Accelerating biology through the application and development of advanced imaging methods
As the complexity of biological inquiry has increased, so too have the methods of study. Light microscopy is a hallmark technique that is well-poised to explore a wide variety of living biological systems, and recent advances in imaging technology are accelerating insight and expanding our understanding like never before. These advanced imaging methods have traditionally been difficult to implement without domain expertise in optics and its interface with biology, skill sets which are not commonly present in a laboratory setting. It is the focus of the Neuroimaging Laboratory (NIML) to expand access to and competency in advanced imaging methods at the institute. This goal is accomplished through the development and implementation of new methods through external collaborations in the private and academic sectors, and importantly through a robust training program that empowers biologists to fully leverage the latest methods in their projects.
Light microscopy is utilized in the vast majority of scientific projects at St. Jude, and therefore increasing competency in the latest methods serves as a catalyst to furthering the core mission of understanding the processes that drive catastrophic pediatric diseases. Research in the NIML is currently focused on forging and maintaining key external collaborations to design and build custom microscopes that address critical needs in the department of Developmental Neurobiology. Currently, the group is working on an adaptive optics enabled microscope (MOSAIC) that will allow researchers to visualize biological processes in deeper tissue layers by overcoming the optical barriers that make current methodologies difficult to apply. In parallel, the NIML is also focused on the continued development of training protocols for our instrumentation to ensure that the instruments we build and administer are used appropriately and to their fullest potential.
Daniel Stabley, PhD - Director
Sharon King, PhD - Senior Scientist