The origin of the FOM conference series were the three-dimensional imaging capabilities of confocal microscopes together with the associated 3D image processing methodologies that developed in the mid 80's. The technology for optical microscopy has been evolved rapidly with the development of opto electronic technologies such as femtosecond lasers and highly sensitive photo-detectors, together with a wide variety of new fluorescent staining methodologies and digital image analysis routines for 3D and live cell 4D data sets. Nonlinear optical microscopy including multi-photon excited fluorescence microscopy, time-resolved micro-spectroscopy, and second-harmonic and coherent anti-Stokes Raman are making imaging of molecular compositions possible. High-resolution optical microscopy, including near-field scanning optical microscopy, four-pi confocal microscopy, and coherence probe microscopy also constitute a major research topic that progresses optical microscopy towards nanoscopy.

These timely conferences reflect and promote the most recent developments and offer a most efficient meeting point for developers and users working in these rapidly evolving fields and play an important role in the dissemination of information about new developments with special attention to joint applications with bioinformatics, nanobiotechnology and bioengineering. A technical exhibition will show the most recent developments in microscopy and associated techniques.

The present Focus on Microscopy 2008 conference in Osaka-Awaji, Japan, April 13-16, 2008 incorporates and can be seen as a continuation of the