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March 11, 2021

Eliceiri helping push light sheet microscopy forward

Written By: Staff


Kevin Eliceiri
Kevin Eliceiri

Kevin Eliceiri, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and medical physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will help lead an initiative to develop and advance light sheet microscopy technology through a $1.2 million grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Eliceiri, who also holds the Retina Research Foundation Walter H. Helmerich Research Chair in the McPherson Eye Research Institute at UW-Madison, will team up with fellow Morgridge Institute for Research investigator Jan Huisken to lead the five-year project.

Light sheet microscopy has the ability to image samples over several hours or days from different angles to generate a 3D view of an entire organism. This fast-imaging technique generates a tremendous amount of data quickly with less phototoxic effects on the sample.

While the size and complexity of light sheet microscopy data has prevented widespread adoption of the technology, Huisken and Eliceiri plan to use the Beckman Foundation award to make progress toward a “smart microscope” that also can easily be shared with collaborators.

Eliceiri says that imaging is often like looking at a glass-bottom boat, where a big fish might swim by but then you lose the view. Smart light sheet microscopy, on the other hand, gives you the ability to track that fish where it goes—to follow a biological event rather than having a fixed viewpoint.

“The powerful thing about light sheet is the fact that you can empower the biologists to get the view they want,” Eliceiri says.

To read more about the project, visit the Morgridge Institute for Research’s website.