Michelle Itano, PhD Receives CZI Grant to Help Train the Next Generation of Imaging Scientists


Michelle Itano, PhD, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, is one of ten co-principal investigators that received a two year grant called “Curated Imaging Science Education for Learners and Trainers.”


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) fosters collaboration between scientists and engineers, develops new technologies, and builds support for basic scientific research.

Their imaging program aims to drive the development of new imaging tools in order to observe biological processes in the hopes of unlocking new understandings of human health and disease.

Michelle Itano, PhD, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, is one of ten co-principal investigators that received a two year grant called “Curated Imaging Science Education for Learners and Trainers.”

As part of the team’s project, which also includes researchers from Harvard Medical School, Duke University, Vanderbilt University and other institutions, they are building an educational website for students to learn imaging science and for imaging teachers to interact and share educational materials.

“Microscopy and image analysis are powerful techniques in biomedical research that require extensive expertise to implement effectively and reproducibly,” said Itano. “We hope to accelerate scientific discovery by providing researchers with a free, open and easy-to-use online portal filled with carefully-curated high-quality resources for both learning and teaching imaging science.”

In fact, the new project neatly coincides with Itano’s role as director of the Neuroscience Microscopy Core at the UNC Neuroscience Center. As director, she provides and customizes state-of-the-art optical imaging and analysis applications to support a wide range of scientific investigations. She also trains scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill and consults with them to fully address their imaging needs through her expertise.

Read the full announcement from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative here.

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