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Quantitative high spatiotemporal resolution imaging of biological processes

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Eileen Nugent.

In the recent years, super-resolution microscopy has emerged as a powerful tool to image cells at the nanoscale, giving important insights into biological processes at the molecular level. These methods have been so revolutionary that their impact has recently been recognized by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. While exciting developments over the last decade have significantly advanced the capabilities of super-resolution microscopy, important challenges remain in pushing its applications in biology. One limitation is the compromise between spatial and temporal resolution that make these methods poorly suited to study dynamic processes. Another challenge is our limited capability to extract quantitative information from the super-resolution images, which is confounded by the photophysics of the fluorophores. I will show how we are developing new approaches to overcome these challenges and demonstrate two novel biological applications of super-resolution microscopy. In the first part of my talk, I will summarize our ongoing efforts to use a combination of single particle tracking and super-resolution microscopy to study how molecular motors such as dynein and kinesin overcome road blocks to transport their cargo. In the second part of my talk, I will show how we are using highly quantitative approaches to decipher the nanoscale organization of chromatin inside intact nuclei at the single cell level. Overall, I will demonstrate that quantitative, high spatio-temporal resolution imaging holds great promise for solving important mysteries in biology.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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