IBP Network Webinar: Dr Lucy Collinson - Imaging biomedical samples across scales using light, X-rays and electrons

Image: FIB-SEM

Date: 15 September 2021   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Imaging technology for the biosciences has taken huge leaps forward in recent times. Nobel prizes have been awarded for breaking the resolution barrier in light microscopy and cryo electron microscopy, revealing the cellular dynamics and atomic structure of molecules. In parallel, X-ray and chemical imaging are migrating from the physical to the life sciences, revealing the internal structure of tissues and metabolic pathways in exquisite detail. And in volume electron microscopy, a plethora of new microscopes are revealing the complexity of cells and tissues in three dimensions with nanometre resolution, thereby unravelling neuronal connections in the brain and the subcellular hiding places of pathogens. But the fundamental trade-off between sample size and resolution remains - the larger the sample, the lower the resolution will be. The solution is multi-modal or correlative imaging, where the same sample is imaged intact at low resolution, and then gradually trimmed to smaller sizes for imaging at higher resolution in different types of microscope. The trick is to retain and follow the structure of interest at each step, with optimal sample preparation for each microscope, using probes that are visible in different microscopes and software to overlay different image types. This is ‘non-trivial’! In my talk, I will reveal how we approach this problem of finding and imaging the ‘needle in the haystack’, and how the general public are helping us train machines to analyse the resulting massive image data.

About the speaker:
Dr Lucy Collinson is an electron microscopist with a background in microbiology and cell biology. She has a degree and PhD in Medical Microbiology, and post-doctoral research investigating membrane trafficking pathways. She has run a series of biological EM facilities since 2004, at UCL and then at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, which became part of the Francis Crick Institute in 2015. With a team of 10 electron microscopists and 3 physicists, she oversees more than 100 research projects with more than 60 research groups within the Crick, imaging across scales from proteins to whole organisms. Her microscopy and technology development interests include volume EM, correlative imaging techniques, cryo-microscopy, X-ray microscopy, image analysis, citizen science, and microscope design and prototyping.

About IBP Network Webinar Series:

  • Open to all IBP Network members. (Not a member? Join here)
  • To bring together members of our community.
  • Talks from eminent scientists, beamline scientists and facility specialists across the world.
  • 30 – 45 minutes talk followed by 5-15 minutes Q&A.
  • Talk will be recorded (except the Q&A) and made available to all network members.

If you wish to suggest a future topic or speaker please contact us, speakers could be from academia, industry, within IBP Network or from further a field.

Register for the webinar here.

Location:  Zoom, online event