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15 February 2019

Physics student wins Poster Prize at AIM Workshop, UC Berkeley

Emilie Steinmark, PhD student in the Department of Physics, has won the main prize in the student poster competition at the Advanced Imaging Methods (AIM) Workshop at University of California, Berkeley.

Emilie Steinmark
Emilie Steinmark

The AIM Workshop is a full three-day conference on light microscopy techniques and applications held at UC Berkeley each year. This year it included topics such as time-resolved fluorescence techniques, live-cell imaging, super resolution microscopy, lightsheet, probe design, computation and adaptive optics, and featured a talk by 2014 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Eric Betzig.

Emilie works with a group of fluorescent molecules called molecular rotors to study viscosity on the microscopic level. She explained that she is inspired by the interconnectedness of science and how it can be used to illuminate complicated problems: ‘For example, I could ask: how does a biological membrane physically change when x, y or z happens? We can then chemically make molecules, which can tell us about that physical behaviour, through the way they give off light when they’re in the membrane. All the different perspectives inspire me to look at problems from new angles and think about how we can get the next piece of the puzzle’.

Emilie said: ‘I’m really pleased to win the poster competition at AIM, following in the footsteps of my academic older sister, Dr Alix Le Marois, who won a few years ago when she was still a PhD student in our group. It’s great to know that I managed to communicate how useful and neat I think fluorescent molecular rotors are as a technique for exploring microscopic viscosity’.

Emilie’s first first-author paper has just been published in PLOS One.