The BioImaging Group (BIG) develops new optical microscopy, imaging and image analysis methods applied to biological research. We collaborate extensively with researchers within the Life Sciences Division and outside. Additionally, we provide access for the LBNL Life Sciences community to high-end microscopy equipment, which is maintained by the group.
Our projects include:
• Imaging and analyzing gene expression in Drosophila embryo in 3D as part of the Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network project which aims to develop tools and strategies to determine transcription regulation networks in animals;
• DOE-funded research to develop a) novel microscopy and imaging methods for three-dimensional, dynamic, and multiparametric analysis of complex biological systems, b) image analysis algorithms to quantitatively analyze protein distributions and dynamics in individual cells within the tissue context, and c) data mining, interpretation and modeling to extract understanding of the biological mechanisms at work in realistic biological models;
• develop novel optical/image analysis techniques to quantify the distribution of nuclear components with relation to the nuclear boundary within tissue-like cell cultures and to link such distributions with tissue phenotype;
• study multicellular crosstalk following exposure to low-dose of X-rays, which may trigger signal transduction pathways that will deregulate normal cell function in the irradiated, as well as neighboring unirradiated cells, leading to bystander effects. We use the X-ray Microprobe at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at LBNL to irradiate precisely subcellular regions, single cells or clusters of cells and use microscopy and imaging to map the temporal and spatial distribution of several classes of radiation-induced soluble signals;
• determine using state-of-the-art imaging, genomic and genetic tools which dose and radiation quality, under what cellular and micro-environment circumstances, affect normal epithelial cell behavior associated with cancer risk;
• participate in the development of the “gene function machine” for the functional interpretation of cancer genomes. Together with molecular profiling approaches, imaging the morphology, expression localization patterns, and time-lapse dynamics of 3D cell culture systems after manipulation with molecular inhibitors will provide better understanding of pathways and possible drug targets.
As a microscopy and imaging resource in Life Sciences, BIG provides access to a Zeiss LSM 410 UV confocal microscope, a Solamere spinning disk live cell microscope, and a stage scanning 2D/3D reconstruction microscope. Dedicated to BIG and collaborative projects, we have a Zeiss LSM 510 NLO/META 2-photon microscope, an automated high accuracy stage scanning inverted microscope and a few developmental microscopes.