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Lippincott-Schwartz to Give 2010 Rodbell Lecture

By Eddy Ball
February 2010

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz
2010 Rodbell Lecturer Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz participated in a 2008 Nature Methods video discussion of new developments in super-resolution imaging methods. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz)

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Ph.D., will present the annual Rodbell Lecture on Feb. 9 at NIEHS with a talk on "Advances in Super-Resolution Imaging." The seminar begins at 2:00 p.m. with an introduction by NIEHS Transmembrane Signaling Group Principal Investigator and lecture host Lutz Birnbaumer, Ph.D.

Lippincott-Schwartz( Exit NIEHS is the chief of the Section on Organelle Biology in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Elected in 2008 to the National Academy of Sciences( Exit NIEHS, Lippincott-Schwartz has applied the super-resolution imaging approaches she pioneered to make a succession of landmark discoveries across the field of cell physiology that are forcing a reassessment of many basic features of cellular processes. These include views on how compartments of the endomembrane system - such as the Golgi apparatus, nuclear envelope, peroxisomes, and autophagosomes - arise, as well as how they are maintained and operate.

Lippincott-Schwartz is the twelfth speaker in the annual lecture series honoring Nobel Laureate and former NIEHS Scientific Director Martin Rodbell, Ph.D. The first Rodbell Lecture featured Rodbell himself shortly before his death in 1998.

Advancing the technique of super-resolution imaging

Lippincott-Schwartz's research has vastly expanded our understanding of the cell under healthy and diseased conditions by devising and applying innovative techniques to label, image, quantify, and model specific protein populations in living cells with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and track their fate over time. Her group is responsible for technical breakthroughs ranging from the introduction of confocal fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) to the creation of a photoactivatable form of GFP that is invisible until activated by UV light, allowing unprecedented precision in quantifying and tracking protein populations.

The Lippincott-Schwartz lab( Exit NIEHS also played a key role in developing the super-resolution imaging technique of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM)( Exit NIEHS, which overcomes the diffraction barrier in fluorescence microscopy. PALM enabled imaging of genetically-expressed fluorescent proteins on the nanoscale of individual molecules for the first time.

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