Engineer, physicist collaborate to turn the inner workings of living cells into “molecular movies”
SAN JOSE— What happens when a chemical engineer and a physicist walk into a bar? They forge a collaboration that could change biological imaging.
That’s what happened to Jessica Winter, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University, and Peter Kner, assistant professor of engineering at the University of Georgia.
The two will present back-to-back talks at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, where they will describe how a chance meeting over lunch at an imaging workshop led to QSTORM, a research project that aims to visualize the inner workings of cells in a new way.
The “Q” in the name comes from “quantum dots”—a product of Winter’s lab—and “STORM” from stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy—Kner’s specialty. Their goal is to use blinking quantum dots to enhance the resolution of microscopy for sub-cellular imaging inside living organisms.
At the meeting, Winter and Kner will describe the early results in their effort to image muscle contraction on the nanometer (one billionth of a meter) scale. In essence, they hope to make “molecular movies” of the inner working of muscle cells.
For more information, check out http://www.qstorm.org/.