University of illinois Urbana-Champaign
Rock climbers ascending cliff at sunset

CLIMB
Center for Label-free Imaging and Multiscale Biophotonics
NIBIB P41 Center

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Director's overview

Gabriel PopescuThe Center for Label-free Imaging and Multiscale Biophotonics (CLIMB) develops cutting-edge optical and computational imaging technologies for addressing grand challenges in biomedicine, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Building upon the recent advances in interferometric, nonlinear, chemical, and computational imaging at UIUC, CLIMB is a unique technology and training hub for advanced biophotonics.

The three Technology Research and Development (TRD) projects synergize expertise in multimodal and nonlinear imaging, computational imaging, and quantitative phase imaging, pushed for the first time to handheld configurations to allow in-vivo and point-of-care (POC) operation. The typical limitations associated with stains and tags, such as photobleaching, photoxicity, off-target labeling, non-specific binding, and artifacts, are eliminated, while the specificity is brought back via novel computational algorithms.

CLIMB is engaged with a number of world-class collaborators across the country and the world to address specific biomedical applications, including in-vivo skin imaging, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer drug development, label-free pathology, development of fertility markers, and tissue engineering.

In order to accelerate the translation of the novel powerful label-free imaging tools to the clinic, we will establish an aggressive commercialization program, by collaborating with startup and established companies. At the same time, we will create a rigorous and inclusive technology training and dissemination plan, as well as a comprehensive educational program to prepare the next generation of biophotonics researchers for excelling in label-free imaging.

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