News Release

Over $1 million awarded in 1st year of Scialog: Advancing BioImaging, supported by Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation

Grant and Award Announcement

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Ten multidisciplinary research teams will receive a combined $1,150,000 in funding as part of the inaugural year of Scialog: Advancing BioImaging, a three-year initiative, supported by Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation (FGCF), that aims to accelerate the development of the next generation of imaging technologies.

Each of the 23 awards supported by the co-funders is for $50,000 in direct costs for projects led by early-career researchers representing institutions across the U.S. and Canada.

Scialog: Advancing BioImaging virtually brought together more than 50 early-career chemists, physicists, biologists, bioengineers and medical imaging specialists from May 20-21, 2021. The participating researchers identified challenges and formed teams to propose cutting-edge collaborative research projects that could enable major advances in bioimaging, some of which are now being funded.

“With more awards than any Scialog to date, this initiative is off to a great start,said RCSA President & CEO Daniel Linzer. “We’re grateful for funding partnerships that enable us to seed even more projects with the potential to transform an area of science.”

Scialog is short for “science + dialog.” Each multi-year initiative engages a diverse cohort of early-career scientists to identify challenges and opportunities in an area of global significance. Advancing BioImaging was designed to spark creativity and generate ideas for novel research projects by maximizing interactions among researchers from various imaging modalities and interested in a variety of systems.

“Imaging technologies play a critical role in CZI’s mission to support the science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all disease by the end of the century,” said Stephani Otte, Science Program Officer for Imaging at CZI. “We hope these teams of early-career researchers will advance the imaging field’s ability to observe and analyze biological processes and help build a much deeper mechanistic understanding of biological systems, identify potential points of intervention in disease, and inform directive treatments.”

“The timing of this initiative could not be better,” said Shaun Kirkpatrick, of Research Corporation Technologies’ FGCF. “As we have seen with the COVID pandemic, health care systems are in need of better tools to diagnose disease and inform the care of patients. Advanced imaging holds the potential to generate next-generation tools that can fill the voids in medicine.” 


2021 awards for collaborative projects from the Scialog: Advancing BioImaging initiative will support the work of these researchers at their respective institutions:

Aseema Mohanty, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tufts University
Sixian You, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NeedleScope: Developing the Smallest Microscope for Bioimaging
Funded by RCSA

Nick Galati, Biology, Western Washington University
Shannon Quinn, Computer Science, University of Georgia
Doug Shepherd, Physics, Arizona State University
4-D Molecular Tracking Using Kilohertz Framerate Multi-Modal Microscopy
Funded by RCSA

Luke Mortensen, Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Georgia
Aniruddha Ray, Physics & Astronomy, University of Toledo
Nanophotonic Probes for Ultra-Deep Functional Multiphoton Imaging
Funded by RCSA 

Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy, Neurobiology, Northwestern University
Ping Wang, Radiology, Michigan State University
Light-Sheet Imaging of 3D Bioprinted Islet Organoids Structure and Function
Funded by RCSA

Benjamin Bartelle, Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Fulton School of Engineering
Ulugbek Kamilov, Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
Lu Wei, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Enabling Noninvasive Lipid Profiling with Intermodal Deep Learning
Funded by CZI

Aseema Mohanty, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tufts University
Srigokul Upadhyayula, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Chip-scale Light Sheet for High Spatiotemporal Resolution Imaging
Funded by CZI

Carolyn Bayer, Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University
Allison Dennis, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Deep Tissue Photoacoustic Imaging with Degradable Inorganic Nanoparticles
Funded by CZI

Carolyn Bayer, Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University
Sapun Parekh, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
Paris Perdikaris, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
Machine Learning to Identify Soft Tissue Molecular Signatures 
Funded by CZI

Barbara Smith, Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University
Bryan Spring, Physics, Northeastern University
Microendoscopy-Guided Diagnosis and Treatment of Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer
Funded by CZI

Lisa Poulikakos, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego
Douglas Shepherd, Physics, Arizona State University
Wide-Field, Single-Pixel Fluorescence Imaging with On-Chip Nanophotonics
Funded by CZI

About RCSA: Research Corporation for Science Advancement is a private foundation that funds basic research in the physical sciences (astronomy, chemistry, physics, and related fields) at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Since 1912, it has supported research independently proposed by college and university faculty members, convened conferences, and actively advocated for science advancement. 

About CZI: The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. 

About the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation: Research Corporation Technologies established the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation in 1998 to provide financial support for scientific research and educational programs at qualified nonprofit organizations. 

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