James Fitzpatrick, PhD, a professor of neuroscience and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected biological sciences director of the Microscopy Society of America. He will serve a three-year term on the society’s governing council beginning in 2020.
An expert in biological imaging, Fitzpatrick is the director of the Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging. The center boasts 16 state-of-the-art light, X-ray and electron microscopes – including a 300kV Titan Krios cryo-electron microscope – and provides imaging expertise and support to researchers at the university and elsewhere.
Fitzpatrick’s research is focused on developing ways to correlate microscopy using charged particles such as electrons or ions with light microscopy of the same sample. By combining the advantages of charged-particle microscopy methods – which generate finely detailed grayscale images at nanoscale resolution – and light microscopy – which uses color-coded labels to flag molecules or internal cellular structures of interest – Fitzpatrick aims to advance our understanding of biological processes in human health and disease. He also is working to use artificial intelligence methods to develop new tools to visualize and manipulate image data obtained from different techniques.
The Microscopy Society of America is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of techniques and applications of microscopy and microanalysis in relevant scientific disciplines. Fitzpatrick plans to use his position on the society’s governing council to increase trainee engagement with the society, cultivate mentorship opportunities for early-career scientists and advocate for increased diversity in the community.