UC campuses to partner on $24 million imaging science center

Jianwei "John" Miao, UCLA

Credit: Annie Yu

UCLA professor Jianwei "John" Miao is deputy director and co-principal investigator of the new Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging.

UC Berkeley and UCLA will help lead the new Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging, which aims to tackle major scientific challenges by improving imaging technology.

The center, which includes scientists from UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine and the University of Colorado, Boulder, will receive $24 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) over a five-year period, with the possibility of a continuation for five additional years.

The project addresses a critical national need for imaging science to enable scientific breakthroughs and technological advances at an important time for the United States to remain competitive in science and technology, said the center's deputy director and co-principal investigator Jianwei “John” Miao, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and member of UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute.

Miao said that the work of the center, known as Strobe because of its use of stroboscopes for imaging, will integrate several approaches and technologies — including photon and electron-based imaging, advanced algorithms, big data analysis and adaptive imaging — to deal with issues that have the potential to transform imaging science and technology.

Recent major advances by the participating scientists in electron, X-ray and optical nano-imaging have paved the way for achieving the project’s multidisciplinary goals.

“We will push each imaging technique to its limits, as well as develop improved new approaches,” Miao said. “Physicists, mathematicians, chemists and biologists from UCLA will work closely with leading experts from University of Colorado, Boulder, and UC Berkeley to establish Strobe as a world-class imaging center.”

UCLA undergraduate and graduate students will have an opportunity to participate in the research, he said, adding that students trained in imaging science are needed in all areas of science and advanced technology.

The center also plans to develop world-class engineers, scientists and leaders of industry; educate a diverse group of students for STEM careers; develop STEM programs to educate high school science teachers and students; and engage in knowledge transfer with industry.

Additional UCLA faculty members participating in the project are Pietro Musumeci and Chris Regan (physics and astronomy), Stanley Osher (mathematics), Jose Rodriguez (chemistry and biochemistry), Shimon Weiss (chemistry and biochemistry, and physiology) and Z. Hong Zhou (microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics).

Naomi S. Ginsberg (far right), associate professor of chemistry and physics, will lead UC Berkeley's research efforts in a new NSF-funded imaging center.
Credit: UC Berkeley

Naomi S. Ginsberg, associate professor of chemistry and physics and member of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute at Berkeley, will lead the efforts for UC Berkeley. Other UC Berkeley faculty involved in the project are Ke Xu assistant professor of chemistry, Andy Minor, professor of materials science and engineering, Laura Waller, assistant professor of electrical engineering, and Roger Falcone, professor of physics. The Advanced Light Source and the Molecular Foundry/National Center for Electron Microscopy at Berkeley Lab will also be involved in the project.

University of Colorado, Boulder, physics professor Margaret Murnane is the center's director and principal investigator. UC Irvine, Fort Lewis College in Colorado and Florida International University also will participate. Industrial partners are Intel, IBM, Semiconductor Research Corp., GlobalFoundries, Anasys, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre, ASML and KMLabs.