The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has announced awards totaling $17 million to seventeen CZI Imaging Scientists — engineers, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and biologists with expertise in technology development.
The imaging of molecules, cells, and tissues remains central to both biomedical research and clinical practice, yet progress in the imaging field has been slowed by inadequate software and limited sharing of advanced microscopy methods. At imaging centers across the United States, the selected scientists will work to accelerate progress in the imaging field, enabling biologists to leverage modern technology to improve the use of microscopy data.
Over the past decade, technical advances in imaging have dramatically increased the resolution of light microscopy and electron microscopy. Yet many of the new microscopes have not been commercialized, and the development of software for analyzing new kinds of data lags the advances made in hardware. According to CZI, improved technology and additional interaction between technology experts and biologists will enable scientists to accelerate the advancement of biomedical science and help cure disease.
"Microscopy is a critical tool that allows researchers to actually see biology and life happen instead of just inferring from disparate data points," said CZI co-founder Priscilla Chan. "Our hope is that microscopy will help scientists identify the causes and effects of diseases. We need to keep advancing these tools to make big breakthroughs in understanding disease. One of the ways we're helping to accelerate scientific progress is by creating connections that otherwise wouldn't have existed — it's our hope that by bringing together biologists, clinicians, and engineers, we can drive important advances in the field."