QSTORM Research Update: Sea and Sky and the Pursuit of Living Truth – Presentations at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

By Carol Lynn Alpert

In March 2012, the five QSTORM PIs gave presentations on our research to members of The Histochemical Society, at a joint meeting with the NSF Innovations in Biological Imaging program, held at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory on Cape Cod. Several QSTORM students and the Museum of Science team also presented posters. It was too cold to go to the beach, but perfect for sitting in a darkened lecture hall watching the various ingenious ways that folks are probing tiny biological mysteries and retrieving stunning imagery.

Here we post for your viewing pleasure, the filmed versions of the five QSTORM presentations. Each PI outlines their role in the collaborative research effort, the progress they are making toward tackling key challenges, and what’s next on the team agenda.

> Winter Lab – Presentation Video
> Kner La – Presentation Video
> Brainerd Lab – Presentation Video
> Yang Lab – Presentation Video
> Museum of Science – Presentation Video

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QSTORM Research Update: The December 2011 Team Meeting in Athens, Georgia
By Carol Lynn Alpert and Karine Thate

The QSTORM team gathered in person for the first time since first meeting at the NSF IBIV IDEAS Lab in Virginia in May 2010. Peter Kner hosted the whole gang at the University of Georgia – Athens. Attending: Jessica Winter, Beth Brainerd, Ge Yang, Carol Lynn Alpert, Karine Thate, Jeanne Antill, and the project’s brand new Post-Doctoral researcher, Jianquan Xu, aka “the new guy,” aka “James.”

All hands arrived in time for dinner on Sunday evening, and Peter guided us to a fabulous Athens restaurant specializing in local organically grown foods. We sat on benches around a big wooden slab and treated ourselves to a bottle of wine (or two, and not on NSF’s dime) and rich conversation. Jianquan had to work very hard at keeping up with the vernacular fast-flowing American chatter, but managed to hold his own.

Monday, first thing, we began our team briefings – one at a time – each PI narrating the journeys their lab groups have been on, heading toward our mutual goals. We quickly abandoned our half-hour-each agenda plan, in order to accommodate questions and discussion. At Carol Lynn’s prior request, each PI kindly began with a simplified overview of their role in the QSTORM collaborative effort, designed to reinforce everyone’s understanding of the technical details. In this post, our aim is to provide a distillation of the research progress reports presented that day, which represent the overall progress of QSTORM since Day One.

This account is a summary of QSTORM research progress from all labs as of 12/11/11, the date of its presentation at the Athens Georgia meeting. As a reminder, the overall goal of this project is to achieve super-resolution imaging of subcellular structures in living cells. Peter is the STORM microscopy expert; Jessica is the quantum dot designer; Ge is guiding the application to nerve cell research; Beth is guiding the application to muscle cell research; the MOS team is enhancing team communications and chronicling the work for a broader audience.

> Winter Lab Update
> Kner Lab Update
> Brainerd Lab Update
> Yang Lab Update
> Museum of Science Studio Update

The Last Supper
Monday was a very full day, as you can imagine. We were mentally fatigued, and had a pretty low-key dinner in Athens and retired early. On Tuesday we toured the STORM imaging lab, recorded some brief video interviews, and took off for the Atlanta airport. That night some of us dreamt of glowing green dots.