On Monday, 10 May 2021 at 4:15 p.m, in Zoom
Adam S. Backer (Apple Inc., USA)
Pushing the Limits of Single Molecule Microscopy
In recent years, the fluorescence microscope has transformed the field of biological imaging. Using single-molecule methods and machine-learning-assisted reconstruction algorithms, it is now possible to resolve structures an order of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of light, thus achieving super-resolution. My research seeks to enhance the computational and optical tools that underpin super-resolution microscopy. By constructing non-traditional microscopes that record additional physical parameters on a molecule-by-molecule basis, we stand to gain unique insights into a variety of biological and materials systems. In my talk today, I will first present one of my Ph.D. projects developing three-dimensional super-resolution methods and describe how this work will benefit from emerging nanophotonic technologies such as optical metasurfaces. Next, I will present a recent project using fluorescence polarization and optical tweezers to reveal hidden structural features of the DNA molecule. Finally, I will discuss how this methodological toolkit could be further expanded to realize adaptive, task-aware imaging systems.
Adam’s work aims to create nanophotonic devices, optical techniques, and computational algorithms to investigate biological systems at the nanoscale. He has pursued an eclectic mix of research topics and enjoyed collaborations with industrial and academic labs around the world. Adam is currently an optical engineer at Apple, and recently completed a Harry S. Truman Fellowship at Sandia National Labs. Adam received his Ph.D. in Computational Mathematical Engineering from Stanford in 2016, where he performed his doctoral research in the lab of W. E. Moerner. He also holds an M.Phil. in Engineering from Cambridge University, and a B.S. in Engineering and Physics from Brown University.
The Physicum seminars are meant for a broad auditorium of physicists and materials scientists, as well as for interested people from other natural and exact sciences (including bacheleor level students) and aim at introducing what is important and new in a certain field, or where a specific reasearch direction has reached today.
Everybody is welcome to attend.