FIP Virtual Seminar: What can optical nanoscopy reveal about the structure and function of the genome?

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Wed, 10/14/2020 - 12:00 to 13:00

Dr. Vadim Backman


Dr. Vadim Backman, Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Director, Center for Physical Genomics and Engineering, Northwestern University


The behavior of organisms is determined by both their genetic code and their capacity to explore a transcriptional landscape of thousands of genes to create new functional states. The 3-D structure of the genome underlies and governs some of the critical transcriptional mechanisms. Understanding this complexity depends on our ability to image chromatin structure with nanoscale resolution. The talk will discuss a platform of new label-based as well as label-free optical nanoscopy technologies designed to interrogate the genome with resolution approaching a few nanometers. The talk will also discuss the promise of optical imaging to discover principally new mechanistic insights into the function of human genome. 

Dr. Vadim Backman’s research at the convergence of physical and biological sciences focuses on elucidating the function of the human genome and its dysregulation in disease, enabled by the development of new nanoscale imaging and computational technologies that lead to novel methods for regulation of global patterns of gene expression and their clinical translation for disease diagnostics and therapeutics. His research spans from basic science to technology development to multi-center clinical trials. Dr. Backman has received numerous awards including the Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences and was selected as one of the top 100 young innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review Magazine. He has chaired multiple scientific conferences such as OSA Biomed and SPIE Biomedical Applications of Light Scattering. He has published more than 230 papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Science Advances, PNAS, and Physical Review Letters and holds over 20 patents. Dr. Backman has a track record of managing large-scale multi-investigator projects including an NCI Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) and Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). He is the co-founder of three biotech companies.