Enhancing the Role of a Microscopy Core Facility to Catalyze Biomedical Research
Award: Imaging Scientist
Michelle S. Itano, PhD
University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill (UNC Neuroscience Microscopy Core)
Dr. Itano is a cellular biophysicist, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology and Director of the UNC Neuroscience Microscopy Core, where she develops and customizes state-of-the-art optical imaging and analysis applications for a wide range of scientific research. She utilizes innovative fluorescence microscopy methods—including super-resolution and simultaneous multi-plane imaging—to investigate how viruses, such as HIV-1, infect cells.
Dr. Itano collaborates with colleagues from across scientific disciplines to find the best way to apply new, powerful imaging techniques to a wide range of scientific questions. She serves as the main source of training and guidance on how to coordinate and design imaging acquisition and analysis experiments, and has developed relationships with hardware and software engineers by continuously upgrading and customizing the services offered by the Core. Dr. Itano is engaging actively in a growing collaboration between researchers and computing specialists to design and disseminate efficient bioimaging pipelines for large imaging data sets to directly catalyze research findings.