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Laboratory of Gary Borisy

Senior Scientists: Gary Borisy, Rudolf Oldenbourg, Mitchell Sogin

Assistant Research Scientist: Jessica Mark Welch
Microscopy Support Coordinator: Louis Kerr
Research Assistant I: Christopher Rieken
Brown-MBL Graduate Students: Yuko Hasegawa, Alex Valm
The combinatorial imaging group is developing microscopybased techniques to observe microbial diversity and study the composition of microbial communities. We employ a technology known as spectral imaging, which allows the discrimination of as many as 10 to 15 different kinds of fluorescent molecules. These fluorophores are used to label DNA probes specific to the genomes of different kinds of microbes.

With funding from the Sloan Foundation we are working to develop methods for using multiple fluorophores in combinations, in an effort to greatly increase the number of different targets that can be simultaneously identified in a single sample. In a test of this technology applying all of the probes to the bacterium E. coli, we are able to simultaneously detect and identify 28 different populations in a single image.

The group combines the strengths of the Bay Paul Center, with experience in metagenomic analysis of natural microbial communities and state-of-the-art DNA sequencing facilities, and the Architectural Dynamics in Living Cells program, with experience pushing the limits of microscopy. As the technique becomes further developed, we plan to apply it to natural populations of microbes, such as those found in the environment and those that live in and on the human body.

Senior Scientist Gary Borisy

Gary Borisy
News: Former MBL Director and Cell Biology Pioneer Gary Borisy Elected to National Academy of Sciences