mmc2021 Conference Sessions

The conference at mmc2021 will consist of six parallel streams comprising 36 conference and EMAG sessions, with excellent speakers and vibrant supporting poster sessions.

Click here to view EMAG sessions with keywords . The conference sessions are listed below, for more information on our Invited Speakers please click on their name.

AFM & Scanning Probe Microscopies Sessions

AFM/SPM: SPM Techniques on Energy Materials and Processes

Session Chair: Professor Ulrich Stimming (Newcastle University, UK)

This session will bring together researchers from the Scanning Probe Microscopy community that are engaged in studying problems relating to energy. All researchers applying techniques, such as AFM, STM, scanning Kelvin probes, SECPM and more to energy related aspects are invited to submit their contributions. It is the goal of the session to demonstrate how the various SPM techniques are able to study materials as used in energy conversion and storage devices. SPM techniques can often be used under in-situ conditions, i.e. under control of the potential in electrochemical systems; this carries clear advantages compared to any vacuum-based characterisation techniques. It would be an important goal of the session to demonstrate the advantages of the in-situ approach. 

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Wing Chung Tsoi (Swansea University, UK)
    • Talk title: Multi-functional and in-situ mapping techniques for optoelectronic devices

      Dr Wing Chung Tsoi Dr Wing Chung Tsoi is a Senior Lecturer from Materials Research Centre at the College of Engineering, Swansea University. He obtained his Higher Diploma in Applied Physics and BSc in Physics from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The University of Hull, respectively. He then obtained his PhD in Physics at The University of Hull in 2006. After that, he took a postdoctoral position at The University of Sheffield. From 2009, he obtained a EPSRC-NPL postdoctoral partnership with Imperial College and National Physical Laboratory. From 2014, he was awarded Knowledge Transfer Secondment with Imperial College and NPL. During 2014-2019, he was a senior research officer at Swansea University. In 2019, he was a lecturer there and he was subsequently promoted to his current position in 2020. His research interests are mainly focus on solution-process photovoltaic/solar cells, including organic solar cells, perovskite solar cells...He is particularly interested in understanding the structure-property-performance relationship of the photovoltaic/solar cells, in order to understand the fundamentals and to improve the performance, particularly the stability of the photovoltaic/solar cells. His expertise is on developing/applying advanced (nano-) characterization methods to probe the structures/morphology of the photovoltaic thin films, and correlate it to the properties and performances. His particularly expertise is on advanced Raman system-based spectroscopy/mapping and functional atomic force microscopy as well as photovoltaic cells for indoor, power generation window and aerospace applications. Dr Tsoi have published 69 papers and involved in 60 oral presentations in international/national conferences including a number of invited talks.

      Dr Wing Chung Tsoi is the winner of the 2021 RMS Medal for Innovation in Applied Microscopy for Engineering and Physical Sciences, this will be presented at mmc2021.

  • Professor Dr Andreas Bund (Technische Universitaet Ilmenau, Germany)
    • Talk Title: Characterization of active materials for lithium ion batteries using scanning probe techniques

      Professor Dr Andreas Bund Andreas Bund is currently the head of the electrochemistry and electroplating group at Technische Universitaet Ilmenau. He studied chemistry at the University of Saarland (Saarbruecken, Germany) and obtained his PhD there in 1999 under the supervision of Guenter Schwitzgebel. Afterwards he joined the group of Waldfried Plieth at Technische Universitaet Dresden as a PostDoc and worked on the fundamentals and applications of electrochemical deposition processes. With a Heisenberg fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) he could join the group of Henry S. White at the University of Utah in 2006 and 2007. There he worked on the electrochemistry of nanopores. From 2009 - 2010 he had a guest professorship at TU Muenchen at the Chair of Interfaces and Energy Conversion, which was headed by Ulrich Stimming at that time. In 2010 he was appointed full professor at TU Ilmenau. For the first five years this was an endowed professorship financially supported by the German association of electroplaters (ZVO). In 2019 he had a guest professorship at Keio University (Yokohama) and worked with Yasushi Katayama on electrochemical processes in ionic liquids. His research interest comprise fundamental and applied electrochemistry, such as electrodeposition and electrochemical storage and conversion of energy.

AFM/SPM: New Frontiers in Quantum Matter Visualization

Session Chair: Professor Séamus Davis (University of Oxford, UK)

This session will focus on newly developing and highly advanced techniques for atomic-scale visualization of electronic quantum matter. These include scanned Josephson tunneling microscopy, scanned shot-noise microscopy, scanned fano spectroscopy and quantum-phase resolved quasiparticle interference imaging. Areas of application for these techniques include studies of strongly-correlated electron fluids, strongly-correlated superconductors with complex order parameters, and strongly-correlated electronic liquid crystals or electron-pair crystals.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Freek Massee (CNRS, France)
  • Dr Hermann Suderow (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
    • Talk title: Hopf bifurcations in scanning tunneling microscopy

      Dr Hermann Suderow

      Scanning tunneling microscopy at 100 mK. Determination of the superconducting gap and electronic density of states in more than twenty different compounds.  Development and construction of new experiments, such as microscopy in three-axis magnets. Development of the synthesis of new quantum materials at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. PhD (1997) on thermal conductivity measurements at very low temperatures (15 mK) in the heavy fermion superconductor UPt3, establishing the quasiparticle excitation spectrum of nodal superconductors. Marie Curie fellow (1998-2000), Ramón y Cajal fellow (2001-2006), Profesor Titular (2006-2019), having passed through the state habilitation contest and Full Prof since 2019. Teacher of advanced laboratory, solid state and statistical physics. Fellow APS 2017. Manager (president of the physics panel) of the Spanish Science State Agency (2015-2018). Director of the Nicolás Cabrera Institute (2011-2020,, coordinator for materials sience at, coordination work at segainvex ( and member of panels and commissions such as C5 IUPAP. 110 articles, h-index of 26, more than 50 invited contributions to international meetings, including major keynote talks, 2 patents, 7 co-directed PhD thesis, participation in numerous PhD committees. Action Chair of COST project (, PI of 12 projects and co-PI in 2 Marie Curie projects. Co-organizer of 7 international meetings.

AFM/SPM: Functional scanning probe microscopy for advanced material science

Session Chair: Dr Olga Kazakova (National Physical Laboratory, UK)

This session will bring together researchers in physics, material science, instrumentation, machine learning, computing and beyond, linked by a common interest in the role of SPM to elucidate new physical phenomena. Researchers from industry, academia and research institutions will present their latest developments to foster new ideas and collaborations across multiple disciplines. Submissions covering all forms of SPM techniques, instrumentation and application are welcome, including (but not limited to) SPM for Quantum (incl. magnetic) systems and 2D materials beyond graphene, novel instrumentation and techniques, functional imaging and spectroscopy, advanced data processing, big data, Machine learning, AI in SPM, theory and simulations.

Invited Speakers

AFM/SPM: Quantitative SPM for Biology, Biomedicine, and Bioinspired Technologies

Session Chair: Professor Brian Rodriguez (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) has found wide application in basic and applied biology-related research owing to its capacity for quantitative imaging and spectroscopy of a diverse set of functional properties at the micro- and nanoscale. The high resolution and high force sensitivity of SPM modes and the ability of SPM to operate in physiological conditions, at high speeds, and in conjunction with optical microscopy have made it an indispensable tool, suited to the wide ranging needs of biological research from single proteins to complex heterogeneous materials and biological systems including living cells, tissues, tumours, viruses, bacteria, plants, fungi, etc. The use of SPM for biological research has long been a driving force for application and technique development, and advances in correlative microscopy and multiparametric modes provide opportunities for further contributions in methodology, instrumentation, and analysis. Speakers in this session will showcase how they are using SPM, including structural, nanomechanical, and electrical imaging and spectroscopy modes as well as ion conductance microscopy, to address challenges in biological, biomedical, and bioinspired research.

Invited Speakers

Frontiers in Bioimaging Sessions

Frontiers in Bioimaging: Development and Applications in Super Resolution Microscopy

Session Chair: Dr Jessica Valli (Heriot-Watt University, UK)

The emergence of super resolution light microscopy techniques in the last quarter-century has allowed researchers to probe further into the hitherto unseen depths of biology and ‘resolve’ many previously-unanswered questions. While there are now several commercially-available super resolution systems, these techniques are still anything but mundane, and new developments continue to push the limits of resolution closer to those achievable by electron microscopy. This session will focus on both the most recent developments in super resolution microscopy and the applications of these techniques to biological frontiers.

Invited Speakers
  • Professor Dr Markus Sauer (University of Würzburg, Germany)
    • Talk Title: Present, future and past of super-resolution microscopy by dSTORM

      Professor Doctor Markus Sauer Markus Sauer studied Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg where he received his Diploma in 1991 and finished his PhD 1995 in Physical Chemistry. 1998 he has been awarded the BioFuture Prize for Detection, Analysis and Handling of Single Molecules, which allowed him to establish his own group for single-molecule fluorescence detection and single-molecule DNA sequencing. Since 2009 he is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biotechnology and Biophysics at the Julius Maximilian University Würzburg. His research interests are single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging with a particular focus on super-resolution fluorescence imaging by direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) and its applications in structural biology, immunology, host-pathogen interactions, and cancer immunotherapies. A couple of years ago he started to combine refined super-resolution and expansion microscopy methods to push the limits and pave the way for true molecular resolution. He has published more than 280 journal papers and coordinates several super-resolution microscopy based projects.

  • Dr Katrin Willig (Max Planck Institute, Germany)

Frontiers in Bioimaging: Lightsheet microscopy: development and application

Session Chair: Dr Mike MacDonald (University of Dundee, UK)

Lightsheet microscopy has been with us for over a century, but it is the recent advances in camera technology and computational power that have allowed it to flourish. Initially driven largely by the demand for live, widefield, volumetric imaging in developmental biology, lightsheet imaging is now a tool which is used in a wide variety of applications. In fact, it has even been recently used for histopathological studies of COVID-19. This more established status has not stopped lighsheet imaging from evolving technologically and this session will focus on, and welcome submissions covering, the development through to the application of lightsheet imaging, and especially those doing both.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Caren Norden (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal)
  • Professor Dr Alexander Rohrbach (IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Germany)
    • Talk Title: Novel approaches to improve image quality in light-sheet microscopy

      Professor Dr Alexander Rohrbach I studied physics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) with diploma at the institute of optics in 1994.  During my PhD in physics in Heidelberg I investigated different kinds of light scattering at the Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics, as well as evanescent wave microscopy at the Max-Planck-Institute for medical research in Heidelberg – both with applications in cell biology.  After my PhD in 1998, I continued my research as a Post-Doc at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. I intensified my studies on microscopy, light scattering and optical forces.  In 2001, I became project leader at EMBL, where I concentrated on the development of photonic force microscopy and on applications in biophysics and soft matter physics.  In 2005, I was awarded with the habilitation in physics at the university of Heidelberg.  Since January 2006 I am full professor for Bio- and Nano-Photonics at IMTEK, Faculty of engineering and since 2007 also a member of the physics faculty, University of Freiburg.  We want to understand the dynamics of living system on short timescales. Therefore, we develop novel techniques for laser optical microscopy and optical force based applications. We investigate the biophysics of living cells and of bio-mimetic systems based on their nano-mechanics and thermal fluctuations.  Since 1999 I have been fascinated by microscopy with more than one optical axis. Being in Freiburg, I introduced Bessel beams to the field of light-sheet microscopy in 2009 and 2010, the concept of line-confocal detection in 2012, and a powerful method to suppress scattered light image contributions in 2016.

Frontiers in Bioimaging: Correlative imaging of organelle organization and architecture

Session Chair: Dr Sebastian Munck (VIB Bio Imaging Core KU Leuven, Belgium)

In this session, we bring together the latest news on correlative imaging. We will be exploring the interface of cell and structural biology by combining the power of different approaches. Talks will be highlighting different approaches to study cellular organization, including the architecture of the membranes, compartmentalization, and how organelle architecture directs molecular function. In addition, we will emphasize the correlative aspects of the techniques employed and how to combine them efficiently. Among the methods, we will be discussing is cryo-electron tomography to visualize macromolecules directly and in situ and how to leverage this information in combination with, for example, the selectivity of fluorescence approaches to analyze molecular organization within the cell at the scale of single molecules.

Frontiers in Bioimaging: Quantifying dynamic movement in living cells

Session Chair: Dr Steve Briddon (University of Nottingham, UK)

The precise co-ordination of  molecular interactions in cell compartments fundamentally defines cell behaviour. These movements and interactions between proteins, peptides, lipids and DNA in live cells can be quantified and described using a range of advanced imaging methods, such as Resonance Energy Transfer (RET) techniques (FRET/FLIM),  fluorescence fluctuation approaches (FCS etc.) and single particle tracking (SPT). The huge expansion in the availability of these techniques have transformed quantitative biology and allowed robust means to characterise spatiotemporal changes in molecular interactions. This session welcomes studies using advanced or novel techniques in this area, particularly those targeted to living cells.

Invited Speakers
  • Professor Philipp Kukura (University of Oxford, UK)
    • Talk title: Mass photometry: weighing molecules with light

      Professor Philipp Kukura Philipp Kukura is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, leading an interdisciplinary research group that focusses on the development and application of new optical methodologies to study biomolecular structure, dynamics and interactions. A particular focus has been mass photometry, the detection, characterisation and quantification of biomolecular structure and interactions by mass measurement at the single molecule level in solution. Recent awards include those by the RSC (Harrison-Meldola 2011 and Marlow 2015), the European Biophysical Society Association (Young Investigator Medal 2017), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2018), the Klung-Wilhemy Award (2018) and a UK Blavatnik Award Laureate (2019).

      Professor Philipp Kukura is the winner of the 2021 RMS Medal for Light Microscopy, this will be presented at mmc2021.

  • Dr Vladana Vukojevic (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)

Life/Physical Sessions

Imaging in development and disease

Session Chair: Dr Brian Stramer (King’s College London, UK)

Our ability to image cells in fixed and living tissues is transforming our view of embryogenesis and disease progression.  This session aims to highlight the latest developments of high-resolution tissue imaging, which examines either live or fixed samples across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Contributions to this session are encouraged from any area of research where imaging techniques are being applied to the study of animal development and normal or pathological physiology.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Yanlan Mao (University College London, UK)
    • Talk title: Coping with mechanical stress: Tissue dynamics in growth and repair

      Dr Yanlan Mao Yanlan Mao is a Group Leader at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. After receiving her BA in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, she completed her PhD with Matthew Freeman at the MRC LMB in Cambridge on Drosophila cell signaling and epithelial patterning. During her postdoc with Nic Tapon at the CRUK London Research Institute (now Francis Crick Institute), she became interested in tissue mechanics and computational modeling approaches, and studied the role of mechanical forces in orienting cell divisions and controlling tissue shape. In 2014, when Yanlan started her independent research group, she has continued to investigate the role of mechanical forces in tissue development, homeostasis and repair. 

      She now holds a MRC Career Development Award Fellowship, a Lister Institute Prize and an L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship. She was selected to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2018, was recently awarded the Early Career Prize in Mechanobiology by the Biophysical Society, and the BSCB Women in Cell Biology Early Career Medal.

      Dr Yanlan Mao is the winner of the 2021 RMS Medal for Life Sciences, this will be presented at mmc2021.

  • Dr Colinda Scheele (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, Belgium)
    • Talk Title: Unmasking in vivo stem cell dynamics in mammary tissue and mammary tumours

      Dr Colinda Scheele Colinda Scheele is a junior group leader at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology as of June 2020. Colinda received a Master in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University. She performed her PhD research (cum laude) in the lab of Prof. Jacco van Rheenen (at the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam)). During this time, she pioneered unbiased lineage tracing approaches, 3D whole organ imaging techniques and intravital microscopy strategies to study mammary stem cell dynamics. She identified the pubertal mammary stem cells and how they drive mammary gland branching morphogenesis (Scheele*, Hannezo* et al., 2017, Nature; Hannezo*, Scheele* et al., 2017, Cell; Corominas-Murtra*, Scheele* et al., 2020, PNAS). Moreover, she studied how these mammary stem cells contribute to tumor initiation and progression. For this research proposal, Colinda was awarded a prestigious Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) PhD fellowship.
      The Scheele laboratory focuses on morphogenesis, homeostasis, and tumorigenesis of epithelial organs ranging from a cellular level to the organ scale. More specifically, the Scheele lab studies how healthy tissue architecture and environment prevent or promote the different steps of tumorigenesis. To study these highly dynamic processes, the Scheele lab utilizes and develops state-of-the-art imaging approaches, including 3D whole organ imaging and 4D intravital microscopy using imaging windows. These imaging tools are complemented with (spatial) omics approaches, as well as quantitative modelling to further elucidate the mechanisms of tissue transformation.

Up Close with the Enemy: Imaging pathogen-host dynamics

Session Chair: Dr Leandro Lemgruber (University of Glasgow, UK)

The continuous technology development in both light and electron microscopy and the use of correlative microscopy (combining different types of microscopy) have provided exciting opportunities to address novel and important questions relating to the cellular structure of human pathogens and their relationship with the host, both in vitro and in vivo. This session aims to bring the recent works in pathogen imaging and analysis and show how advanced microscopic techniques are continuing to provide far-reaching insights into the biology of pathogens.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Maximiliano Gutierrez (The Francis Crick Institute, UK)
    • Talk title: Mycobacterium tuberculosis interactions with host macrophages in space and time

      Dr Maximiliano Gutierrez Max is a cell biologist originally from Mendoza, Argentina. In 2005, he obtained a PhD in cell biology from the University of San Luis, Argentina. During his PhD work, he discovered a novel innate immune pathway, later named “Xenophagy”. In 2006, he moved to EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany as a postdoc in Gareth Griffiths Laboratory, first as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and then as an EMBO fellow. His work in Heidelberg focused on the cell biology and imaging of macrophages; it was also in Heidelberg that he felt in love with Electron Microscopy.
      In 2009, he started his independent research group at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany as head of the Junior Research Group 'Phagosome Biology'. In 2012, he was recruited as a Programme Leader Track at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research, which became part of the Francis Crick Institute in 2015. Since 2018, he is a Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.
      As a cell biologist trained in microbiology, how intracellular pathogens evolved strategies to survive within host cells has always fascinated me and clearly shaped my scientific career. My long-standing interest is the cellular mechanisms that regulate the interactions between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host cells. I aim to better understand the host cell factors that contribute to M. tuberculosis control as well as the M. tuberculosis factors that this pathogen uses to highjack host cells. To this end, my lab is developing a variety of cutting-edge imaging technologies in high containment combined with various model systems and approaches at the single cell level.

  • Dr Lilach Sheiner (University of Glasgow, UK)

Seeing is Believing – Multi-parametric, High-throughput Imaging Flow Cytometry

Session Chair: Dr Ziv Porat (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)

Imaging Flow Cytometry (IFC) combines the information-rich imagery of microscopy with the high-throughput, statistically robust strength of Flow Cytometry. IFC can simultaneously image up to 10 fluorescent channels as well as bright field and dark field images, at a rate of up to 5000 cells/sec. In addition to rapid, uniform high-resolution and multi-parametric acquisition, IFC has special advantages in identification of rare populations and hard-to image cells. This session will showcase state-of the art, novel applications demonstrating the unique abilities and advantages of IFC across a broad base of biological fields.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Orla Maguire (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, USA)
  • Dr Yoav Shechtman (Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
    • Talk title: Nanoscale 3D co-Localization in Imaging Flow Cytometry via Point-Spread-Function Engineering

      Dr Yoav Shechtman Assistant Professor Yoav Shechtman leads the Nano-Bio-Optics lab at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Yoav Finished all degrees at the Technion: BSc in Physics and Electrical Engineering (2007), Phd (2013), and then spent three years as a postdoc at Stanford University (2016), developing super-resolution microscopy methods with W.E. Moerner.

      His research interests lie mainly in developing and applying optical and signal processing methods for nanoscale imaging challenges.  Specifically, Yoav focuses on aspects of single/multiple particle localization and tracking under challenging conditions, e.g. three-dimensional, multicolor, and high throughput imaging, using advanced optical, signal processing and machine learning techniques. The techniques developed in the lab are applied to challenges ranging from basic science, i.e. observing chromatin dynamics in 3D, to biomedical applications, i.e. developing ultra-sensitive assays for bacterial growth.

      Among Yoav's recent awards and recognitions: 2016 Technion Career Advancement Chair, 2017 Zuckerman Faculty Scholar, 2018 Early Career Award of the International Association for Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), 2018 European Research Council starting grant, 2019 Uzi and Michal Halevy Award for Innovative Applied Engineering, 2020 International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) Young Investigator Prize and Medal.

      Lab wesbite:

High-plex cytometry

Session Chair: Dr Karen Hogg (University of York, UK)

High-plex imaging cytometry enables the scrutiny of cells using a high number of quantitative characteristics whilst maintaining their spatial locations. Probes specific for molecular and protein targets provide information of cellular interactions in complex biological systems such as cancer, immunology, cell development, infection and disease.  Recent advances in imaging technologies have led to the deep profiling of the tissue microenvironment, the identification of new biomarkers and previously unknown cellular interactions that would have been previously lost in dissociated tissue.  Speakers shall provide an expert insight into this application-rich form of imaging and how it has been of benefit to their research.

Invited Speakers

Volume Microscopy in Physical and Life Sciences

Session Chair:  Xiangli Zhong (University of Manchester, UK)

Volumetric microscopy has become one of the most prominent subjects in both the Physical, as well as the Life Sciences, enabled by the rapid development of innovative tools for 3D imaging and spectroscopy such as analytical focused ion beam (FIB) systems for serial sectioning. Three dimensional visualisation significantly enhances our understanding from the macroscopic to the sub-nanometer level in a wide range of systems from metals via ceramics to biocomposites, biominerals and soft biological tissues.  The close interaction between Physical and Life Sciences has been an important driver for this progress irrespective of length scale or resolution of the technique. Besides FIB-based methods, relevant examples of  emerging techniques include serial-section SEM and TEM, electron Tomography,  X-ray micro- and nano-CT, array tomography and gridTAPE TEM . This session containing both contributed and invited talks and posters discusses recent advances in volumetric characterisation techniques using ion beams, X-rays and electrons and focuses on recent novel applications. This session is linked to a separate specific FIB & Sample Preparation workshop which discusses approaches and problems associated with FIB applications and sample preparation methods which enable volume microscopy.

Invited Speakers
  • Professor Roland Kröger (University of York, UK)
  • Professor Philip Withers (Henry Royce Institute , University of Manchester, UK)
    • Talk title: Large volume three dimensional correlative microcopy

      Professor Philip Withers Philip Withers is the first Regius Professor of Materials and Chief Scientist of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials.  He was a lecturer in Cambridge from his PhD until 1998 before taking up a Chair in Manchester.  He employs advanced imaging and characterisation techniques to follow the behaviour of engineering and natural materials, often in 3D and in operando.  A fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. He pioneered the use of neutron and synchrotron X-rays for probing the behaviour and degradation of engineering materials. In 2008 he set up the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility, one of the most extensive suites of X-ray Imaging facilities in the world with a special focus on in situ time lapse 3D X-ray imaging. In 2014, the Facility was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize.  In 2020 these facilities became a founding part of the National Research Facility in Lab. CT opening up the capability to the wider academic and industrial community. He is also active in the area of 3D electron microscopy imaging and characterisation through dual beam (PFIB-SEM) and tribeam (laser-PFIB-SEM) serial sectioning.  Taken together the X-ray and electron microscopy techniques cover a very wide range of length scales and contrast mechanisms and these are being incorporated within a correlative framework to provide multifaceted, multiscale information.

X-ray Microscopy: A powerful tool to aid the understanding of structures in the life and physical sciences

Session Chair: Dr Liz Duke (Diamond Light Source, UK)

Thanks to Roentgen’s work in 1895 the use of X-rays as a research tool in the life and physical sciences is not new. However in recent years their use has increased, particularly but not exclusively in the area of X-ray imaging, aided by developments in many areas including sample preparation, detector technology and availability of commercial laboratory based microscopes. In this session we aim to explore the use of X-ray microscopy in life and physical sciences. We look forward to hearing from those who have used X-rays in their work either as a single technique or in conjunction with other microscopy techniques. The session will be bookended by invited talks. A further three talks will be selected from submitted abstracts and three posters will be chosen for flash talks.

Machine Learning for Image Analysis

Session Chair: Dr Martin Jones (The Francis Crick Institute, UK)

Artificial intelligence based methods, such as machine learning and deep learning, have revolutionised many aspects of image analysis in a broad range of subject areas. As the different communities get to grips with the technical implementation of these methods, there has been a shift in focus to getting cutting-edge tools into the hands of domain experts, who are often not computational experts, with improvements in workflows and accessibility. This session will focus on state-of-the-art AI based image analysis methods and efforts to ensure these tools are made accessible to the wider communities in both life and physical sciences.

Chemical imaging of biological samples using electron, ion and x-ray based techniques

Session Chair: Dr Errin Johnson (University of Oxford, UK)

Microanalysis methods, such as Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) and Nano-Secondary Ions Mass Spectroscopy (NanoSIMs) are more traditionally associated with physical science than biological applications. However, this is starting to change, with these techniques and others, such as Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Fluorescence (SRXRF), increasingly being used to link chemical composition with ultrastructure in biological samples. For instance, EDS has recently been used to identify secretory cells in pancreatic islets by the elemental makeup of their granules, while NanoSIMs can pinpoint the cellular locations of isotope-labelled metabolites, hormones, drugs and lipids. This interdisciplinary session will include talks from physical scientists and biologists who are applying these techniques to a variety of biological and biomedical samples. It will cover biological sample preparation requirements for chemical imaging, potential challenges, opportunities for multimodal imaging and application examples.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Ben Giepmans (University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands)
    • Talk Title: Large-scale multimodal correlated microscopy in biomedicine

      Dr Ben Giepmans Ben Giepmans is intrigued by how molecules act together to control cell fate in health and disease. He is a cell biologist and molecular biochemist/ microscopist and always have been triggered by using newly developed techniques to overcome current limitations in research, especially when these techniques allow to get unbiased, unexpected answers to research questions. His PhD research at The Netherlands Cancer Institute and related work in The Scripps Research Institute have led to a better molecular understanding of regulation of gap junctions. Similarly, during his post-doc at the National Center of Microscopy and Imaging Research (University of California, San Diego), we optimized and implemented several new advanced imaging techniques and probes to study protein dynamics in live cells and protein localization at high resolution. Giepmans was awarded the Robert Fuelgen prize by the Society for Histochemistry for this work. Currently, my team develops and/or implements new imaging techniques and probes for microscopy, including large-scale EM (‘nanotomy’) and ‘ColorEM’, where elemental analysis is implemented in EM for life sciences.  Next to his research, Giepmans took the challenge to build an advanced microscopy imaging infrastructure at the UMCG. The center is now equipped with state-of-the-art light microscopes and electron microscopes ( We continue to develop and/or implement multimodal microscopy in several research projects ( In particular, we study the possible triggers that may interfere with normal function of Islets of Langerhans ultimately resulting in Type 1 diabetes.

  • Dr Katie Moore (University of Manchester, UK)

Label Free imaging

Session Chair: Dr Natalie Belsey (National Physical Laboratory, UK)

Label-free approaches have provided valuable new tools for structural and chemical visualisation of systems where labelling is not possible or desirable, for example medical imaging and other in situ applications. These powerful techniques have also enabled the study of systems where the presence of a tag would cause excessive perturbation to the sample, for example small molecule pharmacokinetics. This session welcomes a broad range of label-free optical microscopy techniques, such as vibrational spectroscopic imaging, multiphoton imaging, Brillouin scattering, interference and phase-contrast microscopies and holotomography. Particular consideration will be given to the elucidation of quantitative information using these methods.

Invited Speakers

3D+ image analysis

Session Chair: Dr Chas Nelson (University of Glasgow, UK)

Imaging and microscopy in both the life and physical sciences spans dimensions including 3D imaging or the inclusion of temporal or spectral information and often all three. Analysing data in these higher dimensions comes with it’s own challenges and often requires bespoke mathematical and algorithmic solutions. This session will focus on state-of-the-art image analysis that enables scientists from both life and physical sciences to answer scientific questions in a quantitative fashion from multidimensional imaging.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Perrine Paul-Gilloteaux (Université de Nantes, France)
  • Dr Daniel Baum (Zuse Institute Berlin, Germany)
    • Talk title: Visual Data Analysis: Bringing the Human into the Loop

      Dr Daniel Baum Daniel Baum is head of the research group »Visual Data Analysis« and deputy head of the department »Visual and Data-Centric Computing« at the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB), Germany. He studied computer science at the Humboldt-Universität and the University of Edinburgh. In 2007, he received his Dr. rer. nat. degree from the Freie Universität Berlin with a thesis on molecular shape analysis. His current research interests include visual data analysis, computer graphics, image analysis as well as shape modelling and analysis. Daniel has many years of experience in interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers from very different fields like biology, geoscience, material science and ancient studies. He therefore regularly works on data of different origin, size, and scale from a variety of image sources, including micro-computed tomography, electron tomography, but also histological data and 2-photon microscopy. As part of his research, for almost 20 years, Daniel has been an active developer of the Amira software, which was originally developed at ZIB and is now jointly developed with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Software and Smart Microscopy

Session Chair: Dr Siȃn Culley (University College London, UK)

The modern bioimaging pipeline requires analysis throughout the process - from integrating image analysis into acquisition, e.g. smart microscopy, through to software solutions for the range of quantification pipelines necessary to glean new scientific insights from imaging. This session will focus on state-of-the-art software solutions for automated microscopy and quantitative imaging and post-acquisition analysis.

Operando Microscopy

Session Chair: Dr Hannah Nerl (Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany)

Functional materials cannot be studied reliably when removing materials from their reaction environment. Recent operando studies aim to address this by correlating structure and function of materials under working conditions. Significant technical advances in instrumentation have led to the development and improvement of a range of operando techniques with great impact across scientific fields. These operando approaches have already been shown to allow for the visualization and analysis of materials during synthesis, degradation or function in well-defined environments. Aside from electron microscopy, relevant examples of emerging and improved operando techniques include X-ray microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, light microscopy and atomic force microscopy.  This session will contain contributed and invited talks and posters that aim to highlight recent technical advances in operando approaches and the resulting science while studying a range of materials including 2D materials, nanoparticles and catalysts.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Irene Groot (Leiden University, Netherlands)
    • Talk title: Seeing is believing: Atomic-scale imaging of catalysts under reaction conditions

      Dr Irene Groot Irene Groot obtained her PhD degree at Leiden University investigating the dissociation of hydrogen on single crystals, both experimentally using supersonic molecular beams and theoretically performing density functional theory and quantum dynamics calculations. After a postdoc at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, where she studied CO oxidation using sanning tunneling microscopy, she went to the Leiden Institute of Physics with a personal Veni fellowship from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Here she investigated HCl oxidation using scanning tunneling microscopy under reaction conditions, and subsequently started her own group.

      Currently, Irene Groot is associate professor (tenured) at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry where she is heading the operando catalysis research group. She investigates the structure-activity relationship of catalysts under industrial conditions using operando scanning probe microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray-based techniques. She focuses on industrial processes related to sustainable energy and materials production. Current topics in her group are hydrodesulfurization, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol steam reforming, automotive catalysis, chlorine production, and graphene growth on liquid copper. Additionally, she is developing equipment for high-pressure surface science and operando catalysis research.

  • Dr Thomas W Hansen (DTU Nanolab, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
    • Talk title: Dynamics of nanostructure surfaces and ways to approach them

      Dr Hansen Thomas Hansen studied physics at the University of Copenhagen where he received his M.Sc. in 2001 finishing with a project on the use of electron energy-loss spectroscopy for the study of carbon-based materials. He then pursued his PhD in chemistry as a joint project between the University of New Mexico, the Technical University of Denmark and the catalyst company Haldor Topsøe. During his PhD studies, he used environmental transmission electron microcopy to study the sintering of nickel-based steam reforming catalysts under different environments. After receiving his degree in 2006, he continued his research in catalysis at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin where he studied complex mixed metal oxides for selective oxidation processes. In 2008, he returned to the Technical University of Denmark, first in a post-doctoral position, and was in 2010 promoted to senior researcher. Thomas now focuses on the study of the dynamics and growth of nanostructures (nanoparticles and 2D materials) by environmental transmission electron microscopy and the application of automated analysis techniques such as convolutional neural networks. His primary interests are the fundamental properties of nanostructures and the use and development of in situ techniques.

Late Breaking

Session Chair: Professor Gail McConnell (University of Strathclyde, UK)

Late breaking submissions are invited to report the very latest results in microscopy. This abstract deadline is not intended to be merely an extension of the general submission deadline: instead this session provides an opportunity for researchers to present the most exciting recent developments in the field.

Advanced Atom Probe Tomography

Session Chair: Michael Moody (University of Oxford, UK)

Underpinned by advances in instrumentation, experimental protocols and increasingly sophisticated data analysis, Atom Probe Tomography (APT) is now an indispensable characterisation tool in laboratories around the world. The improved capabilities have broadened the scope of investigations and increased the depth of achievable atomic-scale insights. This has nucleated entirely new lines of research, including application to a wider range of material systems ( biological, ceramics, functional materials) and the study of degradation of material microstructure subject to extreme conditions (irradiation, corrosion, hydrogen ingress).  This session welcomes submissions pertaining to advanced applications of APT and in particular studies incorporating novel uses of complementary microscopy techniques to enable and enhance APT characterisation.

Invited Speakers
  • Dr Baptiste Gault (Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf, Germany)
    • Talk title: Pushing the analytical limits of atom probe tomography via cryo-enabled workflows

      Dr Baptiste Gault After a PhD in physics in Rouen (2006) where we developed a new generation of pulsed-laser atom probe microscopes, I worked as a scientist at the ACMM at the University of Sydney from 2007-2009 and 2010-2012 (jointly with ANSTO), and in-between, I was a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Materials, University of Oxford where I worked on thermoelectric materials. In 2012, I was appointed Assist. Prof. at McMaster University in Canada, but quitted after 6 months. From Dec. 2012 - Dec. 2015, I interrupted my research career, and took on a position of Senior Publisher in the Materials Science group at Elsevier Ltd. in Oxford, looking after the Materials Engineering portfolio. During that time, I became an academic visitor at the Department of Materials, University of Oxford. On 1st January 2016, I became the Group Leader for Atom Probe Tomography at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf. Since October 2018, I also hold a part-time appointment as Reader at the Department of Materials, Imperial College London. I received the Leibniz Prize 2020 for my work on the development of the pulsed-laser atom probe tomography and help enable the spread of the technique over the past 15 years.

  • Professor Rachel Oliver (University of Cambridge, UK)

Diamond Light Source Sessions

Session Chair: Mohsen Danaie (Diamond Light Source, UK)

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron user facility with 32 beamlines along with two state-of-the-art electron microscopy laboratories (eBIC for cryo-EM and ePSIC for aberrationcorrected transmission electron microscopy). Users at Diamond have access to a wide range of cutting edge experimental techniques in microscopy and spectroscopy across multiple length scales, including X-ray imaging, hard and soft X-ray microscopy, XANES and XRD mapping, tomography , and phase-retrieval techniques such as ptychography and coherent diffraction imaging. These have wide ranging applications in fields from biology, environmental, earth and planetary sciences, to materials science and engineering. As for cryo-EM, eBIC provides cryoEM single particle analysis, cryo-electron tomography, electron crystallography, and cryoFIB/SEM. Through this session we aim to showcase a selection of user studies conducted at Diamond, with an introductory staff presentation briefly discussing some of the capabilities and access routes.

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