Conference Sessions
Life Sciences: Tools and Techniques (LST)

LST.1: Innovations and Developments to Deliver Improvements to Resolution, Application and/or Workflow in Cryo Electron Microscopy 

Sessions specifically targeted at innovations in cryo electron microscopes and the supporting instrumentation which is critical to the delivery of high resolution cryo electron microscopy. The power of single particle techniques and cryo tomography has driven a resolution revolution in electron microscopy.  However, these instruments are dependent on sample preparation and the quality of these samples.  Poor sample quality, lack of reproducibility and a high skill barrier to the use of supporting technologies is often limiting the potential of the cryo electron microscope.  New innovations in preparing TEM grids for cryo electron microscopy, cryo focused ion beam lamella production, cryo lamella lift out, integration of electrical stimulation into the high-pressure freezer, cryo CLEM are just a few examples of these tools. The cryo electron microscope is also evolving with new detectors, STEM imaging and automatic data collection. 

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation – Cryo

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
  • Invited Speakers
    • Dave Bhella (University of Glasgow, UK)

      Talk Title: The Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging, a national centre for structural biology research built around the JEOL CryoARM 300

      David Bhella is professor of structural virology and associate director of the MRC – University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR). Research in his laboratory focusses on the structural biology of viruses and virus-host interactions, using cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) and computational three-dimensional image reconstruction. Viruses under investigation include influenza A virus, respiratory syncytial virus, herpesviruses, adenoviruses and caliciviruses. David obtained his PhD from Birkbeck college, University of London under the supervision of Professor Helen Saibil FRS in 1998. He then took up a research associate position at the MRC Virology Unit at the University of Glasgow (now the CVR), tasked to establish a structural biology programme by CryoEM. He attained Programme Leader status in 2011 and was promoted to chair of structural virology in 2019. David recently founded and is director of the Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging. A national facility for structural biology research by Cryo-EM.



      Talk Title: Structural and Chemical insights with CryoSTEM tomography

      Sharon Grayer Wolf is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Electron Microscopy Unit at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Sharon received her MSc and PhD under Prof. Leslie Leiserowitz at the Weizmann Institute, studying lipid systems at the air-water interface by surface X-ray techniques.  Sharon performed her postdoctoral training with the late Dr. Kenneth H Downing at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, and together with fellow postdoc Eva Nogales, solved the first high resolution structure of tubulin by electron crystallography. Sharon returned to the Weizmann Institute in 1998. In 2014, Sharon and collaborators Prof. Michael Elbaum and Dr. Lothar Houben introduced the technique of cryo-STEM tomography (CSTET) and in-situ chemical characterization of vitrified cells.  Sharon is continuing development of CSTET as a tool for structural cell biology. Sharon was recently awarded with the Shimon and Golde Picker Endowed Chair in Advanced Electron Microscopy.

LST.2: Recent Advances in Cellular Cryo-Electron Tomography

In recent years, cryo-EM has become an important technique to analyze the structure of molecules. Similarly, important will be the implementation of these structures in the cellular  context. In order to study cells in their native environment cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET)  is the method of choice. In cryo-EM, the sample remains in a close-to-native state by rapid freezing of the EM grid, which turns water in the sample into amorphous ice unlike in conventional EM where the sample is dehydrated and stained with heavy metals leading to artifacts. Cells can be grown on EM grids or the sample i.e. cell organelles, bacteria, viruses, can directly be added to the EM grid. Furthermore, with the addition of fluorescent markers samples can be imaged at a cryo-fluorescence microscope. The combination of these techniques, referred to as cryo-light and electron microscopy (CLEM), allows for the localization of cellular structures, which can then be pinpointed with high structural resolution by cryo-ET. In this session, we will introduce methodological advances and strategies that can be employed to cope with e.g. thick cells or a crowded cellular environment. Methods such as cryo-FIBSEM to thin thick specimen, cryo-FIB-lift-out, and Cryo-fluorescence microscopy have become invaluable tools prior to studying the specimen by cryo-ET.

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation – Cryo-tomography

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs

      After completing her Master in Biology at Rostock University, Julika Radecke, moved to Bern where she obtained her PhD in Neurobiology under the supervision of Benoit Zuber. She studied the morphological changes of synaptic vesicle exocytosis by time-resolved cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). Furthermore, in collaboration she investigated the ultrastructure of the pore forming toxin pneumolysin. For her postdoc in Copenhagen with Jakob Sørensen she obtained an early postdoc mobility fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to study the effects of SNARE mutations on cultured primary neurons by cryo-ET. Following her postdoc she moved to the UK where she started working as Senior Support Scientist for Cryo-Electron Microscopy at the Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC) at Diamond Light Source.


        After completing a Master in Molecular Biology at the University of Lausanne, Benoît Zuber obtained his PhD under the supervision of Jacques Dubochet in 2007. There he contributed to the development of cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections (CEMOVIS), a method that enables ultrastructural analysis of native tissues. He applied it to the study of synapses and, in parallel, he characterized the native structure mycobacteria cell envelope. He then moved to Cambridge, UK for a postdoc with Nigel Unwin at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and studied the molecular architecture of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and rapsyn clusters in Torpedo marmorata electric organ synapse, a model of the neuromuscular synapse. In 2011 he joined the Institute of Anatomy of the University of Bern as a junior lecturer and a year later he obtained an Professorship grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. In 2017 he was promoted to Associate Professor of Anatomy and Structural Biology. His current research interests include the in situ structural and functional analysis of synapses, the structural basis of schizophrenia, and the molecular mechanism of pore forming proteins.

  • Invited Speakers
    • Miroslava Schaffer (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, DE)

      Talk Title: Cryo-FIB sample preparation for biological applications: challenges and solutions

      Miroslava Schaffer holds a master degree in Biophysics and a PhD in technical Physics. She works in the field of electron microscopy since 2004 where she developed the first fully automated technique of 3D-EDS FIB slice & view at the Technical University of Graz, Austria. In 2008 she moved to the SuperSTEM Daresbury laboratory (UK) to develop and apply high-quality sample preparation FIB routines for low-kV atomic resolution analytical STEM. In 2011 she switched her focus from materials science to biology when she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. Since then she has been developing cryo-FIB sample preparation of frozen-hydrated specimen for cryo-electron tomography, establishing the standard routines of cryo-FIB lamella milling of plunge-frozen specimens. Her current work is the development of the cryo-FIB lift-out preparation method for high-pressure-frozen samples.

    • Kay Grünewald (Centre for structural Systems Biology, Hamburg, DE)

      Talk Title: Integrated structural cell biology of Herpesvirus-host interactions

      Kay Grünewald, studied biology at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and received his PhD there in 2000. He did a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA and in 2004 started an independent group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. In 2009, the group moved to the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, at University of Oxford, UK, where he was also Head of the Oxford Particle Imaging Centre (OPIC) and became Professor of Structural Cell Biology in 2012. Since 2017 Kay is W3 Professor of Structural Cell Biology of Viruses at the University of Hamburg and Department Head at the Heinrich-Pette-Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology in Hamburg. The group is based at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) on the Research Campus Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. He is director of the CSSB cryo-electron microscopy facility and deputy scientific director of CSSB. Since 2017 he is visiting professor at the University of Oxford. He contributed significantly to the establishment of the UK National cryoEM Facility eBIC, at the Diamond Light Source (DLS) Synchrotron Harwell, the first facility of its kind to allow users access according to the synchrotron model. The research focus the group is on integrative structural cell biology of virus-host interactions, primarily in herpesviruses and adenoviruses. Furthermore, along the biological questions the group is advancing technologies, e.g. correlative cryo microscopies.

LST.3: Advances in Image Processing in Biological Electron Microscopy

Data collected using current and next generation electron microscopes is increasing in size and complexity.  Managing, processing and analysing such data is a critical frontier to realising the scientific value of the raw data.  Techniques such as; tomography (in the TEM, cryo TEM, array tomography and multibeam SEM), focused ion beam and serial block face volume imaging and single particle cryo EM approaches seeking high resolution single particle classification and reconstruction as well as sub tomographic averaging are dependent on computational solutions to data analysis. These challenges are becoming more and more evident when dealing not only with seeking higher resolutions, but also whist tackling fundamental problems related to data size and complexity. This session will address advances in data processing; application of machine learning/ artificial intelligence in EM data and strategies to tackle fundamental problems related to conformational variability and functional diversity in macromolecular complexes.

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation – Cryo-tomography

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers

LST.4: Volume Scanning Electron Microscopy in Life Sciences

Volume SEM is a family of imaging techniques that enable automated acquisition of series of cross-sections through a specimen. They include focused ion beam SEM (FIB-SEM), serial block face SEM (SBEM) and array tomography (AT). Aiming at imaging large volumes, they impressively bridge scales from tissues morphology to subcellular architecture. Successful applications of volume SEM depend on addressing multiple technical challenges, including sample preparation, hardware and software development, and robust image analysis which will be the main focus of this symposium.

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation – Volume EM

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
    • Nicole Schieber (EMBL Heidelberg, DE)

      Nicole Schieber is lab manager in Yannick Schwab’s team at the EMBL, Heidelberg. She started there in 2013 after moving from The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Nicole graduated from UQ in 2007 with a Bachelor of Marine Biology and Ecology, where her honours project used electron microscopy (EM) to compare the ultrastructure of the retina across several Elasmobranch species. She then went on to specialise in EM at the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis and within the group of Prof. Rob Parton, both at UQ. Currently, her research within the Schwab team is focused to develop, improve and implement strategies for correlative light and electron microscopy and for volume electron microscopy by serial SEM. Her work has impacted a number of research projects at EMBL involving numerous model systems, both uni- and multicellular. Nicole Schieber has also been very active in the organisation of courses and workshops around the themes of CLEM and volumeEM.


    • Ilya Belevich (University of Helsinki, FI)

      Dr. Ilya Belevich is a senior researcher at the Electron Microscopy Unit, Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He graduated in biophysics at the Biological Department, Lomonosov’s Moscow State University, Russia (1999) and obtained a PhD from the University of Helsinki in the lab of Prof. Mårten Wikström studying molecular mechanisms of cytochorome c oxidase functioning. As a postdoctoral researcher, he first continued studies of cytochrome oxidase with Michael Verkhovsky at the University of Helsinki until in 2010 joined the lab of Eija Jokitalo at the Electron Microscopy Unit. His current research is focused on various aspects of 3D imaging by serial block face scanning electron microscopy and development of open-source tools (as an example, Microscopy Image Browser) and methods for efficient segmentation and analysis of multidimensional dataset from both light and electron microscopy.


  • Invited Speakers
    • Winfried Denk (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, DE)

      Talk Title: TBC


    • Anna Steyer (Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, DE)

      Talk Title: Insights into myelin biology and function using volume scanning electron microscopy

      Anna studied Technical oriented Biology in Stuttgart (Germany) starting 2007. Her diploma thesis was on "The effects of Torsins on HSV-1 replication" at Yale University (USA) in the lab of Christian Schlieker in 2011. Followed in 2013 by her PhD in the lab of Yannick Schwab at the European Molecular Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany) on "Correlative light and electron microscopy: new strategies for improved throughput and targeting precision". Since 2017, Anna is a postdoc at the EM Core Unit at the Max Plank Institute of Experimental Medicine (Göttingen, Germany) working among others on the relationship of Axon and Myelin in different neurological diseases, especially using 3D EM methods (FIB-SEM, array tomography) to get a better understanding of the interactions in 3D. September 2019 Anna received a Prize (Förderpreis) of the German association of Electron Microscopy for my PhD thesis.

LST.5: Correlative Microscopy Across the Scales

Combining different imaging modalities can generate more or better data than by utilising each modality as stand alone. The combination of light microscopy with TEM is well established (generally referred to as CLEM). Other modalities are however more and more integrated in correlative workflows. This can be in completely cryo mode to visualise molecular details but also using large scale imaging techniques such as light sheet, X-ray and Volume SEM to study intercellular relationships.

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation - Correlative

Sponsored by COMULIS COST





Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
    • Yannick Schwab (EMBL, Heidelberg, DE)


    • Paul Verkade (University of Bristol, UK)

      Prof. Paul Verkade’s research group is based at the University of Bristol, UK where he works on the development and application of microscopy techniques mainly for the study of sorting mechanisms in intracellular transport pathways. The main tools in the lab are Electron microscopy (EM) and Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM) in which fields he has published over 70 papers. The current focus of the lab is on the application of those techniques to the field of Synthetic Biology, i.e. how are synthetic particles taken up and processed by cells. Prof. Verkade has organised and taught on several courses and workshops on subjects such as high-pressure freezing, Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM), and immuno EM. His lab is the home of the EMBO practical course on CLEM (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018). He is WG leader for CLEM in the EU COST project “COMULIS” and has been the chair of the Electron Microscopy section of the Royal Microscopy Society.


  • Invited Speakers
    • Christian Tischer (EMBL, Heidelberg, DE)

      Talk Title: Whole-organism 3-D mapping of gene expression to ultrastructural tissue and cell morphology

      Christian Tischer studied physics in Heidelberg, followed by PhD at EMBL with Philippe Bastiaens working on microscope development and signalling in mammalian cells. Subsequently, he did a postdoc with Marileen Dogertom at AMOLF in the Netherlands working on microtubule dynamics. From 2009 until 2018, he worked at EMBL's Advanced Light Microscopy Facility (ALMF) supporting scientists with both microscopy and image analysis. Since end of 2018, Christian’s focus shifted completely towards image analysis support and he is now running EMBL’s Centre for Bioimage Analysis (CBA).

    • Louise Jensen (EPFL, CH)

      Sponsored by COMULIS COST

      Talk Title: 
      Ion microprobe analysis of soluble compounds at the single cell level: The CryoNanoSIMS

      Louise Helene Søgaard Jensen is manager of the CryoSEM lab at the Center for Advanced Surface Analysis which is a joint platform shared by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Université de Lausanne (UNIL) in Switzerland. She obtained her PhD from the Technical University of Denmark in 2013, specializing in electron microscopy of interface layers in emulsions. After a short postdoc at DTU Center for Electron Nanoscopy, she joined EPFL as a postdoc in 2015 as part of the team to develop the CryoNanoSIMS. In 2018 she set up an advanced CryoSEM lab; providing service to scientists in soft materials, especially requiring cryogenic methods, as well as correlative imaging for NanoSIMS and CryoNanoSIMS. Her current research includes continuous development of CryoNanoSIMS preparation methods with a focus on low-kV imaging, perfecting cryo-planing and contamination free cryo-transfers.


    • Gleb Shtengel (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US)

      Talk Title: Correlative 3D super-resolution cryo-fluorescence and electron microscopy of vitreously frozen cells

      Gleb Shtengel received a Ph.D. in physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1996. From 1991 to 1993 he worked on physics of semiconductor lasers at A.F. Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute. From 1994 to 2000 he worked at AT&T (Lucent) Bell Laboratories designing semiconductor lasers, modulators, and other components for fiber telecommunication systems. From 2000 to 2006 he worked at YAFO Networks Inc. and Kodeos Communications. He joined the group of Harald Hess at Janelia in 2007. His current scientific interests include optical, electron, and correlative microscopy and their applications to life sciences.

    • Catherine Maclachlan (Francis Crick Institute, UK)

      Talk Title: Using 3 step Correlative Imaging to help unravel tumor metabolism

      Catherine Maclachlan is an electron microscopist with a background in bioscience technology. She graduated the University of York in 2013 with a degree in biology and masters in bioscience technology, having done a 6-month placement in electron microscopy at Cancer research UK, focusing on using in resin fluorescence in mammalian retina tissue. From there she went to work in the facility of Graham Knott in EPFL Switzerland, where she specialised in correlative light serial block face scanning electron microscopy, optimising the technique in large volume tissue, with a particular emphasis on Brain. For the last two years, Catherine has been working as a senior laboratory research scientist at the Francis Crick institute, in the technology platform of Lucy Collinson, helping research groups perform imaging across multiple scales and techniques. Her most recent work has been in the development of correlative techniques that allow for multi-model imaging across light microscopy, electron microscopy and NanoSIMs in large volume complex tissue. 

LST.6: Synergy Between X-Ray and Electron/Light Microscopy

Microscopy techniques based on photon, electrons and X-ray photons have been used to observe inside matter for decades. Thanks to the technology advances in these few years, allow a huge progress in spatial resolution, sensitivity, to composition and physical properties. In the past of the last decade, the synergy of the high-resolution tomography and the chemical information from electron microscopy; the imaging with extreme sensitivity of chemical composition from X-ray microscopy and optic microscopy are the most outstanding modern imaging techniques to understand the complexity of life science.

Related Conference Theme/s: Cutting Edge Advanced Sample Preparation - X-rays

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
    • Mériem Er-Rafik (Technical University of Denmark, DK)

      Mériem Er-Rafik is a group leader and associate professor at DTU. Her main research activity involves the development of functional nano-objects and bio-inspired or bio-mimetic systems and their interaction with biological systems. It recovered the field of the structural analysis and imaging of life science and soft matter systems. She combines different structural analysis and imaging techniques: from advanced (cryo) electron microscopy, X-ray synchrotron scattering and imaging to numerical simulations besides all biophysical approaches. Beyond my research activities, one of the goals of my group "Life Science & Soft Matter" at DTU Nanolab is to establish a new infrastructure dedicated to life science and soft matter imaging.

    • Sylvain Bohic (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, FR)


  • Invited Speakers
    • José Javier Conesa (ALBA Synchrotron Light Source, Barcelona, ES)

      Talk Title: Unraveling the intracellular location of a iridium organometallic compound in breast cancer cells

      Javier Conesa obtained his Phd in 2016 from Universidad Autonoma of Madrid under the direction of Prof. Carrascosa in Spanish National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid studying the intracellular accumulation of superparamagnetic iron oxyde nanoparticles in cancer cells by means of cryo-EM and cryo Soft X-ray tomography. During that time he collaborated in implementing different procedures for x-ray tomographic data acquisition and processing, including procedures for Near Edge Absorption Soft X-ray Tomography (NEASXT) for accurate 3D quantitative mapping of specific elements in X-ray tomography.  Then in 2017, he moved to the cryo Soft X-ray tomoraphy MISTRAL beamline at ALBA synchrotron as a postdoc under the supervision of Dr. Eva Pereiro. There he developed new visible light and 3D X-ray correlative approaches mainly to identify the intracellular location of a new organometallic drug for cell cancer treatment. In 2019 he moved back to the National Center for Biotechnology in the frame of the Severo Ochoa excellence program to implement a high resolution correlative cryo-fluorescence and cryo-EM platform attached to the Department of Structure of Macromolecules.

    • Carolyn Larabell (University of California, San Francisco, US)

      Talk Title: TBC


LST.7: Super-resolution Microscopy

Super-resolution imaging, which enables the imaging of samples at resolutions greater than 200nm using light microscopy approaches, is a rapidly developing field. This session will cover novel developments in super-resolution imaging, including those that enable super-resolution imaging in live cells, such as MINFLUX, a development of STED microscopy, and rapid single molecule imaging approaches.Related Conference Theme/s: Live and Fast Super-resolution - Frontiers in Imaging of Ultrafast Processes

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
    • Michelle Peckham (University of Leeds, UK)

      Michelle Peckham is Professor of Cell Biology in the Faculty of Biological Sciences. She obtained a BA in Physiology of Organisms at the University of York, and a PhD in Physiology at University College London. She moved to King's College London, and started to use a specialised form of light microscopy (birefringence) to investigate muscle crossbridge orientation. She then worked at UCSF, San Francisco for a year, where she used fluorescence polarisation to investigate muscle crossbridges. She moved back to the UK, to the University of York, to work on insect flight muscle. In 1990 she was awarded a Royal Society University Research fellowship, based at King's College London, and began working on the cell and molecular biology of muscle development, and started to use live cell imaging to investigate muscle cell behaviour in cultured cells, and confocal microscopy to investigate their cytoskeleton. She collaborated with Graham Dunn to use Digitally Recorded Interference Microscopy with Automatic Phase Shifting (DRIMAPS) to investigate cell crawling behaviour. She moved to Leeds in 1997 as a Lecturer, and has continued to use a wide range of both light and electron microscopy approaches to investigate the molecular motors and the cytoskeleton.

  • Invited Speakers
    • Ilaria Testa (Science for Life Laboratory, SE)

      Talk Title: Rapid 3D super resolution microscopy in live cell

      Ilaria performed her PhD between 2006-2009 at the University of Genoa (Italy) working on the use of Non Linear Photo-activation of Fluorescent Proteins for trafficking of small GTPases. Between 2009-2014 Ilaria worked as a Postdoc Researcher in the group of the Nobel Laureate Prof. S.W. Hell at the MPI-BS in Göttingen (Germany). During this time she actively developed several nanoscopes based on (1) single molecule switching for multicolour imaging (2) RESOLFT nanoscopy. Within an interdisciplinary team of biologists and physicists they succeeded to apply the RESOLFT concept in living cells and even tissues for the first time.  Since 2015 Ilaria has been conducting her independent research at the Science for Life Laboratory as Faculty at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Stockholm, Sweden). The goal of her group is to develop the novel paradigms made available by super-resolution microscopy to address contemporary challenges in biophysics and neuroscience. To achieve this goal they push forward the quantitative aspect of live cell imaging by setting-up and applying different concepts of super-resolution microscopy based on target switching such as STED and RESOLFT microscopy. They developed three new nanoscopes named MoNaLISA, smartRESOLFT and automated STED which pro-longed time observation of cellular dynamics, gentler imaging by adapting the illumination and speed to the need of the specimen and to acquire overnight a larger amount of STED imaging data. Their new technologies aim for the precise identification of populations of neuronal proteins and organelles depending on their localization, abundance and dynamics inside their native environment. 

    • Francisco Balzarotti (Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, AT)

      Talk Title: Super Resolution Microscopy at the Molecular Scale

      Francisco Balzarotti obtained an Electrical Engineering degree in 2007 at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and, in 2012, he received a PhD from the same institution while working on plasmonics and optical nanolithography. Until 2019, he worked as a Postdoc Researcher at the department of NanoBiophotonics, led by Nobel Laureate Prof. Stefan W. Hell, at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany), where he specialized in super resolution microscopy techniques such as STORM, STED and RESOLFT. In 2017, he presented a localization notion termed MINFLUX, which reduces by orders of magnitude the photons required to reach nanometer resolution, propelling the fields of single molecule tracking and optical nanoscopy. Since 2020, he is a Group Leader at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna (Austria), where he develops novel optical methods and instrumentation, bringing solutions to transverse obstacles in biology and biophysics.

LST.8: Brillouin Light Scattering Spectroscopy for Life Science Research

Brillouin light scattering microscopy is an emerging technique in the life sciences which allows for the contactless spatial and temporal mapping of the mechanical properties (high-frequency elastic modulus) with near diffraction limited optical resolution. Recent improvements in instrument design have made it conducive to also studying live biological samples opening the door to a host of potential applications for studying the role of mechanical properties in various biological processes and medical conditions. The scope of this session will include: latest advances  in the technology/instrumentation, progress in our understanding and interpretation of measured parameters, applications for studying diverse biological systems on the sub cellular and tissue level, as well as variations on the technique and correlative studies.

Related Conference Theme/s: The Lab in the Microscope – In Situ, In Vivo, In Operando and Multimodal Microscopy

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
  • Invited Speakers
    • Francesca Palombo (University of Exeter, UK)

      Talk Title: TBC


    • Giuliano Scarcelli (University of Maryland, US)

      Talk Title: Biophysical contrast mechanisms for Biomedical Imaging

      Giuliano Scarcelli is a physicist specialized in optical science and technology development. He obtained his PhD in physics joint from University of Bari, Italy and UMBC, USA under quantum optics pioneer Prof. Yanhua Shih. Before joining College Park, Giuliano was at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine of Harvard Medical School for eight years, first as a postdoc in Prof. Andy Yun's Lab, then as an instructor and assistant professor, where he developed Brillouin microscopy. He maintained a visiting faculty position at Harvard Medical School to oversee the first application of clinical Brillouin microscopy in vivo in human patients.  Giuliano has been the recipient of several awards such as the “Exceptional by example” award for outstanding PhD studies, the Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award, the NIH Quantitative Career Award, and Teaching excellence awards from both Harvard and University of Maryland.

LST.9: Multiphoton Imaging in Highly Scattering Tissue

The use of multiphoton imaging is limited by the optical properties of the tissue. Brain tissue shows relatively low scattering, whereas most other tissues (e.g., peripheral nerves and kidneys) are highly scattering. This symposium will focus on the presentation of state-of-the-art studies applying multiphoton  imaging in highly scattering tissues as well as studies of technical developments to overcome the limitations in scattering tissues.

Related Conference Theme/s: The Lab in the Microscope – In Situ, In Vivo, In Operando and Multimodal Microscopy

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
    • Ina Schiessl (Aarhus University, DK)

      Ina Maria Schiessl is a pharmacist, who dedicated her professional career to basic medical research and has been working in the field of renal physiology and pathophysiology since 2011. Her signature approach is serial intravital 2-photon microscopy of the kidney, which is a powerful technique to study renal structure and function simultaneously and over several days in the same living animal. She did her scientific training at the University or Regensburg, Germany and at the University of Southern California, USA, where she studied new mechanisms of renal tissue remodeling and repair. Using serial intravital microscopy of the same renal cells over days, she recently postulated a novel role of renal interstitial cells in tubular regeneration. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark. In her own research program, she uses serial intravital 2-photon microscopy to study vascular remodeling in the diabetic kidney. Her vision is to broaden our understanding of renal intercellular crosstalk and its relevance in renal tissue remodeling and repair.


    • Sebastian Frische (Aarhus University, DK)

      Sebastian Frische graduated at Aarhus University in Denmark in 1997 on a thesis on the ultra-structure of spider silk and received the Ph.D.-degree from Aarhus University in 2001 based on his work on the structural and functional properties of hemoglobins from turtles. Since 2001 he has been employed at the medical faculty of Aarhus University, where he currently holds a position as associate professor at Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University Denmark. Since 2001, his research has centered on structural adaptations of the kidney to changes in electrolyte and acid/base homeostasis as well as hormonal disturbances including diabetes. In recent years, he has expanded this research by using in vivo 2-photon microscopy to investigate the changes in capillary blood flow in the kidney of living rats.


  • Invited Speakers
    • Vasilis Ntziachristos (Technische Universität München, DE)

      Talk Title: Revolutionizing optical microscopy with label free optoacoustic readings.

      Vasilis Ntziachristos Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Chair for Biological Imaging (CBI) at the Technical University of Munich, Director of the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI) at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and Director of Bioengineering at the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus. He has received the Diploma in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and the M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA. Prior to his current appointment he was faculty at Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital. Professor Ntziachristos is the founder of the journal Photoacoustics, regularly Chairs in international meetings and councils and has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Chaire Blaise Pascal (2019) from the Region Ile-de-France, the Gold Medal from the Society for Molecular Imaging (2015), the Gottfried Leibnitz prize from the German Research Foundation (2013), the Erwin Schrödinger Award (2012) and was named one of the world’s top innovators by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review in 2004.

    • Andrew Hall (University of Zürich, CH)

      Talk Title: How to improve intravital imaging of cellular dynamics in the kidney using longer wavelengths and computational analysis

      Andrew Hall is an Associate Professor at The University of Zurich and a Consultant Nephrologist at University Hospital Zurich. Andrew studied Physiology and Medicine at The University of Cambridge, UK, graduating in 2000. After initial junior doctor posts, he moved to London and specialized in nephrology. In 2006, he undertook a PhD in renal physiology at University College London (UCL), and from 2009 he worked as a Clinical Lecturer at the UCL Centre for Nephrology.  In 2013, Andrew moved to Zurich to start a new research group within the framework of The Swiss National Centre of Competence in Kidney Research (NCCR). His group has devised new methods to visualize various key dynamic processes within kidney cells in living mice. By applying quantitative computational analysis they are currently investigating relationships between single cell behavior and whole organ architecture and function, and how these change in disease states and tissue remodeling.

LST.10: Lightsheet Illumination/Detection Strategies to Yield Higher Speed, Higher Resolution and Higher Throughput in Bioimaging

Orthogonal illumination with lightsheets (e.g. SPIM) is widely accepted to be a highly versatile approach for long term imaging of fluorescent samples. The illumination confinement to the image plane, and the very high fluorescence efficiency through wide field detection enable to capture the highest number of images while preserving samples viability. In the recent years, lightsheet engineering and detection strategies have unleashed unprecedented performance to strengthen the three fundamental pilars that are transforming Live fluorescence imaging into a primary tool for scientific discovery in Life science: High and isotropic resolution, high speed and high throughput.

Related Conference Theme/s: The Lab in the Microscope – In Situ, In Vivo, In Operando and Multimodal Microscopy

Session Chairs and Invited Speakers
  • Session Chairs
  • Invited Speakers
    • Elizabeth Hillmann (Columbia University, US)

      Talk Title: High speed volumetric imaging with SCAPE microscopy: Extensions and applications

      Elizabeth Hillman is a professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia University and a member of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia. Hillman received her undergraduate degree in physics and Ph.D. in medical physics and bioengineering at University College London and completed post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. In 2006, Hillman moved to Columbia University, founding the Laboratory for Functional Optical Imaging. Hillman’s research program focuses on the development and application of optical imaging and microscopy technologies to capture functional dynamics in living tissues, particularly the brain. Most recently, she developed swept confocally aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy, a technique capable of very high speed volumetric imaging of neural activity in behaving organisms such as adult and larval Drosophila, zebrafish, C. elegans and the rodent brain. The technique can also capture complex 3D movements and dynamics, and can also achieve high-throughput structural imaging of fixed, cleared and expanded tissues. Hillman’s research program also includes exploring the interrelation between neural activity and blood flow in the brain in health and disease. Hillman is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the society of photo-optical instrumentation (SPIE) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She has received the OSA Adolf Lomb Medal for contributions to optics, as well as early career awards from the Wallace Coulter Foundation, National Science Foundation and Human Frontier Science Program.

    • Reto Fiolka (UTsouthwestern, US)

      Talk Title: Fast volumetric imaging with light-sheet microscopy

      Reto Fiolka is an assistant Professor at UT Southwestern in the department of Cell Biology with a secondary appointment in Bioinformatics. He conducted post-doctoral research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus working on 3D structured illumination microscopy and adaptive optics. At UT Southwestern, his lab aims to extend the current imaging capabilities of optical microscopy such that cancer cell research and drug screening can be performed in physiologically relevant, 3D environments, ex vivo and in vivo.  His microscope development is focused on improving the spatiotemporal resolution and optical penetration depth and translating new technologies to biological research.

    • Alexandra Fragola (Sorbonne Université, FR)

      Talk Title: Adaptive optics light-sheet microscopy for neuroimaging using direct wavefront sensing without guide star

      Alexandra FRAGOLA is graduated from the Institute of Optics Graduate School in Palaiseau and realized her PhD in fluorescence near field microscopy, in the optics department of ESPCI in Paris, under the supervision of Lionel Aigouy and Claude Boccara. In 2005, she obtained an assistant professor position at Sorbonne University (Paris) and joined the multidisciplinary group Synthesis and Imaging of Inorganic Probes at ESPCI. Since then, she has been developing fluorescence microscopes for enhanced resolution imaging of living samples : structured illumination microscopy, adaptive optics, time-gated imaging, non linear endomicroscopy.

    • Jean-Baptiste Sibarita (Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience Bordeaux, FR)

      Talk Title: Imaging cellular processes at different scales, from single-molecule to organoids, using single-objective SPIM

      JB Sibarita has a PhD thesis in Physics and is expert in live cell microscopy and image analysis. He is heading the CNRS R&D team “Quantitative Imaging of the Cell” at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience in Bordeaux, with a strong emphasis on quantitative super-resolution microscopy to decipher protein organization and dynamics. He is author of more than 70 scientific peer-review articles, 3 patents and is involved in several industrial technology transfer.


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