Multimodal Super Resolution Metabolic Imaging in Aging and Diseases

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Multichannel images illustrate stimu-lated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy


Lingyan Shi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California - San Diego


Understanding the dynamics of metabolism in a multicellular organism is essential to unraveling the mechanistic basis of many biological processes in physiological and pathological conditions. To that end, Dr. Shi has developed novel high spatial resolution, non-invasive in situ imaging techniques for visualizing metabolic activities of various biomolecules in cells and tissues. In her most recent work, her team has transformed stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy into a super-resolution (~50nm) multimodal metabolic imaging platform. They applied this technique to detecting macromolecules’ metabolic activities in situ at subcellular scale, and established a Raman spectra library with more than 25 standard molecules, including different lipid subtypes, proteins, and RNA/DNA. They also imaged the lipid and protein turnover rate and the metabolic heterogeneity in cells, animals, and human tissues. This multi-molecular super-resolution optical imaging platform is non-invasive and universally applicable. It can be adapted into a broad range of biological studies such as aging, homeostasis, and diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

Dr. Lingyan Shi received a BS in Biomedical Engineering (BME) from Tianjin University in China before pursuing an MS degree in the same field at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in 2009. During her PhD in the biophotonics pioneer Robert Alfano lab at the City College of New York (CCNY), she started focusing on biomedical optics. Subsequently, she pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in the Wei Lin laboratory. Her research on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy and its application to imaging cell metabolism earned her a coveted Blavatnik Young Investigator Award. In 2019 she joined the #1 BME department in the country at UCSD. Her work continues to be acknowledged with various awards, including the 2021 Rising Star Award by Nature Light, the “Advancing Bioimaging Scialog Fellowship” by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in 2021 and 2022

Multichannel images illustrate stimu-lated Raman
Multichannel images illustrate stimu-lated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy and two-photon fluorescence (TPF) image channels of interest for lipidomic responses to excess methionine