Seminar Presentation: 11:00am – Noon
Automated experimental platforms and high-content data reveal hidden biological information in synaptic patterns of C.elegans.
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Elucidating the mechanisms governing biological processes heavily relies on our ability to characterize the traits of organisms. In the nematode C. elegans, subcellular landmarks can be visualized in intact animals with the use of fluorescent markers. However, obtaining high-content data from high-resolution images of live animals is challenging due to the manual labor required, as well as the non-quantitative and biased nature of human vision. Coupling microfluidics to customized hardware and automation software, we are able to acquire images in a high-throughput, fully automated manner. In addition, we develop algorithms to extract complex information from images of fluorescently labeled synaptic patterns in C. elegans. Using our integrated approach we isolate mutants that exhibit extremely subtle phenotypes, hidden to human vision.
Adriana San-Miguel is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico and received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM). She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. As a member of the Behrens Research Group, Adriana worked on microcapsules and stimulus-responsive systems. Motivated by a growing interest in biology, she turned her research efforts to engineering solutions for biological studies. She is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Hang Lu’s group at Georgia Tech, a group specialized in customized microfluidic chips to study biological systems. In 2013, she was awarded an NIH K99 Pathway to Independence Award to study the mechanisms regulating synaptic plasticity in the nematode C. elegans.