383097 Optical Methods to Probe Biological Questions

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
J. Matthew Dubach, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

The convergence of technical advances in optical imaging, biology (specifically genetic modification), and chemical synthesis provide a wealth of avenues to explore complex biological systems with fluorescent microscopy.  My research interests focus on applying novel optical, chemical, and/or biological approaches to better understand medically related processes at a fundamental engineering level in cells and in vivo.  Using these approaches we can measure biological processes, medical intervention success or failures, and monitor disease state or progress.  During my graduate work I developed novel optical nanoparticle sensors to fluorescently measure ions and small molecules.  These sensors were used to measure sodium flux during action potentials in cardiomyocytes and interstitial concentrations as a tattoo like minimally invasive clinical monitor.  During my postdoc I have focused on combining polarized fluorescence microscopy and fluorescently labeled anticancer drugs to measure target engagement and binding activity in cells and at the subcellular level in in vivo tumor models.  This approach, discussed in detail in this poster, allows us to better understand small molecule behavior in cells in vivo and assess tumor heterogeneity during therapeutic treatment both spatially and temporally.  Building on these pursuits, I hope to develop a research program that explores difficult to measure biological questions in complex systems using novel fluorescence imaging approaches.

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