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Talk title: Exploring the universe of sub- and multicellular organization


Speaker: Aubrey Weigel, PhD
Project Scientist
HHMI - Janelia Research Campus


Inter- and intra-cellular environments within an organ control its functionality, morphology and overall health. Exactly how the subcellular world affects the entire organ is not yet clear, but advances in volume electron microscopy (EM) and machine learning (ML) are now making it possible to bridge the gap between nanoscopic and macroscopic. Here we use ML to segment out nanometer-scale cellular organelles from millimeter-scale EM. Our studies help to create a more complete picture of whole organ behavior in terms of the most fundamental of cellular building blocks.


Speaker Bio
Aubrey Weigel is currently a Project Scientist of the CellMap Project Team at HHMI – Janelia Research Campus. The team uses advanced imaging technologies to study the ultrastructure of subcellular organelles under both healthy and pathological conditions. Aubrey’s previous research background is in biophysics, with an emphasis in microscopy. Her formal training is in physics and engineering. During her graduate work Aubrey was the co-discoverer of ergodicity breaking in cells along with Diego Krapf, driving a pivotal shift in the field of diffusion analysis in living systems. Throughout her postdoctoral career under the guidance of Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, she applied her training in physics and microscopy directly to answer biological questions. Here, Aubrey unraveled the underlying structure of the endoplasmic reticulum and revealed its complex dynamics. She also uncovered the nano-anatomy of early secretory compartments and discovered a new, dynamic organelle, responsible for delivering newly synthesized cargo from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi. Aubrey’s recent work as the leader of the Cell Organelle Segmentation in Electron Microscopy (COSEM) project includes developing an invaluable tool for cell biology - an analysis pipeline based on deep learning architectures for segmentation - allowing comprehensive reconstruction and analysis of organelles within entire cells imaged by volumetric electron microscopy. CellMap is now building upon this pipeline to generate, characterize, and discover how cells look in their native tissue environments – acting as a hub of collaborations that brings together scientists of different disciplines. Aubrey is committed to integrating her multi-disciplinary training into facilitating large-effort, collaborative, team projects to take on challenging scientific problems and sharing these resources with the broader scientific community.


Host: Kevin Dean, PhD

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