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Blog > Lab Spotlight: Dr. Lingyan Shi and the Laboratory of Optical Bioimaging and Spectroscopy at UC San Diego

Lab Spotlight: Dr. Lingyan Shi and the Laboratory of Optical Bioimaging and Spectroscopy at UC San Diego

Published on June 5, 2024

Visualizing Metabolic Changes in Aging and Diseases

“Our goal is to develop and apply new ultrafast laser scanning multimodal imaging and spectroscopic technologies, such as stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), second harmonic generation (SHG), and multiphoton fluorescence (MPF) microscopy, for visualizing molecular composition and metabolic dynamics in situ at subcellular resolution to study aging and diseases,” explains Professor Lingyan Shi. The Laboratory of Optical Bioimaging and Spectroscopy, led by Dr. Shi, is at the forefront of this groundbreaking research.

Dr. Shi’s lab focuses on bioorthogonal chemical bond imaging of complex molecular events and cellular machinery in living organisms during aging and disease progression. This work offers powerful tools potentially for disease detection, diagnosis, and assessing therapeutic resistance, as well as for mechanistic understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, drug delivery, and aging processes.

About Professor Lingyan Shi

Dr. Lingyan Shi is an Assistant Professor in the Shu Chien-Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego, and a Sloan Research Fellow, Scialog Fellow, and Hellman Fellow. Her research is centered on developing high-resolution optical spectroscopy and imaging platforms to study metabolic dynamics in aging and diseases. Dr. Shi has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientist in 2018, and the Sloan Research Fellow Award in Chemistry in 2023.

Cutting-Edge Research Tools and Techniques

The Shi group is pioneering the development and application of laser scanning multimodal microscopy and spectroscopic technologies. This includes:

  • Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) Spectroscopy
  • Multiphoton Fluorescence Microscopy (MPF)
  • Second Harmonic Generation (SHG)
  • Bioorthogonal Metabolic Imaging

These technologies enable the study of metabolic dynamics during aging and diseases, mapping in situ cellular metabolic activities, and visualizing the spatial distribution of newly synthesized molecules such as proteins, lipids, DNA/RNA, and carbohydrates. This research is crucial for understanding aging processes, immunosenescence, and diseases including neuronal degeneration, diabetes, and cancer.

Using the Compresstome Vibratome for Imaging Studies

Dr. Shi’s lab also utilizes our Compresstome vibratome for their research. “My students and postdocs are using this instrument for tissue slicing and have generated impressive results from its operation,” notes Dr. Shi. The precision and reliability of the Compresstome vibratome have been instrumental in their work, enabling them to prepare high-quality tissue sections for detailed imaging and analysis.

If you want to get in touch with the Shi lab, let us know and we’ll help you build collaborations. If you’d like to be featured, contact us and we’ll be delighted to showcase your work.

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