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Cell Art Exhibit at San Diego Airport features IEM Researchers' work

April 5, 2014

During the month of December 2014, the Airport Authority’s “Art Program showcased the exhibit “Taking Art to the Cellular Level” in conjunction with San Diego’s life science association, BIOCOM. Twelve different researchers from different organization from the San Diego Region displayed their images and art that showcased their scientific research and developments.

IEM faculty and researchers were selected to participate in the exhibit. An image taken by Dr. Massoud Kraiche, “Nanointerface”,  during his postdoctoral tenure in Professor Gabriel Silva's lab and an image, taken by Shaoying (Kathy) Lu “Flavors of the Cell”  were selected for display.

Dr Khraiche's Nanointerface Image 4

The image above, entitled "Nanointerface", shows neurons (brain cells) from the cortical region of a rat brain growing on nanowires -- tiny wires on the order of a billionth of a meter in diameter that interface with neural tissue. These particular nanowires can be activated by light to stimulate photoreceptors in the retina.

The work by Dr. Kraiche and colleagues focuses on the design of a retinal implant that would replace degenerated photoreceptors in patients with blinding retinal disorders. This part of a larger collaboration that includes Dr. Massoud Khraiche, William Freeman, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Professors Gabriel Silva and Gert Cauwenberghs from the Department of Bioengineering, and Professor Yu-Hwa Lo from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This image above, “Flavors of the Cell”, shows the activation process of Fyn kinase in a live cell. The image is a composite of multiple frames of a single cell during a time course, starting with the blue cell and progress in the counter-clockwise direction. The methods used for these images were Fluorescence Light Microscopy and FRET biosensor.

Dr. Shaoying (Kathy) Lu is a bioengineering project scientist with a multidisciplinary background. Her research focuses on image-driven bioinformatics and system biology. Her group develops FRET biosensors for live cell imaging, as well as computational algorithms and statistical inference methods for the high throughput analysis of biological data, with applications in cancer biology and epigenetic differentiation of stem cells.

Collaborators include Kathy Lu, Shreya Malik, Mingxing Ouyang, and Yingxiao Wang from Laboratory of Molecular Engineering for Cellular Imaging and Reprogramming, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego.