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Electron Microscopy Sciences

Illuminators, Magnifiers, Microscopes, & Graticles

arrow13NIGHTSEA™ Fluorescence Viewing Systems

KEYNIGHTSEA™ / EMS KEY Award Winner 2017

The NIGHTSEA™ and Electron Microscopy Sciences (EMS) KEY Award is an annual equipment grant to an individual entering their first faculty position at a U. S. college or university. The award consists of

NIGHTSEA™ and EMS introduced the KEY Award in 2015 and received many excellent applications.

The inaugural 2015 award went to Dr. Robert Mitchell at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he is using the system to aid his neuroscience research using beetles.

The 2016 award recipient was Dr. Sarah Petersen at Kenyon College. She is using the system for her research with the zebrafish model, undergraduate education, and community outreach.

About this award

Fluorescence is increasingly central to many fields of research, most notably in the life sciences, but also in other disciplines. New faculty start-up budgets are limited and fluorescence microscopy equipment can be very expensive. Immediately after the introduction of the economical NIGHTSEA™ Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter (SFA) system, we realized that it was popular among researchers entering their first faculty position because it provides an economical way to implement a fluorescence capability at a reasonable cost.

NIGHTSEA™ founder Dr. Charles Mazel's R&D career owes much to the inspiration and support of many people. The KEY Award is a way of giving back to the community and honors several of those individuals.

According to Dr. Mazel:

'K' is for Dr. Les Kaufman, Professor of Biology at Boston University. I met Les when he was Director of Research at the New England Aquarium and I was just a SCUBA diver walking in off the street with a 35mm slide deck of photographs of fluorescing corals. His excitement and encouragement led me back to school to pursue research into the meaning of the phenomenon and ultimately to a rewarding research career.
'E' represents two people – Dr. Harold E. 'Doc' Edgerton of MIT and Dr. Thomas Eisner of Cornell University. I was privileged to know both of these great men. Doc was a pioneer in both high speed imaging and underwater search, and an inspiration to all who met him. Tom was a great entomologist, the 'father of chemical ecology', and absolutely brilliant at using photographic imagery to communicate his observations of nature and the novel scientific investigations that they inspired.
'Y' also represents two people – the remarkable husband and wife team of Drs. Charlie and Clarice Yentsch. I met this inspirational pair of scientists when I entered my PhD program, and Charlie was on my thesis committee. I was privileged to spend a summer conducting research at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which they founded, and working side by side with them on numerous field projects.

This year's winner...

The recipient of the third annual NIGHTSEA / EMS KEY Award for New Faculty is Dr. Kristen Gorman, at California State University, Chico. The KEY Award was instituted by NIGHTSEA founder Dr. Charles Mazel to acknowledge his own mentors and "as a way of giving back to the scientific community."

Dr. Gorman, now an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences, specializes in genetically caused spinal curvatures, especially idiopathic scoliosis (IS), a pediatric spinal deformity. During her doctoral studies (under the supervision of Dr. Felix Breden at Simon Fraser University), she applied small laboratory fish to spinal studies to develop the first genetic animal models for IS. Recently, she used genomic sequencing to identify curvature genes in these fish models. At this time the only therapeutic options for IS are bracing or surgery. Dr. Gorman's hope is that her research will result in transformative therapies in molecular orthopaedics.

Dr. Gorman will use the SFA to screen and sort specimens on a laboratory stereo microscope, thus reducing demand on the shared high performance microscope. Fluorescent screening will confirm the integration of transgenes and identify founders for stable transgenic lines. She will involve students in this research, and will also use the SFA system in teaching laboratories and for STEM educational outreach.

Congratulations to Kristen!

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