Type: Vanderbilt Reinvestment Award (VRA)
This project seeks to create a collaborative environment across three schools for biophotonics innovation and biomedical discovery within the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center. Students, postdocs and faculty from engineering, physical sciences and biomedical sciences will work together to innovate – by building microscopy systems that do not yet exist in the commercial realm – and discover – by using these systems to answer previously unanswerable questions in biomedicine. The goal is to develop a cadre of trainees at all levels who can identify pressing questions in biomedical research and build next generation instruments that exceed the limitations of commercial microscopes.
Development of light microscopy in the 1600s led to great advances in science, specifically the discovery of the basic building block of life – the cell. Over the centuries, improvements in microscopy revealed insights on how cells divide, communicate and coordinate their activities to function in multicellular contexts. Scientists continue to push the limits of microscopy to look deeper, smaller and faster so they can cure cancer, understand how the brain works, and make better bio-inspired materials to improve everyday life. Researchers across Vanderbilt rely on the campus-wide Cell Imaging Shared Resource for access to commercial light microscopes. At the same time, investigators at the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center (VBC) work to develop novel techniques that push the boundaries of what scientists can observe and measure with light.
Lead Faculty in bold
School of Engineering
- Anita Mahadevan-Jansen, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
- Duco Jansen, Professor of Biomedical Engineering
- Matthew Lang, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
College of Arts & Science
- Shane Hutson, Professor of Physics
- Carl Johnson, Professor of Biological Sciences
- Lauren Buchanan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry