Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Fund Imaging Training Project Involving MPFI Researcher

January 24, 2023
Dr. Naomi Kamasawa

An international team of researchers, including Dr. Naomi Kamasawa – Head of the MPFI Imaging Center, have been awarded a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant to develop advanced imaging training. The team plans to develop training events, along with a collaborative online community to teach scientists about an imaging technique known as array tomography.

“Array tomography holds tremendous potential and can give researchers valuable information about a sample that light microscopy or electron microscopy alone simply cannot do. It is our hope that we can help share this technology with as many people as possible in different fields of research and give them the tools to advance their research projects,” said Kamasawa.

Array tomography (AT) enables researchers to look at samples at higher resolution in a format that allows for detailed molecular labeling. In addition, AT samples are stored in a tissue library, which provides flexibility in imaging for hard-to-acquire samples, such as medical biopsies. Because AT utilizes common electron microscopy equipment that is found in modern imaging facilities, it is cost-effective for researchers. Despite these advantages, many researchers avoid AT, believing it to be too complicated to learn. With this new funding, the team hopes to change this.

“The imaging community is truly a community in the sense that we share information, technical tips and new ideas to help advance the field and empower researchers. By creating a clearinghouse for information about this important technique, we are excited to attract researchers who may be unfamiliar with the technology who will go on to make an impact on the biomedical imaging field as a whole,” Kamasawa said.

The team estimates that they will be able to impact more than 2,000 scientists through a combination of hands-on training events and online resources. In addition to Dr. Kamasawa, the Array Tomography Training and Network team consists of the following researchers:

● Martina Schifferer, DZNE Munich, Munich, Germany
● Jemima Burden, University College London
● Bruno Humbel, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
● Kristina D. Micheva, Stanford University School of Medicine
● Thomas Misgeld, Technical University of Munich, Institute of Neuronal Cell Biology
● Josh Morgan, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
● Mariano Soiza-Reilly, University of Buenos Aires
● And Mark Terasaki, University of Connecticut Health Center.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advancing Imaging Through Collaborative Projects grant aims to accelerate the dissemination and adoption of imaging technologies, methods, platforms, or training resources.

Contact: Katie Edwards, Head of Public Affairs