Life at the microscopic scale is both organized and dynamic, involving biochemical transactions that define what it is to be alive. My research aims to address this reality and deliver technologies that provide unprecedented insight into biological processes in both health and disease. To accomplish this, I combine long-term and high-resolution fluorescence microscopy with biology, genome engineering, computer vision, optogenetics, information-rich biosensors, and computer vision.
Lab Philosophy and Vision
The pace of development in the field of optical microscopy far outstrips the rate at which technology can be commercialized and delivered to the greater biological community. Consequently, biologists everywhere lack transformative cutting-edge technologies, while many societally pressing health issues continue to claim precious human lives. My vision for the Advanced Imaging Initiative at UT Southwestern Medical Center is to eliminate this delay by developing instrumentation that addresses specific biological questions, or by replicating technologies invented elsewhere but not available here. My goal is to generate a self-reinforcing feedback loop, whereby advances in microscopy inspire new biological questions, which in turn drive the development of new and biologically-inspired imaging techniques.
Importantly, an image is only as good as the quantitative information that you can obtain from it. This requires a holistic approach, with careful framing of the biological question, proper instrument design, automated large-scale imaging with Nyquist sampling in both space and time, and robust and non-biased analytical approaches. He strives to use advances in probes, microscopy, and adaptive optics to achieve information-rich imaging (FRET, single-particle tracking, and optogenetics) in complex multicellular environments, including organoids, tissues, and embryos. We hope to inspire big science that requires close collaborations between biologists, computer scientists, and optical and electrical engineers.