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BE Seminar: “Imaging the Brain for Deeper, Finer, and More Diverse Insight” (Fei Xia, Ecole Normale Supérieure)
February 1 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
The brain is a powerful organ that regulates health and drives intelligence. How can we see more clearly into the working brain to understand it better? High-resolution optical microscopy has long been an ideal tool due to its spatial sub-micron precision and specificity. However, achieving the necessary spatio-temporal scale for further advancing our understanding of the brain remains a challenge. The primary obstacle originates from the inhomogeneous nature of tissues, which distort light and compromise imaging depth, precision, and information.
In this talk, I will introduce new in vivo deep tissue optical microscopy platforms advanced in microscope design and computational tools, to address existing challenges. By moving towards longer wavelengths for one-, two-, and three-photon microscopy, we have achieved simultaneous deep structural and functional imaging through an entire cortical column with multiple label-free and fluorescence contrasts. With precise control of light, we have enabled adaptive optical imaging of dendritic spines and myelinated axons up to the hippocampus. With a new AI-enabled tool, we have sped up volumetric 3D imaging for microvasculature, neurons, and dendrites. These techniques advance toward imaging the dynamic, cell-type-specific processes and microvasculature within the living brain. I will conclude by discussing the opportunities these enabling optical microscopy techniques offer for biology and clinical applications.
Fei Xia, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Ecole Normale Supérieure and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, France
Fei Xia is a postdoctoral researcher at École Normale Supérieure and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, France, working with Prof. Sylvain Gigan. She received her Ph.D. in 2021 from Cornell University, under the guidance of Prof. Chris Xu. Her primary research interest lies in developing solutions to extend the capabilities of optical microscopy for biomedicine. She is particularly interested in creating intelligent in vivo optical systems for neuroscience and disease studies. Fei has been recognized with several awards, including the Optica Foundation Challenge Award in Health, the Women in Optics by the International Society for Optics and Photonics, the Data Open Championship, and the Mong NeuroTech Fellowship from Cornell University.