Multi-isotope imaging mass spectrometry (MIMS) combines stable isotope tracers with the quantitative imaging of NanoSIMS ion microscopy. With extensive safety precedent, use of stable isotopes in MIMS applications opens the possibility of studying a wide array of biological questions in humans. Here we describe a series of approaches to increase the effective analytical throughput for detecting rare nuclear labeling events with MIMS. At the level of sample preparation, cells in suspension were smeared at high density or pelleted cells were embedded and sectioned to reach nuclear depth. Presputtering conditions were optimized for each cell type to ensure the reproducible sampling of nuclei. Adipose tissue posed a different challenge as the large volume of adipocytes results in an obligatorily low density of nuclei in any given plane. Before introducing samples to the NanoSIMS instrument, all nuclei were fluorescently stained and imaged, and their coordinates were recorded, allowing automated analysis of fields that contained at least one nucleus and therefore minimizing analysis of dead space. These data emphasize unique challenges posed by human studies, where both ethical and practical issues may limit the administration of stable isotope labels for prolonged periods of time as may be necessary to achieve high labeling frequencies in cells that divide infrequently.