Centre for Micro-Photonics

Biophotonics research program current projects

Cell biology laboratory

New microscopic tools for cancer research

Supervisor: Dr Sarah Russell

The elucidation of biological signaling pathways for diverse processes such as cancer and immunity has recently been revolutionised by multidimensional fluorescence microscopy. Current technology measures either static images of interaction or single point measurement of motion. What is needed is a capability to image, in three dimensions, motion and interaction. The aim of this project will be to build on our expertise in RICS with FRET to develop new methods of imaging motion and interaction. 

Cell biology

Supervisors: Dr Sarah RussellProfessor Min Gu and Dr Daniel Day

Current research includes the application of super-resolution microscopy, automated image analysis and microfabrication to understanding the regulation of cell polarity. We are also researching the role of cell polarity in cell fate decisions important to immunity and cancer. These projects build upon well established collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Cell biophysics

Multidimensional microscopy and cell signalling

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Clayton

The functioning of living cells is largely under the control of a series of molecule-molecule interactions called signalling networks. Individual protein molecules can be tagged and by means of fluorescence we can image their location and movement inside cells. We wish to extend this to measure multiple molecules and interactions.

Imaging the mechanism of cytolytic peptides in living cells

Supervisor: Professor Andrew Clayton

Cytolytic peptides have antimicrobial properties but their mechanism of action is not clear. By means of fluorescence imaging we plan to visualise the interaction of peptides with bacteria and determine the mechanism of cell killing. 

Nanotrapping and super-resolution

Optical nanometry

Supervisor: Associate Professor Xiaosong Gan and Professor Min Gu

Build and characterise a novel optical nanometry system, which can not only measure ultraweak force, but can also measure ultraweak torque. This project will make a significant contribution to the fields of optical trapping, single molecule dynamics and in a more general sense to cutting-edge nanotechnology. 

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