Gibson, team awarded $1 million grant to develop new microscope

By Staff

Emily Gibson, a CU Denver bioengineering faculty member, has been awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation grant for development of a unique fluorescent microscope allowing visualization of dynamic cellular processes at resolutions approaching the size of protein complexes (tens of nanometers).

Diego Restrepo, professor of cell and developmental biology and director of the Center for Neuroscience, is co-principal investigator of the grant; Stephanie Meyer, research associate in the Department of Bioengineering, is key personnel.

The technology development grant will fund a five-year effort to build the microscope, making CU Denver the only place in the country with such research capability. Projects enabled by the new instrument include studies of the dynamic organization of protein complexes in synapses upon control of neural plasticity, studies of the molecular-level mechanisms of odor transduction by direct stimulation of the transduction pathway, and methods for writing/reading bits at sub-diffraction dimensions in high density data storage materials.

The investigators are particularly committed to promoting student training and advancing participation of under-represented minorities in science as evidenced by their involvement in the Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) program, a summer program designed to help meet the challenge to reduce the Neuroscience research participation gap by preparing diverse undergraduates in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest Region for successful entry to Neuroscience Ph.D. programs.