The bigger picture: innovation in microscopy

A broader view of cellular processes during the drug discovery and development stages enabled by microscopy could help scientists to design better therapies for patients. In this interview, Drug Target Review’s Victoria Rees asks Dr Peter O’Toole, Head of Imaging and Cytometry at the University of York, UK about his research and the exciting projects advancing the field of microscopy.

“At York, we are working at the two almost extremes of light microscopy and developing new applications in those areas,” O’Toole began. One of these, he explained, is label-free microscopy, a technique called quantitative phase imaging (QPI) or quantitative phase microscopy (QPM). This is applied through two different technologies: ptychography and digital holography.

“With these technologies, we can now watch and measure the mass of cells double as live cells go through the cell cycle, or identify apoptosis, because it has different markers within the metrics that we can measure.”