Lightfest! Advanced Light Microscopy Symposium at CNSI


Lightfest! Advanced Light Microscopy Symposium at CNSI
**UNESCO’s International Day of Light**

The second annual Lightfest! Advanced Light Microscopy Symposium at CNSI was held to celebrate UNESCO’s International Day of Light from May 15 – 17 in honor of Theodore Maiman, who fired the first laser in Southern California on May 16th, 1960. The symposium featured invited talks from a selection of light microscopy users, poster presentations and awards, an image contest, and vendor booths.

Opening Keynote:
Session Chair Laurent Bentolila (UCLA)
Speaker: Scott E. Fraser
"Adding dimensions to intravital imaging to better eavesdrop on biology"

Scott E. Fraser, Ph.D. Provost Professor of Biological Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, USC
Imaging of living specimens can animate the wealth of high-throughput molecular data to better understand complex events ranging from embryonic development to disease processes. We are advancing this approach despite the unavoidable tradeoffs – between spatial & temporal resolution, field of view, limited photon budget – by constructing faster and more efficient light sheet and laser-scanning microscopes that maintain subcellular resolution.
Our two-photon light-sheet microscope combines the deep penetration of two-photon microscopy and the speed of light sheet microscopy to generate images with more than 10x improved imaging speed & sensitivity. Better engineering of the detection objective’s point-spread-function improves this another 3-fold. Two-photon excitation light is far less scattered, permitting subcellular resolution to be maintained better than conventional light sheet microscopes, resulting in 4D (3D over time) cell and molecular imaging with sufficient speed and resolution to unambiguous trace cell lineages, movements and signals in intact systems.

Dr. Bentolila is Director of the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Laboratory, the Macro-Scale Imaging Laboratory, the Leica Microsystems Center of Excellence, and a Senior Research Scientist at the California NanoSystems Institute, CNSI, at UCLA. Dr. Bentolila’s long-standing research interest focuses on the application of nanotechnology and advanced light microscopy techniques to biology and medicine. Towards this goal, Dr. Bentolila has developed novel fluorescent probes and assembled a unique collection of custom-built and commercial optical microscopes used for the study of macromolecules, cellular dynamics, and nanoscale characterization of biomaterials. Since joining UCLA in 2002, he has received continuous federal and institutional funding to develop multi-disciplinary research programs and support a state-of-the-art optical microscopy Technology Center that fosters innovation across disciplines and facilitate university collaborations with industry. Dr. Bentolila is the recipient of several awards including the European Molecular Biology Organization and the Burroughs Welcome Fund.

This year, the UCLA ArtSci Center joined ALMS LAB in celebrating the International Day of Light by infusing vibrant artistic approaches into science. We provided the visual identity for the symposium and presented an installation featuring sound, light, lasers, and micro and macro imagery. The installation was a collaborative effort led by artist Victoria Vesna, plasma physicist Walter Gekelman, project scientist Hayley Marks, ALMS, John Brumley, and students Yichen Pan, Samuel Yang, Mae Chen, and Hana Azab.
Check out the installation page:

All the vendors showcased their latest technology and research in their booths at the CNSI lobby. The ArtSci Center also presented the center's current and past projects as well as the SciArt Summer Sessions program for high school students.

The first day of the symposium featured a session titled "Art in Science," chaired by media artist Victoria Vesna and two ArtSci scientist fellows: biologist Daniel G. Jay from Tufts University and physicist Walter Gekelman from UCLA.

May 15 - 17, 2024
CNSI Alfred E Mann Auditorium & Lobby

Image description:
1. Keynote speaker Scott E. Fraser on opening day.
2. ALMS director Laurent Bentolila leading the keynote discussion.
3. Victoria Vesna, director of UCLA ArtSci Center, introducing the "Art in Science" session with Daniel Jay on screen.
4. Victoria Vesna introducing distinguished physicist Walter Gekelman.
5. Physicist Walter Gekelman giving a talk on using lasers to map the motion of ions in a plasma physics experiment.
6. Daniel Jay explaining the concept of art in science.
7. Audience interacting with a piece at the "Art in Science" session.
8. ArtSci team members Maryam Razi, Ivy Lovett, and TC interacting with the Alien Star Dust app, a project by Victoria Vesna, at the ArtSci booth. info:
9. A child having fun with Leica microscopy.