Imaging ONEWORLD - Novel Molecular and Computational Tools for Studying Organelle Dynamics

17 May 2021


RMS Hosted Event

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This week will feature Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor, Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Core

Scientific Organisers: Stefanie Reichelt, Alex Sossick, Nick Barry, Alessandro Esposito and Kirti Prakash

The meeting will begin at 1pm BST.

As part of the 'Imaging ONEWORLD' series, the focus of these lectures is on microscopy and image analysis methods and how to apply these to your research. Almost all aspects of imaging such as sample preparation, labelling strategies, experimental workflows, ‘how-to’ image and analyse, as well as facilitating collaborations and inspiring new scientific ideas will be covered. Speakers will be available for questions and answers. The organisers, CRUK CI core facility staff, Gurdon Institute, MRC-LMB, MRC Cancer Unit and NPL will be able to continue the discussion and provide advice on your imaging projects.


  • Assistant Research Professor Uri Manor

    Uri Manor is an Assistant Research Professor, Assistant Director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center, and Director of the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Core. Uri develops and applies artificial intelligence-based computational approaches (deep learning) that integrate data from optical and electron microscopy techniques increasing image resolution, sensitivity, and collection speed beyond what’s possible with any individual method. Uri’s current research focuses on developing novel artificial intelligence approaches to increase the resolution, sensitivity and speed of the next generation of microscopes, as well as designing nanoprobes for high spatiotemporal resolution imaging of subcellular dynamics. His main biological interests are mitochondria, hearing loss, neurodegeneration and synaptic plasticity.

    Prior to joining Salk, Uri did his PhD thesis research work with Bechara Kachar (NIH), and his postdoctoral training with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (NIH and Janelia Farms) using advanced quantitative imaging approaches, such as super-resolution and live cell imaging, automated analysis and segmentation of microscopy data, and computational modeling of biophysical and biochemical dynamics in the cell

Speakers Abstract

The actin cytoskeleton plays important roles in a variety of cellular functions, including the regulation of organelle dynamics. In particular, the role of actin in the regulation of mitochondrial fission has been previously explored. Current evidence supports the model that actin polymerizes at ER-mitochondria contact sites, promoting mitochondrial constriction and allowing recruitment of key players in mitochondrial fission such as DRP1. Using probes we designed to specifically label mitochondria- or ER-associated actin, we were able to visualize accumulation of actin at mitochondrial fission sites, in agreement with already existing evidence. In addition, we made the novel observation that ER-associated actin also consistently accumulates at a wide range of other organelle fission sites including endosomes, lysosomes, peroxisomes, and the Golgi, suggesting a broad mechanism of organelle regulation by actin polymerization at ER-organelle contact sites. To monitor organelle dynamics, high spatiotemporal resolution imaging with minimal phototoxicity is required. To address this challenge, we developed a multi-frame deep learning-based approach for high speed, high SNR imaging of organelle mobility in live cells. Together, the combination of novel molecular and computational approaches will enable us to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying health and disease.

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