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There is a fundamental limit to how small we can see objects, caused by the diffraction of light itself, this is called Abbe's diffraction limit. This innate 'blurriness' means that optical microscopy cannot resolve anything smaller than ~250 nanometres. Unfortunately the spatial scale that many biological processes occur on is smaller than this limit, therefore it has been difficult to directly visualise these processes.

We use a technique called super-resolution imaging that allows researchers to break this diffraction limit. By having active control over the emissive state of single fluorescent molecules, it is possible to attain spatial lateral resolutions of 10-20 nanometres. We will build microscopes capable of visualising biological processes at least ten times better than conventional microscopy. 

Our research is focused in two main areas, methodological development and application of these new methods to important biological questions that impact directly on human health. The main areas are summarised below:


  1. Multidimensional super-resolution Imaging.
  2. Novel Fluorophore development. 
  3. 3D Super-resolution Imaging.
  4. Quantitative analysis software and computational imaging.


  1. The molecular mechanism of adaptive immunity in Human T Cells.
  2. Nanoclustering of K-Ras in aberrant Cancer signalling.
  3. Quantifiying post synaptic diversity in Mouse Brains.
  4. Visualising Oligomers in Neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s).