They work with the Nobel Prize awarded microscopy techniques

Published: 2014-10-08


The microscopy techniques developed by the three winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 is the corner stone at the Advanced Light Microscopy, ALM, facility at SciLifeLab. “These techniques constitute a paradigm shift in microscopy, truly worthy of the prize,” says Hjalmar Brismar, Professor at Karolinska Institutet/KTH Royal Institute of Technolgy and platform director at ALM.

Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 for the development of two super resolution microscopy techniques; stimulated emission depletion (STED) and photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM). SciLifeLab is the only lab in Sweden where both techniques are available. The techniques can be employed by researchers all over Sweden and are used by the researchers on site at a daily basis. Hjalmar Brismar leads the research group at the center, which also runs the ALM facility.

“For more than a hundred years it was thought that there was a physical limit to the resolution of microscopy but these techniques have pushed that limit far beyond what anyone thought possible. It is a great discovery” says Hjalmar Brismar.

Using STED and PALM, Hjalmar Brismar’s research group tries to understand the many functional aspects of Na,K-ATPase, the salt pump that is the major determinant of intracellular ion homeostasis and which has recently been shown to also function as a signal transducer.

“Thanks to the super resolution microscopes we can understand the function of different proteins in relation to their natural location in the cell. Before the invention of these techniques we only had a vague understanding of where the proteins were located.” says Hjalmar Brismar.

The group is also frequently collaborating with one of the Nobel Prize winners, Stefan Hell. Recently, KTH/SciLifeLab also recruited one of Stefan Hell’s group members, Ilaria Testa, who is one of eight new outstanding young group leaders in the SciLifeLab Fellows program.

“Stefan Hell is a very energetic and extremely productive researcher and I very much congratulate him to the prize.” says Hjalmar Brismar.

Hjalmar Brismar

Hjalmar Brismar