We are delighted to announce that, as of October 2015, Dr Philippe Laissue from the University of Essex is joining our team for three years as a Royal Society Industry Fellow.
Philippe is an accomplished and experienced biologist with an interest and expertise in non-invasive fluorescence microscopy. An important research aim was to look at the development of reef-building corals over long periods of time. As this was not feasible using conventional microscopy techniques, a Royal Society research grant enabled him to build a novel lightsheet instrument for imaging large, photosensitive samples. Through an innovation support scheme from the University of Essex, we have already begun working with him on a second generation design. The Royal Society Industry Fellowship enables us to collectively create two affordable and adaptable illuminators. Designs will be openly available, and hopefully they will find their way into many research labs. Managing the imaging facility also gives Philippe access to many different samples, so the illuminators will be validated using varied applications, and findings published in appropriate journals.
“In live microscopy, many factors have to be considered – contrast, resolution, colour, volume, speed, and exposure. Of these, minimal light exposure is the most crucial. Otherwise you are just looking at photopathology – how your sample behaves as it gets damaged by light. Building my own lightsheet instrument made me realise what a powerful technique lightsheet microscopy is for all of those aspects. This fellowship now gives me the fantastic opportunity to work with Cairn’s team of skilled, innovative engineers and scientists, to explore and produce new lightsheet designs. Lightsheet fluorescence microscopy has many advantages over conventional techniques, and it would be great to see much more widespread use of it.” – Dr Philippe Laissue