East Coast university scores $1.2M grant for cutting-edge biological imaging projects

One New York-based private research university has scored a $1.2 million grant to develop a cutting-edge biological imaging tool, according to news published Monday.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation recently presented the award to the University of Rochester. It will help researchers construct a novel microscope powered by light-sheet technology and enable three-dimensional imaging of living cellular structures.

Additionally, the funds will support three other biological research projects, including:

  • A focus on how bacteria communities interact and change in nature. Researchers will use this new imaging technique to see the bacteria in real-time.
  • Studying how single cells create animal organs. Limited under traditional microscopy, the team will be able to image both cells and organs in great detail to understand their complex interactions.
  • Analyzing how molecules and cells move from the bloodstream to surrounding tissue. Traditional imaging lacks the power to visualize certain aspects of this process, but the new device overcomes this issue, allowing researchers to add drugs during imaging and observe reactions.

“Not only am I excited about each of the individual projects—from intimate looks at bacteria to finding new ways to analyze images—I am absolutely thrilled about the prospect of building something even bigger and better via the close collaboration of disciplines Rochester excels at individually: optics, data science and biomedical research,” Michael Welte, PhD, lead principal investigator of the project and chair of Rochester’s Department of Biology, said in a university news item. “I believe this joint endeavor is only the first in a long line that will establish Rochester as a leader in biological imaging.”