Modern biology and medicine are undergoing a profound transformation. New, cutting-edge imaging technologies are driving this change by enabling researchers to visualize and measure – with a precision never reached before – molecular and cellular functions as well as the metabolic processes in live organisms. this is possible thanks to the resolution revolution, exempli ed by two recent nobel prizes for super-resolution and cryo-electron microscopy. As imaging technologies become increasingly more powerful, they allow researchers to address grand societal challenges.
Emerging from these advancements comes another revolution – digital imaging data. The wealth of digital imaging is exponentially rising, opening up new areas of research and allowing to interlink diverse disciplines. Indeed, breakthrough are expected when the integration of image data with other data
After decades of research, scientists are finally able to molecularly understand healthy and diseased cells and thereby diagnose earlier, improve therapy, monitor therapeutic success better, thereby leading to personalized medicine protocols. Imaging technologies are becoming increasingly key in the fight against cancer, infectious diseases, genetic disorders, ultimately improving our health across longer life-spans.
Imaging science can also be applied to other fields of research: it provides key insights into plant biology and our planet’s marine ecosystem to help us adapt to climate change; it is instrumental in tackling food security as it provides insights on how to increase crop yields and their resistance to extreme conditions such as drought and flooding.
In addition, bioimaging is a cross-disciplinary field where interaction with other sciences – such as computer science for data management, engineering for instrument development, chemistry for the development of probes – provides the means to advance many research fields and enables the generation of new knowledge.