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Seeing Molecular Vibrations: Chemical Imaging for Biomedicine

Release time:May 12, 2017 / Siying He

Topic:Seeing Molecular Vibrations: Chemical Imaging for Biomedicine    

Speaker:Min Wei(Columbia University)    

Date:May 15 at 10:00 PM    

Venue:Conference room 416, the hall of Yifu scientific center

 

Abstract:

Innovations in light microscopy have tremendously revolutionized the way researchers study biological systems. Although fluorescence microscopy is currently the method of choice for cellular imaging, it faces fundamental limitations such as the bulky fluorescent tags and limited multiplexing ability in the era of “omics”. In this seminar, I will present two chemical imaging strategies, respectively. First, we devised a live-cell Bioorthogonal Chemical Imaging platform suited for probing the dynamics of small bio-molecules, which cannot be effectively labeled by bulky fluorophores. This scheme couples the emerging stimulated Raman scattering microscopy with tiny and Raman-active vibrational probes (e.g., alkynes, nitriles and stable isotopes including 2H and 13C). Exciting biomedical applications such as imaging fatty acid metabolism related to lipotoxicity, glucose uptake and metabolism, drug trafficking, protein synthesis in brain, DNA replication, protein degradation, RNA synthesis and tumor metabolism will be presented. Second, we invented a super-multiplex optical imaging technique together with a matching reporter palette. We developed electronic pre-resonance stimulated Raman scattering (epr-SRS) microscopy, achieving exquisite vibrational selectivity with high versatility and sensitivity. Chemically, we created a unique vibrational palette consisting of novel dyes bearing conjugated and isotopically-edited triple bonds, each displaying a single epr-SRS peak in the cell-silent spectra window. Up to 24 resolvable colors are currently achieved with great potential for further expansion. Using this approach, we monitored DNA and protein metabolism in neuronal co-cultures and brain tissues. This super-multiplex optical imaging approach promises to facilitate untangling the intricate interactions in complex biological systems, and can also find broad applications in photonics and biotechnology in general.

 

Bio of the speaker:

Professor Wei Min graduated from Peking University with a Bachelor's degree of Chemistry in 2003.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2008 studying single-molecule biophysics with Prof. Sunney Xie. After continuing his postdoctoral work in Xie group, Dr. Min joined the faculty of Department of Chemistry at Columbia University in 2010, and is promoted to Full Professor there in 2017. Dr. Min's current research interests focus on developing novel optical spectroscopy and microscopy technology to address biomedical problems. His contribution has been recognized by a number of honors, including the ACS Early Career Award in Experimental Physical Chemistry (2017), Coblentz Award of Molecular Spectroscopy (2017), Buck-Whitney Award of American Chemical Society (2015), Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2015), George Fraenkel Fund Award (2014), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2013), NIH Director's New Innovator Award (2012) and Faculty Finalist of Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists of the New York Academy of Sciences (2012).    

 

School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering