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Brian Beliveau on developing single-cell imaging technologies

The Humans of the Wyss series features members of the Wyss community discussing how they think about their work, the influences that help shape them as scientists, and their collaborations at the Wyss Institute and beyond.

In this installment of our Molecular Robotics Edition, we talk to Postdoctoral Fellow Brian Beliveau, Ph.D. about his work developing single-cell imaging technologies and how he envisions his research impacting the world.

What drives you?

Life works in fascinating and mysterious ways. Our ability to understand how cells and organisms function is limited in part by a lack of technologies able to address key questions. I want to help change that.

You’re working on single-cell imaging technologies, tell us more.

I develop enabling single-cell imaging technologies. Most of my focus has been on targeting chromosomes and cellular RNA molecules. These tools allow researchers to ask questions about how DNA transactions such as replication, transcription, and repair are faithfully carried out by our cells.

Our ability to understand how cells and organisms function is limited in part by a lack of technologies able to address key questions. I want to help change that.

Brian Beliveau

Share with us some of the challenges you’re facing.

Researchers simultaneously need to be able to visualize molecule targets with finer detail and to look in many samples. Normally one must trade between imaging resolution and throughput. I am seeking to find the delicate balance where both requirements can be met.

So, how do you envision your research impacting the world?

A basic understanding of how cells function is essential for understanding the molecular basis for disease. Single-cell imaging technologies will provide an important complement to the single-cell sequencing technologies that have already begun to transform basic and translational science disciplines and empowered the field of precision medicine.

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