Science and Mathematics

Physics Faculty Candidate: Visualizing the Organization of Mitotic Chromosomes by Super-resolution Microscopy

January 30, 2020 at 3:45pm4:45pm

Physics Building, 202

Hu Cang, Ph.D., from The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, is a candidate for a faculty position in the Department of Physics, part of the cluster hiring initiative in the BioInspired Institute.

Abstract: Chromosome folding is one of the most dramatic events in cells. In 40 minutes, nearly two meter-long DNA are reorganized completely into 46 highly condensed chromosomes in human mitotic cells. Yet, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We have developed a novel super-resolution microscopy, which integrates expansion microscopy (ExM) with STORM/PALM and reaches sub-10-nm resolution in 3D, bringing the resolution of optical microscopy into the regime of electron microscopy. The new super-resolution microscopy provides the first direct visualization of a multi-helical architecture within a chromosome, and imply a novel cooperative folding mechanism by condensin and topoisomerase II alpha.

Refreshments at 3:30 pm.

Dr. Hu Cang received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Stanford University. He then did his postdoctoral training with Professors Xingde Li and Younan Xia at University Washington, Seattle on developing novel nanoparticle contrast agents for Optical Coherence Tomography. He then worked with Professors Xiang Zhang and Haw Yang at UC Berkeley, developing single-molecule microscopy.

Currently, Dr. Cang is Rentschler Developmental Assistant Professor in the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His research is in the areas of super-resolution microscopy, computational imaging, nano-photonics, and bio-photonics. He has pioneered the use of Amazon EC2 cloud for large-scale super-resolution image processing by using Bayesian analysis. He has invented a novel prism-coupled light-sheet microscope that enables deep tissue single-molecule imaging. This light-sheet technique visualizes the dynamics of heterochromatin in stem cells, enables tracking single molecules on the apical surface of a cell, and, visualizes the clustering of immune-activated T-cell receptors in lymph nodes, providing new insight into immune-response of T-cells in a highly heterogeneous environment.

He is the leading author of papers published in Nature, Nature Methods, PNAS, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and Optical Nanoscopy. He has received awards including NIH New Innovator Award, Ellison Medical Foundation Young Scholar in Aging, and Ray Thomas Edwards Career Development Award for creating novel imaging tools to address long-standing biological problems.

This event was published on January 16, 2020.

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