes that the Society is the place to go to learn what's new in all fields of microscopy.However, he is also passionate about the history of the Society and microscopy, currently acting as Archivist for the organisation, collecting historical media and helping to preserve important equipment.Reflecting on the last 75 years of the MSA and microscopy, Marko highlights how the organisation was devoted to electron microscopy in its first fifty years.As he points out, the first series-produced, commercial TEM - the 1938 Siemens ÜM-100 - followed development work led by Ernst Ruska, for which he received a Nobel prize in 1985. However, Canadian expat, James Hillier, led the development of the first commercial TEM in the US, the 1940 RCA EMB.By the time of the first conference on electron microscopy, in 1942, in Chicago, around 30 TEMs were in use in the US. The Society was founded shortly afterwards as the "Electron Microscope Society of America",with most of the founders being associated with the Radio Corporation of America, RCA.The first regular annual meeting of EMSA was in 1944, in Chicago, and as Marko points out: "In the very beginning, members were mainly concerned with keeping the microscopes working.""Once the microscopes were working, the next challenge was preparing specimens, since neither microtomy nor embedding media had been developed," he adds.At the time, researchers including Canadian expat, Keith Porter, a pioneering electron microscopist and EMSA's only two-time President, were preparing air-dried whole-mount samples. Early pictures such as Porter's started a new field of study, which was ultimately named Cell Biology at a 1956 meeting at the NIH.By the mid-1960s, traditional biological TEM had come of age, after the development of improved fixation and staining, resin embedding, ultramicrotomy, and diamond knives by Porter, J. Luft, F. Sjöstrand, H. Fernández-Morán, and many others. Retrospective recognition of the contributions to cell biology by traditional electron microscopy came with the 1974 Nobel prize to Albert Claude, Christian de Duve, and George Palade. Beyond biologyInitially, biological applications dominated electron microscopy. However in 1956, the group of Sir Peter Hirsch at the Cavendish lab, Cambridge, recorded the first images of dislocations in metals.By the late 1970s, British metallurgist, Gareth Thomas, had set up the National Centre for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, aiming for atomic resolution by the use a of million-volt TEM. And following the realization of aberration correction, applications in materials science really began to dominate electron microscopy.According to Marko, the principles of aberration correction were laid out in 1947 by Otto Scherzer, with critical theoretical development work carried out by his student Harald Rose. Max Haider, a student of Rose, went onto to apply this aberration History under the Mike Marko has been an electron microscopist for 44 years. A founding member of the HVEM lab, in 1976, and the NIH Biotechnological Resource, in 1981, he is currently a Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY. Here he is manager of the 3D-EM Facility which includes a single-platform FIB-SEM and a custom-made 300-kV phase-plate cryo-TEM. He leads two NIH-funded projects: cryo-focused-ion-beam (FIB) milling to prepare vitreously frozen specimens for high-resolution cryo-TEM, and phase-plate imaging to improve contrast of vitreously frozen specimens in the cryo-TEM.Just before the 75th anniversary meeting of the Microscopy Society of America, part of M&M2017, Microscopy and Analysis catches up with MSA Archivist and past-president, Professor Mike Marko, to reflect on the past, present and future of microscopyhistoric James Hillier and Alexander Zworykin with RCA's electron microscope, the EMB [RCA], main image, right