The Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics hosts a seminar series on the topic of mathematical sciences underpinning cancer research. The monthly seminars take place on the third Thursday of the month (4 PM ET). The presentations are held via Zoom and are open to the Columbia community and to researchers outside Columbia University.
On Thursday, April 21st (4:00-5:00 PM, EST), IICD welcomes Scott E. Fraser, PhD, Provost Professor of Biology and Bioengineering, Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience, Director of Science Initiatives, University of Southern California.
Title: Eavesdropping on the Dynamics of Embryonic Development and Cancer with Multidimensional Light Imaging
Abstract: Imaging of living specimens can animate the wealth of high-throughput molecular data to better understand complex events ranging from embryonic development to disease processes. We are advancing this approach despite the unavoidable tradeoffs - between spatial & temporal resolution, field of view, limited photon budget - by constructing faster and more efficient light sheet microscopes that maintain subcellular resolution. Our two-photon light-sheet microscope combines the deep penetration of two-photon microscopy and the speed of light sheet microscopy to generate images with more than 10x improved imaging speed & sensitivity. Two-photon excitation light is far less scattered, permitting subcellular resolution to be maintained better than conventional light sheet microscopes, resulting in 4D (3D over time) cell and molecular imaging with sufficient speed and resolution to unambiguous trace cell lineages, movements and signals in intact systems. To increase the 5th Dimension (# of simultaneous labels), we are refining new multispectral image analysis tools that exceed the performance of our previous work on Linear Unmixing by orders of magnitude in speed, error propagation and accuracy. Novel denoising strategies permit imaging at far lower light levels, yielding rapid and unambiguous analyses without perturbing even fragile multiplex-labeled specimens. Parallel refinements in label-free approaches extend imaging to patient-derived tissues and even human subjects. The low concentrations of these intrinsic labels required us to refine fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), and combine it with multispectral and advanced denoising tools, to perform intravital imaging in such challenging settings. Combined, these imaging and analysis tools offer the multi-dimensional imaging required to follow key events in intact systems as they take place, and allow us to use noise and variance as experimental tools rather than experimental limitations.
Bio: Professor Scott E. Fraser has a long-standing commitment to quantitative biology, applying the tools of chemistry, engineering, and physics to problems in fields ranging from developmental biology to medicine. His personal research centers on imaging and molecular analyses of intact biological systems, with an emphasis on early development, organogenesis, and medical diagnostics. His innovations have spawned several start-up companies, and have been integrated into instruments and FDA approved diagnostics. Read more here.