BRCF Microscopy Core Director Jennifer Peters Ph.D. has been awarded a 2-year grant from the CZI Imaging Scientists Initiative program.

When the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) was founded in 2015, their goal was to “understand how we could best help scientists accelerate progress in biomedicine.” This year, CZI’s plan became even more aggressive. “Today, we are announcing a new science focus on developing technologies that advance our biological understanding of the human body. Over the next ten years, CZI will build tools, launch institutes, and support research to directly observe and measure any biological process — across spatial scales and in real-time — throughout the human body.”

“I think it’s a very aggressive goal, but you have to have lofty goals to achieve progress,” says Dr. Peters. “Moving forward, we want to be able to image deeper into tissue, resolve smaller and smaller structures, capture faster, more transient events, and detect concentrations as low as a single molecule. We want to extract more quantitative information from our imaging data through advanced computational methods. This is all part of the toolbox that we’re building in order to get toward that lofty goal.” This money will not just support the progress of biomedicine; it will also benefit the research community right here at the University of Michigan (U-M). “This award allows us to serve the University of Michigan research community better. It frees up time for my staff and I to put more effort into this toolbox while also having the bandwidth to dive deeper into user projects and collaborate at a higher level. We are transitioning to an advanced imaging core at the university, and this money will get us one step closer to achieving this goal.”

Once the pandemic subsides, Dr. Peters also plans on using some of these funds to visit other cores nationally, specifically to learn more about specialized instrumentation. “A big focus of this initiative is collaboration and education,” says Peters, who acknowledges there are only a handful of core facilities throughout the country with cutting-edge Lattice Light Sheet instrumentation. She plans to eventually visit some of these facilities to collaborate with other researchers and learn how other advanced imaging cores are utilizing these types of instrumentation.

The BRCF Microscopy Core looks forward to serving the research community with educational and outreach opportunities in the future. Read more about Dr. Peters’s plan for the award here.

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