Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
Xiaowei Zhuang is the David B. Arnold Professor of Science and the director of Center for Advanced Imaging at Harvard University, an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Her lab develops advanced optical imaging technologies, in particular single-molecule and super-resolution imaging methods, and applies these methods to study biological systems.
Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful imaging modality for investigating biological systems. However, the diffraction-limited resolution of light microscopy is substantially larger than molecular length scales in cells, making many sub-cellular structures difficult to resolve. We developed a super-resolution imaging method, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), which overcomes the diffraction limit. This approach has allowed multicolor and three-dimensional imaging of living cells with nanometer-scale resolution and enabled discoveries of novel sub-cellular structures. I will present both technological advances of STORM and some recent biological discoveries enabled by STORM. I will also describe our recently developed single-cell transcriptome imaging method, multiplexed error-robust FISH (MERFISH), which allows thousands of RNA species to be imaged in individual cells. This approach enables single-cell transcriptomic analysis in the native context of tissues, facilitating the delineation of gene regulatory networks, the mapping of RNA distributions inside cells, and the mapping of distinct cell types in complex tissues.
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