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Professor Klaus Suhling

K Suhling 1 

Telephone: +44 020 7848 2119

Office: S6.30

Office Hours

Research Group: Biological Physics & Soft Matter Group 


Klaus Suhling develops and uses advanced multidimensional fluorescence imaging techniques such as Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) to understand the properties and interactions of macromolecules in the life sciences. After obtaining his PhD in the field of fluorescence spectroscopy from the University of Strathclyde, he held several post-doctoral positions in biology, chemistry and physics departments, mostly at Imperial College London, working on fluorescence microscopy and the development of photon counting techniques. Professor Suhling joined King’s College London in 2003 and was a Lecturer and a Reader before being promoted to Professor of Physics in 2014.


Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging, time-correlated single photon counting, photon counting imaging, time-resolved fluorescence.

Current research: Diffusion studies of labelled drugs and proteins, cells using FRAP and tr-FAIM, FLIM and FAIM of fluorescent molecular rotors, imaging of nanoparticles in cells, photon counting imaging with an image intensifier or an electron-bombarded CCD.

PhD Vacancies

Applications are invited for research in the Experimental Biophysics & Nanotechnology group.

To apply for the Physics MPhil/PhD please fill in an application form. Further details and guidelines can be found here.

All relevant information regarding eligibility, including academic and English language requirements, is available from the online prospectus.

For further details contact Dr Klaus Suhling and or the Postgraduate Tutor Dr Cedric Weber.

Self-funded PhD students

A limited number of PhD projects is offered on the understanding that a successful applicant will secure funding to cover tuition fees and living costs from external sources by himself. Prospective applicants should contact the project supervisor listed below prior to making application. The applications should be made on-line via quoting the name of the prospective supervisor.

Development of photon counting imaging techniques for time-resolved fluorescence microscopy

The aim of the project is to adapt photon counting imaging for Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) microscopy. The technological challenge is develop FLIM systems that combine a high detection sensitivity with a large spatial and temporal resolution and with a minimum of acquisition time. This project at the physics/life-sciences interface will use a novel photon counting imaging technique to address this issue. The project will provide training in a variety of fields: fast cameras and imaging techniques, image analysis, software development, fluorescence spectroscopy, optical imaging and microscopy applied to cell biology. For further details contact Dr Klaus Suhling

Fluorescence lifetime and polarization-resolved imaging of fluorescent molecular rotors

Fluorescence imaging techniques are powerful tools in the life sciences, because they are non-destructive, minimally invasive and can be applied to living cells and tissues. Fluorescence can be characterised by position, intensity, lifetime, spectrum and polarization. The project will use Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) and polarization-resolved imaging of fluorescent molecular rotors – these are special dyes whose fluorescence lifetime and brightness depend on the viscosity of their environment. We will use this practical and versatile approach to map the viscosity in cells and other specimen.For further details contact Dr Klaus Suhling.

Polarization-resolved fluorescence imaging of GFP-tagged proteins in living cells to study protein clustering

The project will involve setting up an inverted fluorescence microscope with a polarization-resolved imager which splits the image into two - one with vertical and the other with horizontal polarization. The set-up will be tested before it is applied to biological samples. The next step is to perform polarization-resolved imaging of GFP-tagged proteins in cells. We will study ErbB homodimers and heterodimers – the biologically important ErbB2/ErbB3 heterodimer has been purported to be a potent mitogenic and oncogenic unit for a variety of cancers including breast tumours. The multidisciplinary project will provide training in a variety of fields: fluorescence spectroscopy, optical imaging and microscopy applied to cell biology, and basic cell biology. For further details contact Dr Klaus Suhling.


Publications Repository

  • J. Hunt, A.H. Keeble, R.E. Dale, M.K. Corbett, R.L. Beavil, J. Levitt, M.J. Swann, K. Suhling, S. Ameer-Beg, B.J. Sutton and A.J. Beavil. A fluorescent biosensor reveals conformational changes in human IgEFc: Implications for mechanisms of receptor binding, inhibition and allergen recognition, J Biol Chem, doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.331967
  • G. Zanda, N. Sergent, M. Green, J.A. Levitt, Z. Petrášek, K. Suhling, Wide-field single photon counting imaging with an ultrafast camera and an image intensifier, Nucl Instrum and Methods A, in press

  • Energy Migration and Fluorescence. By T. Förster, Energiewanderung und Fluoreszenz, Naturwissenschaften, 33 (6), 166-175, 1946. Translated by Klaus Suhling, J Biomed Opt 17, 011002, 2012.
  • K. Suhling, J.A. Levitt, P.-H. Chung, M.K. Kuimova, G. Yahioglu, Fluorescence lifetime imaging of molecular rotors in living cells Journal of Visualized Experiments 60, art. no. e2925, 2012.
  • K. Suhling, N.I. Cade, J.A. Levitt, M.K. Kuimova, P.-H. Chung, G. Yahioglu, G. Fruhwirth, T. Ng, D. Richards. Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging applied to Microviscosity Mapping and Fluorescence Modification studies in Cells, in Biomedical Imaging: The Chemistry of Labels, Probes and Contrast Agents, Martin Braddock (Editor), RSC Drug Discovery Series No. 15, RSC Publishing, chapter 7.2, 371-390, 2011.
  • L.M. Carlin, R. Evans, H. Milewicz, L. Fernandes, D.R. Matthews, M. Perani J. Levitt, M.D. Keppler, J. Monypenny, T. Coolen, P.R. Barber, B. Vojnovic, K. Suhling, F. Fraternali, S. Ameer-Beg, P.J. Parker, N.S.B. Thomas and T. Ng. A Targeted siRNA Screen Identifies Regulators of Cdc42 Activity at the Natural Killer Cell Immunological Synapse, Science Signaling, 4, ra81, 2011.
  • J.A. Levitt, P.-H. Chung, M.K. Kuimova, G. Yahioglu, Y. Wang, J.Qu and K.Suhling. Fluorescence anisotropy of molecular rotors. ChemPhysChem 12, 662-672, 2011.
  • N. Sergent, J.A. Levitt, M. Green, and K. Suhling._Rapid wide-field photon counting imaging with microsecond time resolution, Opt Express, 18(24), 25292-25298, 2010.
  • Z. Petrášek and K. Suhling. Photon arrival timing with sub-camera exposure time resolution in wide-field time-resolved photon counting imaging, Opt Express, 18(24), 24888-24901, 2010.
  • D. Credgington, O. Fenwick, A. Charas, J. Morgado, K. Suhling and F. Cacialli. High-Resolution Scanning Near-Field Optical Lithography of Conjugated Polymers. Advanced Functional Materials 20, 2842–2847, 2010.
  • P. Howes, M. Green, J. Levitt, K. Suhling, M. Hughes. Phospholipid Encapsulated Semiconducting Polymer Nanoparticles: Their use in Cell Imaging and Protein Attachment. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132(11), 3989–3996, 2010.
  • S. Brovelli, F. Meinardi, G. Winroth, O. Fenwick, J.A. Levitt, G. Sforazzini, K. Suhling, H.L. Anderson, and F. Cacialli. White electroluminescence by supramolecular control of energy transfer in blends of organic-soluble encapsulated polyfluorenes. Advanced Functional Materials 20, 272–280 2010.
  • Z. Ahmed, R. George, C.-C. Lin, J.A. Levitt, K.M. Suen, K. Suhling and J.E. Ladbury. Direct binding of the Grb2 C-SH3 domain to the C-terminus of FGFR2. Cellular Signalling 22, 23–33, 2010.
  • G. Hungerford, A. Allison, D. McLoskey, M.K. Kuimova, G. Yahioglu and K. Suhling. Monitoring sol to gel transitions via fluorescence lifetime determination using viscosity sensitive fluorescent probes. J Phys Chem B 113, 12067-12074, 2009.
  • J.A. Levitt, M.K. Kuimova, G. Yahioglu, P.-H. Chung, K. Suhling, and D. Phillips. Membrane-bound molecular rotors measure viscosity in live cells via fluorescence lifetime imaging. J Phys Chem C 113, 11634–11642, 2009.
  • J.A. Levitt, D.R. Matthews, S.M. Ameer-Beg, and K. Suhling. Fluorescence lifetime and polarization-resolved imaging in cell biology. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 20, 28-36, 2009.
  • M.K. Kuimova, S.W. Botchway, A.W. Parker, M. Balaz, H.A. Collins, H.L. Anderson, K. Suhling and P.R. Ogilby. Imaging Intracellular Viscosity of a Single Cell During Photoinduced Cell Death. Nature Chemistry 1, 69-73, 2009. Highlighted in Nature 458, 388, 2009. doi:10.1038/458388c;
  • R. George, H.-L. Chan, Z. Ahmed, K.M. Suen, C.N. Stevens, J.A Levitt, K. Suhling, J. Timms and J.E. Ladbury. Direct interaction between Ran-GTPase and Shc: A mechanism for transporting Shc to the nucleus. Cellular & Molecular Life Sciences 66, 711 – 720, 2009.
  • M.K. Kuimova, H.A. Collins, M. Balaz, E. Dahlstedt, J.A. Levitt, N. Sergent, K. Suhling, M. Drobizhev, N.S. Makarov, A. Rebane, H.L. Anderson and D. Phillips. Photophysical properties and intracellular imaging of water-soluble porphyrin dimers for two-photon excited photodynamic therapy. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 7, 889–896, 2009.


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