A cluster for the development of dynamic 3D nanoscopy


  • Prof James Rothman

    Yale University

  • Prof Daniel St Johnston 

    University of Cambridge

  • Prof Joerg Bewersdorf

    Yale University

  • Dr David Baddeley

    Yale University

  • Prof Derek Toomre

    Yale University

  • Prof Martin Booth

    University of Oxford

  • Prof Jens Rittscher

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Microscopy has been an essential tool in advancing our understanding of biology for centuries. Observing the impact of diseases on the cellular level has led to better treatments and improves human health. The ultimate goal of a microscope is to watch our cells at work at the nanoscopic level of individual proteins, the key players in our cells. However, current technology does not allow this: we can either study them at high resolution in a static, fixed setting, or alive but at limited resolution and not for very long since we damage them in the imaging process.

Our team of physicists, engineers, computer scientists, chemists and cell biologists in Cambridge, Oxford and Yale will develop the necessary optical, labelling and data analysis technology to achieve live-cell optical nanoscopy that can image cells in 3D for hundreds of movie frames in living tissues. Our project builds on our consortium’s breakthroughs in live-cell and 3D nanoscopy.

The unprecedented imaging capabilities we aim for will open the door to major advances in physiology and medicine.