The Centre of Biophotonics (CoB) at the University of St Andrews was established in 2019 with the mission of promoting interdisciplinary research and training at the interface between advanced optical imaging, photonics and biomedical sciences. The Centre integrates researchers across four schools (Physics and Astronomy, Medicine, Biology and Psychology and Neuroscience) and builds on existing strengths in the development and application of light based technologies to investigate biological process at molecular, cellular and tissue scales. The CoB brings together more than 20 research groups around three main themes: imaging across temporal and spatial scales, mechanobiology and neurophotonics. Thus, CoB addresses important questions to improve human health including the origins of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurological disorders and the advance in the fight against bacterial and viral pathogens. The CoB is also strongly committed to translational research and the dissemination of technologies emerging from the Centre in collaboration with other institutions and industrial partners.

The Centre of Biophotonics is pleased to announce the 1st St Andrews Summer School in Biophotonics running from the 24th to the 28th June 2024. The Summer School is organized as a hands-on, project oriented training exercise for new as well as advanced microscopy users. Introductory classes from 9.00 to 11.00 will be followed by intensive experimental modules for small groups (4-5 people). Each module will be run by leading experts in a relax atmosphere with opportunities for networking. The school welcomes postgraduate students, post-doctoral researchers and early career group leaders across the physics and life sciences with an interest in cutting-edge microscopy.

More information regarding specific modules, registration and accomodation at discounted rate at St Andrews University residences can be found here.

Seeing is believing and light-based imaging technologies are, now more than ever, uniquely positioned to unveil the mechanisms of life as well as disease. Building on more than 20 years of light-based innovation for the biosciences and by collaborating across disciplines and recruiting the best talents, we aim to watch these processes unfolding in real time, from the molecular and cellular scales, to the whole-organism level.

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Next BioLIGHT CoB Seminar:

How chromosomes become prepared for segregation in mitosis

Speaker : Prof Tomoyuki Tanaka, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

11th April 2024, 1 pm, Lecture Theatre C, School of Physics and Astronomy

Host: Prof Carlos Penedo

To maintain genetic integrity, a whole set of chromosomes must be inherited by daughter cells when cell division occurs. This process relies on chromosome segregation in mitosis. Errors in chromosome segregation would cause cell death and various human diseases such as congenital disorders and cancers. My talk will focus on two major events of chromosome preparation for segregation, which occur in early mitosis (prophase and prometaphase) – first, chromosome re-organization involving resolution and compaction of sister chromatids; second, interactions between chromosomes and the mitotic spindle, which provide forces for chromosome segregation later in mitosis.

To analyse sister chromatid resolution and chromosome compaction, we developed a novel real-time live-cell assay in human cells (Eykelenboom et al 2019; PMID 30858191). This study and our subsequent work suggest that the two processes should be temporally coordinated to ensure correct chromosome segregation. I will discuss how these two processes are coordinated by the protein complexes condensin I and II, and what is the outcome if this coordination is impaired. Furthermore, we have been studying how kinetochores on chromosomes interact with spindle microtubules in budding yeast. To ensure correct chromosome segregation, sister kinetochores must interact with microtubules from the opposite spindle poles; this state is called chromosome biorientation. To achieve this, aberrant kinetochore-microtubule interactions must be removed through the turnover of these interactions (Doodhi et al 2021; PMID 33851957). Then, when biorientation is established, tension is applied to kinetochore-microtubule interactions, which stabilises these interactions (Li et al 2023; PMID 37788666). I will discuss our recent findings on the mechanisms promoting chromosome biorientation.

His full profile can be found here: