Small world. Big ideas.
Leong became the director of the Center for Advanced Microscopy at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in 2002, and led the facility to be recognized as one of the few selected Nikon Imaging Centers in the world. At the same time, his lab began devising methods to engineer three-dimensional, lumenized vascular network capable of dynamic signaling read-out. This approach ultimately allowed Leong and his team to dissect the regulatory signals in the opposing endothelial cells during cancer diapedesis. In 2009, he was further appointed to the position of Director for University Imaging Resources at Northwestern, overseeing the institutional strategy in building integrated imaging infrastructure across all seven imaging centers within the university.
Leong joined Janelia in 2014 to serve as the Director for the Advanced Imaging Center. Here, he leads the effort in building the unique collaborative imaging center that serves as the gateway through which the wider scientific world can access Janelia’s cutting-edge microscopy capabilities.
Jesse joined the Advanced Imaging Center in 2014, and has nearly 20 years’ experience in microscope design, development, and application across a wide range of biological models. He previously was Senior Engineer at Vutara, Inc., where he helped to successfully commercialize 3D super-resolution microscopy systems. Jesse performed postdoctoral work at Sandia National Laboratories, where he implemented several high-resolution optical imaging systems, including TIRF, STORM, hyperspectral, and STED microscopies, with biological applications ranging widely from cell surface receptor tracking and innate immune response, to algal biofuels research. Jesse received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Damien joined the Light Microscopy Facility in 2017. Prior to joining Janelia, he managed the light microscopy facility of the Mediterranean Center for Molecular Medicine (Nice, France) for 5 years. This center is known for leading fundamental research in biology as well as translational research with clinicians. Damien was trained as a physical chemist, he received his Ph.D. from the department of Chemistry of the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris, France). He then used his training in photophysics and photochemistry to develop his expertise in microscopy through research projects involving custom systems with a particular interest for techniques such as FRET, FLIM, SPT, FRAP, and FCS. Throughout his research projects and his support role in microscopy facilities, Damien has worked with a wide range of microscope modalities. He applied those in various fields of biology ranging from cell biology, cancer research, metabolic diseases, and neuroscience.
Advanced Microscopy Fellow
Hari joined the AIC in June 2022 as an Advanced Microscopy Fellow. Prior to joining the AIC, Hari was a postdoctoral research fellow at the National University of Singapore where he had also obtained his PhD. His PhD research in Prof. Thorsten Wohland's lab involved investigating the plasma membrane behavior of the epidermal growth factor receptor using fluorescence spectroscopy and super-resolution techniques.
Prior to joining AIC, Heather worked in light microscopy cores at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and Carnegie Institution’s Department of Plant Biology, where she was director for eight years. While at Carnegie, she built a modified OpenSPIM light sheet and a custom macro system for imaging the phototropic response. After departing Carnegie, she was an applications scientist at Intelligent Imaging Innovations, where she supported the Marianas LightSheet (diSPIM).
Heather received her Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from the University of California, San Diego.
Michael received a B.S. in physics and biophysics from Brandeis University before earning A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Washington University in St. Louis. As a graduate student, he developed image deconvolution techniques and particle tracking algorithms for single molecule fluorescence studies with high spatiotemporal resolution. Afterwards, he pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan studying the real-time infection of individually characterized HIV-1 virions using a novel platform that combined optical trapping, two-photon excitation microscopy, and back-focal-plane interferometry. He was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA individual postdoctoral fellowship from the NIH to advance his training in virology and fluorescence imaging systems.
Michael joined Janelia’s Light Microscopy facility as a research specialist, where he helps maintain a full complement of state-of-the-art instruments. Working closely with researchers, he provides microscope training as well as technical assistance for fluorescence imaging and image analysis techniques including organized workshops. He enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, traveling abroad, reading 19th century European literature, and dancing Argentine Tango.
Cell Culture Technician
Leanna joined the AIC in November 2021 as a Research Technician. She provides support in cell culture and sample preparation for the AIC. Prior to joining the AIC, she worked at the University of Pittsburgh’s Neurobiology Department.
Chad joined the AIC as a recent PhD graduate from the department of physics and astronomy the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His PhD research in Rich Superfine's lab focused on combining atomic force microscopy and single-objective light-sheet microscopy to study the mechanical properties of cell nuclei. At the AIC, Chad works primarily on the various light-sheet microscopy systems, assisting visitors from consultation to publication. Prior to graduate school, Chad received his BS in both physics and mathematics at the University of Lynchburg, where he developed models of the Tour de France and soccer ball aerodynamics.
Cell Culture Technical Coordinator
Satya has more than 30 years of cell biology experience. Combining her extensive cell biological sample prep know-how and her acumen in microscopy, Satya's work has been featured on covers of various textbooks and journals. Satya has pioneered the tissue engineering technique to create 3D, lumenized blood vessel network with FRET biosensors for the study of cancer invasion.
After serving at the Center for Advanced Microscopy at Northwestern University, she joined Janelia in 2015 as technical coordinator to provide crucial support to AIC visitors in sample receiving, cell culture, specimen preparation, and also logistical consultation on experimental set-up.
Bioimage Data Analyst
Prior to joining the AIC, Rachel was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she studied breast cancer metastasis. During her PhD in physics at the University of Maryland College Park, she focused on the nonlinear dynamics of collective cell migration. Across her multidisciplinary research career, Rachel has developed image analysis workflows for diverse groups of collaborators studying cell migration, cytoskeletal dynamics, calcium signaling, and more. In 2021, Rachel joined the AIC, where she works with visitors to develop approaches for exploring and quantifying their microscopy data.
Anja received a Diploma in Biology from the Georg-August-University in Goettingen, Germany. For her Diploma thesis, she worked on competition of germline stem cells in the Drosophila ovary, applying FISH and laser scanning confocal and STED microscopy. She acquired her PhD degree at the Georg-August-University in Goettingen. During her time in the lab of Joerg Grosshans she characterized the functions of the actin regulators Diaphanous and ELMO/Sponge on the initiation of cell polarity during cellularization in early Drosophila embryos using fixed and living samples for laser scanning confocal microscopy as well as biochemical approaches.
Before joining Janelia, Anja pursued her postdoc in the lab of Mark Peifer at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for which she was awarded with a Benjamin Walter Fellowship by the German funding organization DFG. During her postdoc she focused on the function of the E-cadherin and F-actin interaction partner Polychaetoid /ZO-1 in epithelial cells of fruit fly embryos. In this work, she has applied 3D SIM and confocal microscopy to study the regulation of junction-cytoskeleton connections.
Advanced Microscopy Fellow
Mai joined the AIC in April 2023 as an Advanced Microscopy Fellow. Prior to joining the AIC, Mai was a postdoctoral research fellow at Zewail City (ZC) for Science and Technology in Cairo, Egypt. Also, Mai was co-leading the microscopy training, education, and awareness (TEA) working group in the African BioImaging Consortium (ABIC) where they work on providing educational materials and curriculum that can be shared by African Institutes. Her PhD research was a collaboration between the German University in Cairo and ZC that involved studying DNA repair mechanisms and cancer metabolism using mammalian cell lines and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain as a model organism. At the AIC, Mai will be involved in light-sheet microscopy and image analysis.
Sr. Lab Administration Specialist
Laura joined Janelia Research Campus in May 2011, after 15 years in the drug development services industry. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from North Central College and a M.S. in Veterinary Medical Sciences/Immunotoxicolgy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.