Carlas Smith awarded Veni grant

News - 16 July 2018 - Communication

Carlas Smith, assistant professor at the Smart Optics Lab of the Delft Center for Systems and Control and Imaging Physics in the Faculty of Applied Sciences has been awarded a Veni grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Super-resolution microscopy in live tissue
Super-resolution microscopy in live tissue is essential to our understanding of diseases and the development of treatments. But live-tissue imaging is not possible with the techniques available today. Carlas Smith combines optics and information aspects to maximise the recorded information content of a microscope, thus achieving imaging with nanometre resolution in live tissue.

‘I visualise molecules in cells at the nano-level,’ Carlas Smith says, ‘by looking at microscopy in a smart way. In microscopy we usually look at dead tissue, but it’s more interesting to study the processes that take place in living cells. Microscopy in living cells is tricky because you have to look much deeper in the tissue without damaging the cells. I’m going to use my Veni grant to develop a new technique to effectively collect information in high resolution from live tissue. First I have to acquire as much information as possible from the sample under the microscope. I’ll do that by distorting the image with light signals that I will shine into the sample. The light signal that comes back from the sample will be distorted again and give me with more information about the properties and location of the molecules in the cell. Subsequently I’ll use this information to convert the images recorded with a 2D grayscale camera into 3D colour images so that we view the molecules and their dynamics at nanometre resolution. I’m delighted with my Veni grant and am confident that this research can have a major impact on biomedical science.’

Talent Scheme
The Veni grant is one of three types of grant in NWO’s Talent Scheme and is worth a maximum of 250,000 euros, which the researchers can use to develop their ideas and research for the coming three years. NWO announced the 2018 Veni laureates this week. The list includes seven scientists working at TU Delft. The Talent Scheme was established in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the universities.

Read more about all of the laureates here.