Confocal microscopy: past, present and future

by

 Dr. Colin Sheppard

Honorary Professional Fellow, University of Wollongong, Australia. External Collaborator and Visiting Scientist with the Italian Institute of Technology

 Monday, Sept. 9, 2019

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Gordon & Leslie Diamond Family Theatre

BC Cancer Research Centre

675 W.10th Ave.

Dr. Colin Sheppard.jpg

Colin Sheppard is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and also an External Collaborator and Visiting Scientist with the Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy. Previously he was Professor and Head in the Department of Bioengineering at the National University of Singapore; Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney; and University Lecturer in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has held visiting positions at many different institutions, including UC-Berkeley, MIT, EPFL, TU-Delft and Tokyo University. He developed an early laser microscope (1975), patented scanning microscopy using Bessel beams (1977), published the first demonstration of scanning two-photon microscopy (SHG) (1977), proposed two-photon fluorescence and CARS microscopy (1978), launched the first commercial confocal microscope (1982), and developed the first confocal microscope with computer control and storage (1983). In 1988, he proposed scanning microscopy using a detector array with pixel reassignment, now known as image scanning microscopy.

Confocal microscopy has made a dramatic impact on biomedical imaging, in particular, but also in other areas such as industrial inspection. Confocal microscopy can image in 3D, with good resolution, into living biological cells and tissue. I have had the good fortune to be involved with the development of confocal microscopy over the last 40 years. Other techniques have been introduced that overcome some of its limitations, but still it is the preferred choice in many cases. And new developments in confocal microscopy, such as focal modulation microscopy, and image-scanning microscopy, can improve its performance in terms of penetration depth, resolution and signal level.


Trainees lunch is an informal lunch for out-of-town Monday Noon Seminar speakers. It allows trainees to make connections with, and have scientific discussions with internationally acclaimed scientists. Some past speakers we have hosted are Susan Kaech, Dirk Hockemeyer, James Phelan, etc.