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Research Fellows Directory

Philippe Laissue

Dr Philippe Laissue

Research Fellow


University of Essex

Research summary

Imaging a biological process as it unfolds is a singularly powerful experimental approach. Since its invention, light microscopy has shown this countless times. But light can be harmful, and high intensities damage the observed cell, tissue or organism. This photodamage is a crucial consideration for in vivo light microscopy. If ignored, microscopic observation is reduced to a study in photopathology. It is crucial to find the best ways to reduce light exposure, while still getting images good enough to analyse and quantify. One of the best techniques is selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), also called lightsheet fluorescence microscoy (LSFM). Over the last decade, this technique has allowed spectacular real time imaging of developing organisms. Despite its clear technical advantages over conventional techniques, SPIM is not yet widespread. With a previous Royal Society research grant, I was able to build a novel lightsheet instrument to look at the development of reef-building corals over long periods of time. The current Royal Society Industry Fellowship allows me to work with Cairn Research, an innovative and independent scientific instruments manufacturer in Kent, UK. We are jointly creating two affordable and adaptable illuminators, tested on a wide variety of samples, and with openly available designs. We hope they will find their way into many research labs, helping to spread the wonderful technique of SPIM.

Grants awarded

Lightsheet illumination modules for low-phototoxicity fluorescence microscopy

Scheme: Industry Fellowship

Dates: Oct 2015 - Sep 2018

Value: £90,650