UCD professor awarded €500,000 SFI Future Innovator Prize for nanoscale microscopy tech

  • Professor Zerulla from University College Dublin's School of Physics has been awarded a €500,000 SFI Future Innovator Prize for innovative new nano-optics tech.

    Medical research on everything from viral infections to cancer treatment relies on detailed microscope analysis of cell cultures, and some research relies on observing cell processes in realtime. Specialised high-precision microscopes for these purposes can be expensive, but Professor Dominic Zerulla and his team at PEARLabs have been developing a solution.

    PEARlabs was founded by Professor Zerulla in 2018 with the support of NovaUCD, the business support arm of University College Dublin, to build on work on nanometer-scale imaging techniques. The group has now developed a new imaging solution that enables ultra-fast video-rate nanoscale optical microscopy.

    The new imaging tech could potentially be developed into an add-on component for conventional optical microscopes, giving labs around the world cost-effective access to nanometer resolution imaging at video speeds to transform their research. In recognition of the new tech's potential, Professor Serulla has been awarded a special Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Future Innovator Prize of €500,000.

    Professor Dominic Zerulla commented on the award: "Our PEARlabs technology will allow life science researchers to understand bio-medically relevant mechanisms to enable an unparalleled in-depth understanding of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and pandemic viral infections, including the coronavirus. This will in turn facilitate the development of faster drug delivery and testing."

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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