Dr. Simon C. Watkins – Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair Cell Biology Professor Immunology Director Center for Biologic Imaging University of Pittsburgh
Available in English only
1. Kindly share your research information.
- What kind of samples do you usually work with?
We work mostly with adherent cells: HeLa, HuVec, HEK, BK, primary neurons. Some work with transwell/ALI cultures and other primary cells (platelets, T-cells etc)
- What are the temperature ranges that you wish to keep your samples at during your research?
Generally between 27 and 37C. We very occasionally need to chill our cells we do this by putting ice chips in the media and then warming it by turning the chamber on. The systems that do cool (for eg the PDMI2) only get down to @ 16C which is not cold enough to stop processing
- How long do you usually run the time-lapse on your research?
Hard to answer, generally either quite short Ca/Mitosox functional measurements (10-20 mins), process measures (infection)(1-2hrs) or growth which can go on for 2-3 days
- What kind of application/microscopy do you use during the time-lapse imaging?
We do a lot of fast 3D confocal imaging as well as TIRF, STORM, and regular multi-color widefield imaging
- Where or when do you find the hints of your research?
Most of my ideas come from my colleagues, we are often developing new ways of doing things driven by colleagues who have frustrations with not being able to do something. Once we have solved that problem we use it for many other projects
- What were the subject/topics that attracted your attention most recently in your filed?
I used to work on muscular dystrophy and spent about 8 years in that field till I was part the team that found the cause of the disease, I then realized I wanted to be more involved in looking at living things using microscopes because using fixed tissues you could never be sure what happened before or after your experiment.
- What do you do for a change of pace when you get stuck on a problem?
Exercise, travel, sleep
2. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
- What was your childhood dream?
When was I a child.. I always loved pulling things apart to see how they worked. I loved computing but it was in its infancy, I loved building things as well but I didn’t like the purity of engineering and physics at that time. I learnt to love biology but then integrated physics and engineering into my work. So I now have a great life combining biology, physics and engineering
- What is your goal on the research that you are working on right now?
Very fast, very large scale imaging. We are collecting datasets in the 0.5 Petabyte range.. the question is what to do with it, how to store it, how to process it.
3. What does Tokai Hit mean to you?
- What is your favorite part about the Tokai Hit system that you own?
We have several Tokai Hit systems of various generations. The things I like most are the temperature stability, I love the new magnet solution as its easy to change components.
- Please share your thoughts about Tokai Hit, such as; product performances, features, services that you have received.
Its all great!