TOPIC: Imaging Life at High Spatiotemporal Resolution
SPEAKER: Eric Betzig (Group Leader, Janelia Research Campus, HHMI)
DATE: Monday, March 23, 2015 TIME: 4:00-5:00 pm
LOCATION: Lecture Room (Room 229) Krasnow Institute Building, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
As our understanding of biological systems as increased, so has the complexity of our questions and the need for more advanced optical tools to answer them. For example, there is a hundred-fold gap between the resolution of conventional optical microscopy and the scale at which molecules self-assemble to form sub-cellular structures. Furthermore, as we attempt to peer more closely at the dynamic complexity of living systems, the actinic glare of our microscopes can adversely influence the specimens we hope to study. Finally, the heterogeneity of living tissue can seriously impede our ability to image at high resolution, due to the resulting warping and scattering of light rays. I will describe three areas focused on addressing these challenges: super-resolution microscopy for imaging specific proteins within cells down to near-molecular resolution; plane illumination microscopy using non-diffracting beams for noninvasive imaging of three-dimensional dynamics within live cells and embryos; and adaptive optics to recover optimal images from within optically heterogeneous specimens.
Physicist and neuroscientist based at the Janelia Research Campus. Awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”.
Eric Betzig develops novel optical imaging tools in an effort to open new windows into molecular, cellular, and neurobiology. Betzig is focusing on improvements in five areas: Spatial Resolution, Temporal Resolution, Labeling Technology, Deep-Tissue Imaging, and Noninvasive, Data-Rich Imaging.