Neuroscience 2014 Lecturer Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Society for Neuroscience congratulates German physicist Stefan W. Hell, a joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. At Neuroscience 2014, Hell will give a special lecture titled Nanoscopy With Focused Light: Principles and Applications as well as participate in a press conference on technological breakthroughs that are transforming the field of neuroscience.
Hell, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and his co-winners, U.S. scientists Eric Betzig of the Janelia Research Campus at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia and William Moerner, a professor at Stanford University in California, received the prize for their work developing new types of microscopy — called nanoscopy — which allow scientists to closely study the individual molecules within living cells.
“Today, nanoscopy is used world-wide and new knowledge of greatest benefit to mankind is produced on a daily basis,” according to the press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In 2000, Hell developed a method called stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, in which one laser beam stimulates fluorescent molecules to glow and another laser filters out all fluorescence but a nanometer-sized section, producing an incredibly detailed resolution. Learn more about Hell's work on BrainFacts.org.
Betzig and Moerner, working separately, developed another method called single-molecule microscopy, which involves turning on and off the fluorescence of individual molecules while imaging an area multiple times, and then superimposing these images to create a super-high-resolution image. Betzig first used this method in 2006.
Watch this video to learn more about Hell’s work.