The Centre of Biophotonics (CoB) at the University of St Andrews was established in December 2019  with the mission of promoting interdisciplinary research and training at the interface between advanced optical imaging, photonics and biomedical sciences.

The Centre spans across multiple schools (Physics and Astronomy, Biology, Medicine and Psychology and Neuroscience) and builds on existing strengths in the development and application of light-based technologies to investigate biological processes at molecular, cellular and tissue level. The CoB brings together more than 30 research groups working around three main themes: 3D optical imaging across temporal and spatial scales, mechanobiology and neurophotonics.

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.

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.

The CoB integrates more than 30 research groups under the common theme of developing and applying light-based solutions to investigate biological processes across temporal and spatial scales, from single molecules to cells and entire organisms. 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.

Recent publications

Our goal is to share our discoveries and make any technical innovation available to other scientists as widely as possible. An effective way of disseminating our work is through publication in broad impact interdisciplinary journals and mostly in Open Access format. These are just a few examples showing the recent research carried out at the CoB:

November 2021: Chauvier et al. Monitoring RNA dynamics in native transcriptional complexes Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 2021, published 5th November, https://doi.org/10.1073/ pnas. 2106564 118  [Penedo lab] Link to article

June 2021: Meek et al. Real-time imaging of cellular forces using optical interference Nature Communications, 2021, published 11th June, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23734-4 [Gather lab] Link to article

December 2020: Murawski et al. Segment-specific optogenetic stimulation in Drosophila Melanogaster with linear arrays of organic light-emitting diodes Nature Communications, 2020, published 7th December, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20013-6 [Pulver lab] [Gather lab] Link to article

June 2020: Schubert et al. Monitoring contractility in cardiac tissue with cellular resolution using biointegrated microlasers. Nature Photonics, 2020, published 15th June, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41556-020-0631-z. [Schubert lab] [Miles lab] [Pitt lab] [Gather lab] Link to article

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