Birmingham professor awarded Weizmann Institute joint programme grant

Dirk-Peter Herten-1024
Professor Dirk-Peter Herten

Professor Dirk-Peter Herten, Chair in Cell Biology of Membrane Proteins at the Institute of Cardiovascular Science (ICVS), has received the Weizmann-UK Joint Research Programme Award to improve spatial resolution and quantitative assessment of fluorescently labelled proteins in cells.

The two-year award is made jointly between Professor Herten and Professor Dan Oron, the Harry Weinrebe Professor of Laser Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. 

It will fund research into super-resolved quantitative fluorescence imaging by quantum image scanning microscopy (SuperQMicroscopy) and the project will foster closer collaboration and facilitate collaborative grant applications in the future.

Speaking of the award, Professor Herten said: "The aim of this project is to improve spatial resolution and quantitative assessment of fluorescently labelled proteins in dense environments, like cells." 

This will be achieved by combining two complementary approaches that were developed in the labs of Professors Herten and Oron, namely molecular counting by photon statistics and the recently introduced quantum image scanning microscopy.

Professor Oron commented: "This will involve utilizing quantum photon statistics as a resource in imaging, towards developing quantitative super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. This is a significant advance towards tackling biological questions dealing with counting of molecular copies in densely labelled environments."

Both institutes plan to demonstrate the suitability of these methods with commonly used organic dyes, and aim for a preliminary demonstration of super-resolved emitter counting in a cell sample.

These results will dramatically enhance the ability to study variations in copy numbers or counting of binding sites, tasks which are of utmost importance in current studies of cellular structures and functions on the molecular level.

Find out more