About The Cell

This library is a public and easily accessible resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells, capturing a wide diversity of organisms, cell types, and cellular processes. The purpose of this database is to advance research on cellular activity, with the ultimate goal of improving human health.

Cells, the building blocks of tissues, undergo dramatic dynamic rearrangements and changes in shape and motility during our lifetimes; abnormalities in these processes underlie numerous human diseases. It is important that scientists and clinicians fully appreciate the structure and dynamic behavior of cells, including cells from diverse organisms, to make advancements to human health.

The Cell includes images acquired from historical and modern collections, publications, and by recruitment.

Contributions are welcome. Learn more here.


This Image Library is a repository for images and movies of cells from a variety of organisms. It demonstrates cellular architecture and functions with high quality images, videos, and animations. This comprehensive and easily accessible Library is designed as a public resource first and foremost for research, and secondarily as a tool for education. The long-term goal is the construction of a library of images that will serve as primary data for research.

The Library effort represents not only the creation of the electronic infrastructure, but also a systematic protocol for acquisition, evaluation, annotation, and uploading of images, videos, and animations.

Homepage Image

The illustration on the homepage was developed by Dr. Janet Iwasa. Re-use of this image is acceptable under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

The Team

Caroline Kane
Principal Investigator
Professor in Residence Emerita
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California at Berkeley
Janet Iwasa
Co-Principal Investigator
Assistant Research Professor
Department of Biochemistry
University of Utah
David Orloff
Director, Image Library
American Society for Cell Biology
Willy Wong
Senior Software Engineer
National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research
The Cell would not be possible without the support of our Advisory Board and Annotators


We welcome and value comments. Please submit your comments online here or email them to David Orloff, Manager, Image Library, at dorloff@ncmir.ucsd.edu.