Phototoxicity in live imaging: The good, the bad and the quantified

19 – 21 January 2021


RMS Hosted Event

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A free workshop  on Phototoxicity, sponsored by the European Microscopy Society.

Please note - this workshop is for pre-registered attendees only.


  • Professor Claire Brown

    McGill University

    Dr. Brown has been working in the field of quantitative light microscopy for over 25 years. As director of the Advanced BioImaging Facility (AIBF) at McGill University in Montreal, she oversees 16 state-of-the-art microscopes and an expert staff who serve ~300 users from diverse research areas in physical, life and health sciences. Through her work with the ABIF they have run more than 90 workshops and courses training thousands of researchers in fundamental and advanced imaging techniques including the Montreal Light Microscopy Course (MLMC). She also runs a research program focused on the development and application of biophysical techniques to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate normal and pathological cell migration. Projects also focus on microscopy standards and quality control and optimal live cell imaging conditions to minimize phototoxicity. Knowing that we are stronger together and can learn so much from each other she is actively involved in several national and international networks including Canada BioImaging (CBI), BioImaging North America (BINA) and Global BioImaging (GBI).

  • Dr Deirdre Kavanagh

    COMPARE, University of Birmingham

    Deirdre Kavanagh is an imaging scientist and facility manager working at the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE), University of Birmingham. She has expertise in fluorescence microscopy with specialist interest in super-resolution, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and light-sheet technologies. She completed a PhD in Engineering and Physical Sciences and as post-doctoral researcher she applied advanced microscopy to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying cell communication. At COMPARE, she supports a large user base via teaching, training and assisted imaging and analysis sessions. She is proactively involved in the organisation and development of microscopy networks, workshops, courses and public engagement. She serves on a number of microscopy committees including the Royal Microscopical Society Light Microscopy Committee, and she co-founded the UK’s Lattice Light-Sheet community group.

  • Dr Philippe Laissue

    University of Essex

    Philippe is a lecturer in bioimaging at the University of Essex. He has developed imaging approaches and instrumentation for quantified microscopy in diverse research areas, from neuroanatomy and cytoskeletal dynamics to models of human diseases and photobiology of photosynthetic organisms. His current focus is on minimally invasive live imaging for marine and biomedical applications. He is a highly experienced teacher and instructor, having set up or contributed to numerous international conferences and world-class courses. After a PhD at the University of Basel in Switzerland, he did a Post-Doc at the University of Kent, then directed the bioimaging unit at the University of Essex. As Royal Society Industry Fellow from 2015-2018, he developed light-sheet illumination with Cairn Research. He has twice been recipient of a Whitman fellowship at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, USA, working on coral imaging; this also led to the first prize in the Nikon Small World in Motion competition in 2019. As an academic, he now enjoys teaching cell biology and bioimaging, leading his own research group and working with many amazing collaborators and co-organisers.

  • Dr Chas Nelson

    University of Glasgow

    Chas is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow whilst he is on secondment as Chief Technology Officer of Chas' academic work has focussed on developing bioimage analysis and instrumentation  tools for quantified imaging in the life sciences. His current focus is on, a Durham University spin-out he founded during his PhD whilst his research efforts continue to focus on quantitative bioimaging, light sheet fluorescence microscopy and zebrafish embryology. Chas is active in the microscopy community and involved in a variety of training courses, largely focussed on python for biologists and bioimage analysis. After a PhD in Computer Science at the Durham University, he did a post-doc at the University of Glasgow before being awarded both an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellowship and an LKAS Research Fellowship in Data Science, from which he is currently on secondment. Chas' interest in phototoxicity stems from years of quantifying biological images and seeing the unintended effects that imaging and experimentation have on the samples being studied.

  • Professor Maddy Parsons

    RMS Honorary Secretary Biological Science

    King's College London
    Maddy is Professor of Cell Biology at King’s College London. Maddy completed her PhD in Biochemistry within the Department of Medicine at University College London in 2000. During her PhD she analysed the role of mechanical forces in dermal scarring. She then moved to Cancer Research UK laboratories in London for a 4-year postdoctoral position where she used advanced microscopy techniques including FRET/FLIM to dissect adhesion receptor signaling to the actin cytoskeleton and how this controlled directed cell invasion. Based on these achievements, Maddy was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2005 to establish her own group within the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King’s College London.

    Following completion of her fellowship, Maddy was appointed Reader at King’s in 2013 and Professor of Cell Biology in 2015. Maddy has established collaborations with developmental biologists and clinical researchers to study adhesion receptor signalling in skin blistering, wound healing, inflammation and cancer. She works closely with physicists, biophysicists and other world-leading cell migration groups in the field to develop and apply new imaging technologies to dissect spatiotemporal cytoskeletal signalling events in live cells, tissues and whole organisms. As a result of her interest and applications of advanced microscopy, Maddy developed a strong working partnership with Nikon, which subsequently led to the establishment of the state-of-the-art, world-class Nikon Imaging Centre at King’s College London of which she is Director. Maddy also currently works alongside other biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop and apply advanced imaging approaches to basic mechanisms that underpin drug discovery. 


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