Inside the human body reside numerous different types of cells, which are in turn composed of hundreds of thousands of different molecular species, including DNA, RNA, proteins, and small molecules. Both the molecules and the cells interact through intricate networks to give rise to the emergent phenomenon of life. Understanding these molecular and cellular interaction networks, how they work in normal states, and how they go wrong in diseased states, is essential for unraveling the mystery of life and the foundation of diseases.
Our ability to understand how molecular and cellular interactions give rise to life and impact human health is a fundamental step in applying the advances of basic biology to create novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for unmet medical needs. Direct visualization provides an ideal pathway towards learning and understanding of these molecular and cellular networks, and the major goal of the new Center for Advance Imaging at Harvard is to develop novel imaging methods to enable such direct visualization.
Created to pool expertise in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and computer science this new research and innovation center will invent the next generation of imaging technologies to enable direct visualization of molecular and cellular interactions inside living systems. Through these unprecedented imaging capabilities, the Center for Advanced Imaging at Harvard will establish new pathways towards understanding how living systems function, and how things go wrong in diseases.