Welcome to the Lew Lab archives! Here you'll find noteworthy milestones and past lab news. See how far the lab has come.
Our lab has received a five-year $2 million Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop adaptive six-dimensional microscopy. Congrats, all!
Congratulations, Jasmine, on receiving a 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Award!
Two outstanding undergraduates have received awards this year: Brian with the Rick Grodsky Award for Technical Achievement and the David H. Levy Outstanding Senior Award, and Jasmine with the Russel R. Pfeiffer Outstanding Junior Award! Both were recognized at the 2023 McKelvey Engineers' Honors Ceremony. Congratulations, Brian and Jasmine!
The Lew Lab presented several exciting posters and talks at BPS 2023 in San Diego:
- Congratulations to Tingting, who has received a 2023 Travel Award to present at the Annual Meeting!
- Congratulations to Weiyan, whose submission to the Biophysical Society Art of Science Image Contest was selected as one of ten finalists! Her art was displayed in the Exhibit Hall during the meeting.
- Weiyan presented “Single-Molecule Orientation-Localization Microscopy Resolves the Nanoscale Organization of Self-Assembled Peptides,” Poster 627-Pos / B448 in Optical Microscopy and Superresolution Imaging I on Sunday, Feb 19 [Abstract]
- Brian presented “Single-Molecule Orientation-Localization Microscopy Resolves How Amyloidophilic Dye Orientations are Correlated with Amyloid Fiber Growth and Disruption,” Poster 1339-Pos / B468 in Optical Microscopy and Superresolution Imaging II on Monday, Feb 20 [Abstract]
- Matt presented “A Multi-View Reflector Microscope Visualizes Six-Dimensional Single-Molecule Translational And Rotational Dynamics With Isotropic Nanoscale Resolution,” Poster 1351-Pos / B480 in Optical Microscopy and Superresolution Imaging II on Monday, Feb 20 [Abstract]
- Tingting presented “Mapping Inhomogeneous Network Structures within Biomolecular Condensate using Single-Molecule Imaging and Tracking of Fluorogenic Probes,” Platform Talk 1437-Plat in Condensates: Physical Properties and Modeling II on Tuesday, Feb 21 at 9:15 AM [Abstract]
Congratulations to Oumeng and our collaborators in the Vahey Lab in WashU Biomedical Engineering on
publishing a new microscope architecture for 6D single-molecule super-resolution imaging in
Nature Photonics! The multi-view reflector (MVR) microscope achieves nearly isotropic
10.9 nm precision in 3D over a 1.5 μm depth range and measures the 3D orientation of single
molecules with 2.0° precision.
- “Six-dimensional single-molecule imaging with isotropic resolution using a multi-view reflector microscope,” Nat. Photon. 17, 179 (2023). [The Source - Washington University, Open Scholarship, Article, Data, Summary PDF]
- “Telescope-inspired microscope sees molecules in 6D” in the Source.
Tingting's collaborative work with Peng and Asheq on using deep-learning for 5D imaging (2D
position and 3D orientation estimation) of single molecules is now online in Optics
- “Deep-SMOLM: deep learning resolves the 3D orientations and 2D positions of overlapping single molecules with optimal nanoscale resolution,” Opt. Express 30, 36761 (2022). [McKelvey Engineering News, Article, Code, Data, Video abstract]
- “Machine learning generates pictures of proteins in 5D” in McKelvey Engineering News.
Matt led the “Single Molecules and Phase” session at the 65th Welch Conference on Chemical Research, “Molecules and Sculpted Light.” W. E. Moerner chaired the conference, which featured awesome science and timely addresses from Peter Hotez and Carolyn R. Bertozzi.
The Lew Lab is thrilled to be part of the new Center for Biomolecular Condensates in the McKelvey School of Engineering. The inaugural symposium was inspirational and great fun! [McKelvey Engineering News]
James's theoretical exploration of how to design microscopes optimized for resolving closely
spaced objects in 3D is now online in Optics Express. Congratulations!
- “Towards optimal point spread function design for resolving closely spaced emitters in three dimensions,” Opt. Express 30, 37154 (2022). [Article]
- James's paper has been highlighted as an Editor's Pick!
Dr. Meikun Shen, formerly in the Sadtler group, has published a study on how ascorbic acid
enhances water oxidation activity on the surfaces of tungsten oxide nanowires. It appears in
Nano Lett. Congratulations!
“In Situ Imaging of Catalytic Reactions on Tungsten Oxide Nanowires Connects Surface–Ligand Redox Chemistry with Photocatalytic Activity” [Article]
Matt is spotlighted as a STEM expert in the summer 2022 issue of the Saint Louis Science
Center's NewScience magazine. He discusses the incredible potential of computational
imaging in “Can a Computer Help Make a Better Camera?”.
Read: Magazine version, Web/mobile version, PDF [51.8 MB]
Congratulations, Oumeng, on being featured as an outstanding graduate by the McKelvey School of Engineering!
Congratulations, Jasmine, on receiving a 2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Award!
Tingting's work on engineering new dipole-spread functions (DSFs) for imaging single molecules
in 6 dimensions (3D position plus 3D orientation) is now online in Optica.
- “Dipole-spread-function engineering for simultaneously measuring the 3D orientations and 3D positions of fluorescent molecules,” Optica 9, 505 (2022). [Article, Data, Video abstract]
- “Lew lab sheds new light on cell membranes” - The Source
The lab welcomes Yiyang Chen and Yuanxin Qiu, both in the Imaging Science PhD program. It's great to have you!
Matt give another invited colloquium, “Single-Molecule Orientation Localization Microscopy: Visualizing Molecular Organization at the Nanoscale”, at the Department of Physics & Astronomy at San Francisco State University.
Matt give an invited talk, “Single-Molecule Orientation Localization Microscopy: Visualizing Molecular Organization at the Nanoscale”, at the MIT Laser Biomedical Research Center's Modern Optics and Spectroscopy Seminar.
Congratulations to Dr. Hesam Mazidi, whose patent on using Wasserstein-induced flux to certify localization accuracy has been granted!
Tingting presented “pixOL: pixel-wise dipole-spread function engineering for simultaneously measuring the 3D orientation and 3D location of dipole-like emitters” at Focus on Microscopy 2022.
Congratulations, Dr. Oumeng Zhang, on successfully defending his PhD dissertation!
We congratulate Oumeng on receiving the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering's Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award! Thank you for your outstanding contributions to the technology and culture of innovation in our lab!
The Washington University in St. Louis Board of Trustees has promoted Matt to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. Onward and upward!
Congratulations Tingting on receiving a second-place poster award at the 2022 Imaging Sciences Pathway Retreat!
The Lew Lab presented several posters at BPS
2022 in San Francisco:
- “Accurate Superresolution Microscopy of the 3D Orientations and 3D Locations of Single Molecules within Lipid Membranes and Biomolecular Condensates,” Poster 694-Pos / B518 in Optical Microscopy and Superresolution Imaging I [Abstract]
- “Visualizing the Nanoscale Architecture of Amyloid Aggregates using Amyloidophilic Probes and a Polarized Vortex Microscope,” Poster 693-Pos / B517 in Optical Microscopy and Superresolution Imaging I [Abstract]
- “Mapping the Chemical Composition and Nanoscale Structure of Lipid Membranes using Polarized Fluorescence from Single Molecules,” Poster 2353-Pos / B183 in Membrane Structure II [Abstract]
Today, the Lew Lab celebrates the science and mentorship of W. E. Moerner and the publication of a Festschrift
issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry dedicated to him. Thank you, W. E.,
for your pioneering work and leadership that continues to inspire generations of scientists and
- Tribute to W. E. Moerner
- Autobiography of W. E. Moerner
- About the cover
- Our contribution to the Festschrift: “Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy of 3D Orientation and Anisotropic Wobble Using a Polarized Vortex Point Spread Function”
Welcome, Wentao, to the Lew Lab!
Oumeng's study of using radially and azimuthally polarized fluorescence to measure the
translational and rotational dynamics of Nile red in lipid bilayers is now online in Nano
- “Resolving the Three-Dimensional Rotational and Translational Dynamics of Single Molecules Using Radially and Azimuthally Polarized Fluorescence,” Nano Lett. 22, 1024 (2022). [Open Scholarship, Article, Summary PDF]
- “Lew lab sheds new light on cell membranes” - The Source
Tianben's postdoctoral work on developing the polarized vortex PSF for imaging the 3D
orientations and 3D wobble of single molecules is now online in J. Phys. Chem. B.
“Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy of 3D Orientation and Anisotropic Wobble Using a Polarized Vortex Point Spread Function,” J. Phys. Chem. B 125, 12718 (2021). [The Source - Washington University, EurekAlert!, Open Scholarship, Article, Summary PDF
Update: Tianben's art has been selected as a supplemental cover for volume 125, issue 46 of J. Phys. Chem. B!
Matt gave a talk about single-molecule imaging of electron transfer pathways at NA-ISMET 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. There were many fascinating talks covering all aspects of microbial electrochemistry and technology. Thanks to Moh and his group for organizing and hosting!
Matt gave an invited talk in the “Single-Molecule Approaches to Chemistry and Biology” session at SERMACS 2021 in Birmingham, AL. It was great to see such fantastic single-molecule studies in person! Thanks Kevin for organizing!
We got together for a beautiful hike and celebrated Tianben's many contributions to the group. We wish him well as a new researcher at Hitachi, Ltd. in Japan. Thank you for inspiring us with new optical technologies and studies on catalysis and amyloid imaging!
Tianben and Tingting gave platform presentations at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2021 Virtual Meeting, Symposium B11.3 - Frontiers in Fluorescence Lifetime and Super-resolution Imaging of Biological Structures and Dynamics.
Congratulations, Tingting, on being designated a 2021 M&M Student
Dr. Meikun Shen, formerly in the Sadtler group, has published another
study on surface heterogeniety and charge-carrier separation in semiconductor photocatalysts. It
appears in J. Am. Chem. Soc. Congratulations!
“Single-Molecule Colocalization of Redox Reactions on Semiconductor Photocatalysts Connects Surface Heterogeneity and Charge-Carrier Separation in Bismuth Oxybromide” [Article]
Matt was designated as an OSA Senior Member. Congratulations!
Matt presented at the 2021
OSA Imaging and Applied Optics Congress:
Matt spoke at the “Probing Chemical Reactions by Single-Molecule Spectroscopy” virtual conference. It was a fascinating day of single-molecule research! Thank you Suzanne and Randy for organizing!
The lab extends a (belated) welcome to Weiyan, Ziyi, and Makaiya! Weiyan Zhou has joined our lab for her PhD studies. Ziyi Hu and Makaiya Smith are working with us on summer research projects. Learn more about them.
After more than a year apart, the group celebrated Hesam's and Tianben's accomplishments.
Congratulations on earning your PhDs!
We also wished Jin farewell as he begins his new position at the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology in Beijing. Thank you for making us all better chemists!
Congratulations to Tingting on receiving the department's Outstanding Graduate Student Assistant to the Instructor (AI) Award! Tingting received this award during the McKelvey Engineering Honor Ceremony held on April 21, 2021.
Oumeng and Matt presented talks at Focus on Microscopy
2021 online, March 28-31:
- “Measuring Single-Molecule Orientations Using a Radially and Azimuthally Polarized Epifluorescence Microscope”
- “Visualizing Membrane Composition and Amyloid Aggregate Organization Using Single-Molecule 3D Orientation Imaging”
The lab welcomes Brian Sun, who has received a Summer Undergraduate Research Award to work with us this summer on amyloid imaging. Congratulations Brian!
Oumeng's two-part series exploring orientation-localization microscopy has been accepted to
J. Opt. Soc. A!
- “Single-molecule orientation localization microscopy I: fundamental limits” [arXiv.org, Article]
- “Single-molecule orientation localization microscopy II: a performance comparison” [arXiv.org, Article]
And, the SMOLM II paper has been selected as an “Editors' Pick”! Congratulations, Oumeng!
Matt gave an invited seminar “Toward Visualizing the Dynamic Organization of Amyloid Aggregates using Single-Molecule Orientation Localization Microscopy” at the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center at Washington University.
Hesam's development and characterization of Wasserstein Induced Flux for certifying the
statistical confidence of localization microscopy datasets is now online in Nature
Communications! Congratulations, Hesam!
Read the press coverage: The Source - Washington University, EurekAlert!
Read the article: “Quantifying accuracy and heterogeneity in single-molecule super-resolution microscopy”
Matt has been honored with the 2020 “Excellence in Teaching” award from Emerson Electric Co.! Each year, honorees are chosen by the deans of their schools and recognized by the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Tianben, Jin, and Oumeng presented their recent work at
2020: Single-Molecule Sensors and NanoSystems. Check out their presentations here:
Congratulations to Oumeng, whose patent covering the tri-spot PSF has been granted!
Jin's study using the orientational tumbling of Nile red to infer the chemical composition of
lipid bilayers is now online in Angewandte Chemie.
Update: The paper has been selected by the editors as a “Hot Paper” on Nanoscale Sensors. Congratulations, Jin!
Read the press coverage: The Source - Washington University, The Analytical Scientist, EurekAlert!
Read the article: “Single-molecule 3D orientation imaging reveals nanoscale compositional heterogeneity in lipid membranes”
, updated 8.3.20
Congratulations to Dr. Hesam Mazidi, Dr. Tianben Ding, and Jack Hyde on successfully defending their dissertations! It's been a pleasure having you in the lab!
Oumeng's work on deriving the quantum limits of measuring molecular
orientation is now online in Phys. Rev. Research. Congratulations, Oumeng!
“Quantum limits for precisely estimating the orientation and wobble of dipole emitters” [Article]
Meikun in the Sadtler group has published another study on the
photocatalytic activity of semiconductor nanoplates in J. Phys. Chem. Lett.
“Competing Activation and Deactivation Mechanisms in Photodoped Bismuth Oxybromide Nanoplates Probed by Single-Molecule Fluorescence Imaging” [Article]
Tianben and Tingting's work on using super-resolution single-molecule
orientation localization microscopy to study amyloid aggregates is now online in
See: single-molecule orientation localization microscopy in action
Read the press coverage: OSA news release, The Source - Washington University, EurekAlert!, Photonics Media
Read the article: “Single-molecule orientation localization microscopy for resolving structural heterogeneities between amyloid fibrils”
Matt has been recognized with the 2019-2020 Outstanding Teaching Award from the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering! Matt received the award as part of the ESE Awards and Recognition Ceremony on May 8, 2020.
Matt and Oumeng presented at the Computational Optical Imaging workshop at the IEEE ISBI 2020 virtual conference.
Our collaborative work on imaging photocatalytic activity, jointly
led by Tianben and Meikun in the Sadtler group in the Department of Chemistry, is now online in
ACS Catalysis. Congratulations, all!
“Nanoscale Colocalization of Fluorogenic Probes Reveals Role of Oxygen Vacancies in the Photocatalytic Activity of Tungsten Oxide Nanowires” [Open Scholarship, Article]
Press coverage: The Source - Washington University
Jin and Tianben presented their recent work at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in San Diego.
Hesam and Tingting presented their recent work in the
Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging XIII” session at SPIE Photonics
West in San Francisco. Read about their work here:
“Measuring localization confidence for quantifying accuracy and heterogeneity in single-molecule super-resolution microscopy” [Open Scholarship, Article]
“A computationally-efficient bound for the variance of measuring the orientation of single molecules” [Open Scholarship, Article]
Hesam's work on “Quantifying Localization Accuracy in Single-Molecule Super-Resolution Microscopy” was presented in the “New Frontiers in Single Molecule Microscopy” session at QBI 2020 in Oxford, UK.
Matt gave an invited talk in the “Computational Modeling in High-Resolution Imaging” session at the 25th Solvay Conference on Chemistry “Computational Modeling: From Chemistry to Materials to Biology” in Brussels, Belgium.
Oumeng's paper entitled “Fundamental limits on measuring the
rotational constraint of single molecules using fluorescence microscopy” has been
published in Physical Review Letters. Congratulations! [arXiv.org, Article]
Press coverage: The Source - Washington University
Oumeng's and Hesam's works were presented at the OSA Imaging
and Applied Optics Congress on June 24-27, 2019, in Munich:
“Fundamental Limits on Imaging the Orientational Dynamics of Dipole-Like Emitters”
“Single-Molecule Super-Resolution Imaging of Molecular Orientation using a Tri-Spot Point Spread Function”
Matt gave an invited talk at Washington University's Imaging Sciences Pathway Retreat 2019 entitled “Single Molecules and Point Spread Function Engineering for Visualizing Amyloid Protein Dynamics at the Nanoscale.” The group also presented several posters at the event!
Matt gave an invited talk at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society of Canada at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.
Eshan presented his and Hesam's work on DNA imaging at
the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical
Imaging (ISBI) on Apr. 8-11, 2019, in Venice.
“Dense Super-Resolution Imaging of Molecular Orientation Via Joint Sparse Basis Deconvolution and Spatial Pooling” [arXiv.org, Article]
Oumeng and Kevin presented their work at the OSA Biophotonics
Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences meeting on Apr. 14-17, 2019, in Tuscon.
“Measuring Rotational Dynamics with High Accuracy and Precision Using a Tri-spot Point Spread Function”
“Long-Term Super-Resolution Imaging of Amyloid Structures Using Transient Binding of Thioflavin T” [OSA News Release]
Our lab has begun working with a multi-university team to build functional living electronics, called Livtronics, as part of the Office of Naval Research-funded Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Program. Our aim is to build new fluorescence imaging technologies to visualize electron transport within living systems. Read more about it here. [McKelvey School of Engineering news]
Tianben and Oumeng presented their work at Photonics
West. See it here:
“Long-term, super-resolution imaging of amyloid structures using transient amyloid binding microscopy”
“Fundamental limits of measuring single-molecule rotational mobility”
Kevin's and Tianben's article on super-resolution transient amyloid binding (TAB) microscopy is
a featured cover article at
ChemBioChem. Congratulations to the entire team! Read it here:
“Super-Resolution Imaging of Amyloid Structures over Extended Times Using Transient Binding of Single Thioflavin T Molecules” [Open Scholarship]
Press coverage: The Source - Washington University, NSF Science360, Futurity, EurekAlert!
Hesam's article on the characteristics of structural bias in super-resolution microscopy and how
to minimize it using our RoSE algorithm is now online at Scientific Reports.
Congratulations! Read it here:
“Minimizing Structural Bias in Single-Molecule Super-Resolution Microscopy”
Our collaborative work
with Dr. Greg Lanza on imaging the intracellular fate of lipid prodrugs is a featured cover article in Precision
Nanomedicine. Read it here:
“Cellular Trafficking of Sn-2 Phosphatidylcholine Prodrugs Studied with Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging and Super-resolution Microscopy”
article on the Tri-spot point spread function is now online at Applied Physics Letters.
Congratulations Oumeng! Read it here:
“Imaging the three-dimensional orientation and rotational mobility of fluorescent emitters using the Tri-spot point spread function”
Matt gave an invited Stanford Optical Society seminar entitled “Computational Optics for Multidimensional Nanoscale Imaging of Single Fluorescent Molecules.”
Hesam and Oumeng gave excellent presentations at SPIE
BiOS (Photonics West). See them here:
“A robust statistical estimation (RoSE) algorithm jointly recovers the 3D location and intensity of single molecules accurately and precisely”
“Measuring 3D molecular orientation and rotational mobility using a Tri-spot point spread function”
Matt has received a five-year, $1.6 million Maximizing Investigators' Research Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The project is entitled "Five-Dimensional Single-Molecule Nanoscopy for Sensing and Imaging the Dynamic Functions of Biomolecules." We are collaborating with Jan Bieschke at UCL's Institute of Prion Diseases. Congratulations team! [The Source - Washington University]
Hesam's and Oumeng's abstracts have been accepted for oral presentations in the "Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging XI" conference at SPIE BiOS (Photonics West). We're looking forward to showcasing our work in San Francisco in 2018! [Conference program]
Eshan King, who is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, has joined the Lew Lab. He has received a Summer Undergraduate Research Award from the Office of Undergraduate Research. Welcome, Eshan!
We have received a Collaboration Initiation Grant from the School of Engineering & Applied Science to build a fluorescence-lifetime imaging nanoscope in collaboration with James Buckley in the Department of Physics. Congratulations team! [WashU Engineering News]
Oumeng has successfully defended his Master's thesis, "Measuring Molecular Orientation and Rotational Mobility Using a Tri-spot Point Spread Function." Congratulations Oumeng! [ESE MS Defense Announcement PDF]
Matt has received a five-year, $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for the project entitled "CAREER: Nanoscale sensing and imaging using computational single-molecule nanoscopy." Congratulations team! [WashU Engineering News, The Source - Washington University]
Our joint project "Single-Molecule, Super-Resolution
Imaging of Reaction Sites in Mesoscale Semiconductor Photocatalysts" with Prof. Bryce Sadtler in the
Department of Chemistry has
been funded by the WashU International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and
We imaged single fluorescent molecules for the first time! What beautiful blinking!
Matt won first place in Optics and Photonics News's 10th annual After Image photo contest!
Matt gave an invited talk at Laser Science 2015 entitled “Accurate 3D nanoscale imaging of dipole-like emitters.”
Matt gave the first lecture of ESE 582/BME 5820, Fundamentals and Applications of Modern Optical Imaging, a new graduate course at Washington University.
Matt joined the the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis as an Assistant Professor.