Physics @ Berkeley
Events in Physics
Title: Bioimaging At The Nanoscale -- Single-molecule And Super-resolution Fluorescence Microscopy    (Seminar)
Start Date: 01/16/2014
Time: 4:00 am
Location: Stanley Hall 105
Speaker: Xiaowei Zhuang
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Department of Physics, Howard Hugh
Contact Person: Melina Winterton   (510) 666-3764
Dissecting the inner workings of a cell requires imaging methods with molecular specificity, single-molecule sensitivity, molecular-scale resolution, and dynamic imaging capability such that molecular interactions inside the cell can be directly visualized. Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful imaging modality for investigating cells largely owning to its molecular specificity and dynamic imaging capability. However, the spatial resolution of light microscopy, classically limited by the diffraction of light to a few hundred nanometers, is substantially larger than typical molecular length scales in cells. Hence many subcellular structures and dynamics cannot be resolved by conventional fluorescence microscopy. We recently developed a super-resolution fluorescence microscopy method, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), which breaks the diffraction limit. STORM uses single-molecule imaging and photo-switchable fluorescent probes to temporally separate the spatially overlapping images of individual molecules. This approach has allowed multicolor and three-dimensional imaging of living cells with nanometer-scale resolution and enabled discoveries of novel sub-cellular structures. In this talk, I will discuss the general concept, recent technological advances and biological applications of STORM.


Xiaowei Zhuang is a professor of chemistry and chemical Biology and a professor of physics at Harvard University, and an investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is a biophysicist recognized for her work in the development and application of advanced optical imaging techniques for the studies of biological systems. In particular, she and coworkers invented a super-resolution fluorescence imaging method, Stochastic Optical reconstruction Microscopy (STORM), which breaks the diffraction limit. STORM has allowed fluorescence imaging with nanometer-scale resolution and enabled discoveries of novel sub-cellular structures. Her lab has also developed and applied singlemolecule approaches to investigate the structure, dynamics and function of biomolecules, with emphasis on how proteins and nucleic acids interact and how protein-nucleic acid complexes function.