Jim Swoger

Jim Swoger

Head of Facility

Jim Swoger completed his PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, in 1997, with a thesis on semiconductor laser physics. He then moved to the Light Microscopy Group at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, where he worked on optical microscopy systems such as confocal theta microscopy, multi-imaging-axis microscopy and selective plane illumination microscopy.

In 2005 he joined the Sharpe lab at the Human Genetics Unit of the Medical Research Centre in Edinburgh, UK, and spent a year investigating 3D imaging of mouse embryology using optical projection tomography.

From 2006 to 2017 he was a staff scientist at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, where he developed optical techniques for mesoscopic imaging in the Systems Analysis of Development group. He has been the Head of the Mesoscopic Imaging Facility at EMBL Barcelona since October 2017.

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Laura Chen

Laura Chen

Technical Officer

Laura completed a PhD in high-energy density physics at Imperial College London in 2015. She then spent two years as a postdoc at the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, doing research in laboratory astrophysics and tutoring a number of undergraduate physics courses, including statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.

She has extensive experience in optical diagnostics, including imaging with optical and x-ray sources, interferometry, and spectroscopy.

She has a BSc in engineering, and spent five summers working at NASA’s Ames Research Center on various test engineering projects, including an exciting project that involved sending Drosophila into space and imaging their flight movements.

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Gopi Shah

Gopi Shah

Project Manager for Advanced Mesoscopy Applications

Gopi completed her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, Germany, in 2016, where she worked with an interdisciplinary team to develop light sheet microscopes capable of long-term, high-throughput imaging of fragile samples and real-time image-processing. Using these systems, she focused on studying germlayer dynamics during zebrafish development.

Prior to that, at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India, Gopi used confocal microscopy for live cell imaging, FRAP and sub-cellular laser ablation assays to understand cell dynamics during Drosophila embryogenesis.

In 2016, Gopi joined the light microscopy core facility at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI) in Cambridge, UK, as a Senior Scientific Associate, where she established light sheet microscopy as a tool for imaging human and mouse tumour organoid models in 4D. She also participated in designing the institute’s image data-handling infrastructure and taught courses on open-source image processing tools.

With expertise in a wide range of imaging and biological systems, Gopi joined the Mesoscopic Imaging Facility at EMBL Barcelona in October 2018 as a Project Manager.

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Montserrat Coll Lladó

Montserrat Coll Lladó

Mesoscopic Imaging Specialist

Montse has always had a genuine interest in bringing to light small details of life through images. After completion of her degree in biology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), she spent two years doing research on inner ear neurogenesis in the Developmental Biology Research Group (UPF).

She then moved to marine microbiology, and in 2013 she completed a PhD, with a thesis titled "Gene Expression in Marine Microorganisms", in which she used genomic and molecular approaches to understand the ecology of marine microbial plankton (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya/Institute of Marine Sciences, ICM-CSIC). During her PhD she had the opportunity to participate in the Tara Oceans Expedition on board the Tara schooner, studying the microbial diversity of the marine ecosystem. After her PhD, she was involved in photography, time-lapse photography, and video projects.

In 2017, Montse joined the Sharpe lab in the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona and gained experience in a wide range of clearing methods for rendering tissues transparent. Montse joined the Mesoscopic Imaging Facility at EMBL Barcelona in October 2017.

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