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Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy

Award: Imaging Scientist


Martin C. Fischer, PhD

Duke University (Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy Facility)


Martin C. Fischer is an associate research professor in chemistry and physics at Duke University, where he directs the newly established Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy (ALIS) facility. He received his PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin, studying quantum transport of ultracold atoms in optical lattices. His current work explores novel optical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques for molecular 3D imaging in highly complex materials. Prior to his arrival to Duke in 2005, Fischer worked in the department of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, performing research on laser microscopy in skin and on gas magnetic resonance imaging in lungs. He also worked at Bell Labs/Agere Systems in New Jersey, working on high-speed transmission in optical fiber networks.

Project Description

The ever-increasing quality and quantity of data requires and drives advances in microscopy and data analysis techniques. Such highly sophisticated instruments are most often developed for research use, and while equivalent, user-friendly commercial instruments eventually make it to the market, they remain out of reach for a majority of potential users in the meantime. The newly established ALIS facility at Duke will develop state-of-the art, customizable microscopes and make them accessible to the broader research community. Applications span disciplines from traditional sciences to humanities, including cultural objects such as renaissance paintings. Some ALIS microscopes will study small samples at high rates, such as the real-time monitoring of developing fly larvae; while other microscopes enable studying large samples at slower rates, such as the distribution of genetically labeled cells in an entire mouse brain.