Nondestructive Anatomic 3D Pathology with Open-Top Light-Sheet Microscopy for Precision Medicine

Friday, November 9, 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
The FUNG Auditorium
Jonathan T.C. Liu

Bryan T. McMinn Endowed Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Adjunct, Department of Pathology

University of Washington 

Nondestructive Anatomic 3D Pathology with Open-Top Light-Sheet Microscopy for Precision Medicine


The diagnostic gold standard of histology relies upon analog technologies that have changed little over the past century. These dated techniques contribute to large inter-pathologist variability, poor prognostication/prediction of tumor behavior in individual patients, and consequently, treatment that is often not optimized for an individual's particular malignancy.  Recent advances in digital pathology may unfortunately result in increased costs and complexity by requiring slide-mounted tissue sections to be further scanned with whole-slide imaging (WSI) systems.  We believe that in order to catalyze a digital pathology transformation, a technological approach is needed that offers significant advantages over traditional histopathology in terms of simplicity/cost, speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness of sampling, and superior sample preservation (including nucleic acids).  Towards this end, we have developed an “open-top” light-sheet (OTLS) microscopy platform for rapid slide-free 3D pathology of surgical and biopsy specimens [Glaser et al, Nat. Biomed. Eng., 2017].  Our most-recent efforts have focused on optimizing a suite of technologies to demonstrate the feasibility of 3D OTLS microscopy to visualize structural and molecular biomarkers within large numbers of core-needle biopsies in toto, and ultimately to better predict patient outcomes (indolent vs. aggressive disease).  These nondestructive and comprehensive digital pathology methods are synergistic with the rapidly growing fields of genomics and machine learning, which collectively have the potential to significantly improve patient prognostication and treatment stratification. 


Jonathan Liu received degrees in mechanical engineering at Princeton (B.S.E., 1999) and Stanford (M.S., 2000 & Ph.D., 2005).  He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of electrical engineering (Ginzton Labs) and the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (2005-2009), and was later appointed as an instructor within the Stanford University School of Medicine (2009-2010).  Jonathan was an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department at SUNY Stony Brook (2010-2014) and is now an associate professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Washington, with an adjunct appointment in the department of pathology. His laboratory for molecular biophotonics develops optical strategies for improving the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.