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Blog post   |   14/11/2023

The Lens of Discovery: a journey through the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit

Author: Carolyn Hartmann

The fourth Super-Resolution Summit gathers Curious Minds in Frankfurt

The Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit which took place on November 9, marked the grand finale of ONI's 4-city tour for 2023. The summit, driven by the mission to advance super-resolution microscopy, provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and collaboration, allowing attendees to stay abreast of the latest innovations and techniques in the field. 

ONI hosted the final Super-Resolution Summit of 2023 at Le Méridien Frankfurt on November 9, 2023. Distinguished speakers from diverse institutions shared their insights, making the event a beacon for the scientific community. Each speaker provided a unique lens into the expanding realm of microscopic exploration. The summit not only fostered collaboration but also highlighted the incredible potential of emerging technologies and advanced fluorescence methods.

The Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit left an indelible mark on the scientific community, radiating an atmosphere of excitement and innovation. The event brought together a diverse and engaged group of attendees, fostering a sense of community and collaboration. The sheer enthusiasm and curiosity of the participants, coupled with the cutting-edge advancements presented by the speakers, infused the summit with a positive energy, solidifying the summit not just as a platform for knowledge-sharing but as a vibrant celebration of the ever-evolving world of super-resolution microscopy.


Super-resolution microscopy for structural cell biology and other applications of blinking fluorophores

To kick start the scientific talks, attendees had the pleasure of hearing Dr Jonas Ries, Group Leader at EMBL Heidelberg and Professor for advanced microscopy at the Max Perutz Lab, University of Vienna. Dr Ries embarked on his scientific journey in Dresden, earning his PhD at TU Dresden. It was during his postdoctoral years at ETH Zurich that he delved into the fascinating world of advanced fluorescence correlation methods. He has been at the forefront of super-resolution microscopy. His lab focuses on developing technologies to visualize the nanoscale structure and dynamics of molecular machines within cells. At the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit, Jonas Ries presented "Super-Resolution Microscopy for Structural Cell Biology." The audience was taken on a journey through the intricacies of yeast's clathrin-mediated endocytosis, where MINFLUX technology played a pivotal role in uncovering dynamic structural organization. Ries shared insights into multi-color 3D SMLM, the extraction of information from super-resolution data, and the application of single particle averaging. 

Next, Dr Pablo Rivera-Fuentes' scientific odyssey began at the ETH in Zurich, where his dissertation earned him the prestigious ETH Medal in 2013. His postdoctoral journey led him across the Atlantic to MIT and later to the University of Oxford, where he honed his skills in chemical biology. In 2015, he started an independent research group at ETH Zurich, and by 2022, he joined the University of Zurich as an associate professor of bioorganic chemistry. During his talk, Dr Rivera-Fuentes took the audience on a captivating exploration with his talk, "Applications of Blinking Fluorophores Beyond Super-resolution Microscopy." He unfolded the story of spontaneously blinking fluorophores, revealing their utility in identifying peptides. The narrative expanded to the integration of deep learning models, creating a symphony of technology that could detect differences in sequencing and post-translational modifications, from phosphorylation to epimerization.

01_Ries         02_Rivera-Fuentes


A summit covering a wide range of super-resolution techniques

After the first networking break, there were three interesting talks covering a range of topics and super-resolution techniques. First, Dr Jonas Zähringer, currently a postdoctoral researcher at Philip Tinnefeld's lab. Dr Zähringer's scientific voyage commenced with physics studies in Freiburg and Munich, culminating in a PhD at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. His current work focuses on the intricate realm of super-resolution techniques, with a particular emphasis on MINFLUX technology. Zähringer told a comprehensive narrative in his talk, "Fluorescence Lifetime Benefits in MINFLUX." The story traversed the dimensions of MINFLUX 1D, pulsing through pulsed interleaved MINFLUX (pMINFLUX) and highlighting the precision and tracking capabilities in pMINFLUX lifetime multiplexing. From 3D localization to L-PAINT, Zähringer showcased the versatility of MINFLUX, offering a glimpse into the development of the pMINFLUX Fluorescence Lifetime Toolbox.

Then, attendees had the pleasure of listening to Professor Rainer Heintzmann's talk. His academic pursuits unfolded at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, with super-resolution microscopy intertwining with image processing. As a leader of a research unit at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Dr Heintzmann has dedicated his career to unraveling the mysteries of small biological objects. At the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit, Prof. Heintzmann delved into the theoretical foundations with his talk, "Linear and Non-linear Structured Illumination Microscopy." The narrative painted a vivid picture, exploring the legacy of Abbe, the construction of images from waves, and the innovative applications of structured illumination microscopy. Heintzmann's story transcended theoretical musings, and offered practical insights into nonlinear models.

Finally, Dr Shikha Dhiman's enlightened attendees with her talk on "Super-Resolution Microscopy for Unraveling Structure-Dynamics-Function of Supramolecular Polymers." Dr Dhiman’s journey in supramolecular chemistry began with a PhD at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. Her postdoctoral stint at Eindhoven University of Technology marked a pivotal chapter, shaping her understanding of molecular dynamics. Currently, an Assistant Professor at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Dhiman's research intersects supramolecular chemistry and biological systems. Her work covers the configuration of monomers in supramolecular polymers, exploring multicomponent polymerization for defect engineering. Dhiman's talk delved into anchoring fibers and receptor recruitment, illustrating the intersection of structure, dynamics, and function at the molecular level.

    04_Rainer Heintzmann  03_Jonas Zähringer

05_Shikha Dhiman


Signaling complexes at single-molecule level and from super-resolution to (nano)medicine

For the final session of the day, Professor Jacob Piehler talked about "Resolving the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Signaling Complexes in the Plasma Membrane at Single-Molecule Level." The story traversed the spatiotemporal dynamics of cytokine receptor assembly, the activation mechanism of Janus family tyrosine kinases (JAKs), and the regulation of cytokine signaling by the subcellular membrane environment. Prof Piehler holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Tübingen, and has been an integral part of Universität Osnabrück for 15 years. His research, shaped by a postdoc at the Weizmann Institute of Science, focuses on unraveling the mechanistic principles of signaling via class I/II cytokine receptors.

Closing a fascinating day of talks, we had Dr Lorenzo Albertazzi from the Eindhoven University of Technology, an ONI Nanoimager user. His journey blends the intricacies of biophysics and chemistry, with a PhD in Biophysics from Scuola Normale Superiore, which laid the foundation for his academic exploration. His postdoctoral years at Eindhoven University of Technology marked the convergence of chemistry and biophysics. During the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit, Dr Albertazzi talked about "From Super-Resolution to (Nano)medicine," which took the audience through a narrative of transition, culminating in using advanced techniques like STORM and spectral imaging to visualize nanomaterials. His recent work has extended to nanoscopy for nanomedicine, weaving a story of molecular understanding, and interactions with the biological environment. Dr Albertazzi introduced a library of ‘sweet’ probes used for their single-molecule tracking method termedglycoPAINT, in addition to teasing the audience with some images from their recent work on diagnostics using the Nanoimager platform. 

These speaker stories, each a unique chapter in the broader narrative of the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit, painted a rich tapestry of scientific exploration, innovation, and collaboration. The collective impact of their work shapes the evolving landscape of super-resolution microscopy, pushing the boundaries of what we can observe in the microscopic realm.

06_Jacob Piehler.   07_Lorenzo Albertazzi


Opportunities networking and live product demonstrations

The networking sessions at the Frankfurt Super-Resolution Summit served as a vibrant hub for knowledge exchange and collaboration. Attendees had the unique opportunity to interact with speakers and fellow researchers, fostering valuable connections within the scientific community. These sessions were both an extension of the enlightening talks and a platform for in-depth discussions and the exchange of ideas. The happy hour, complete with a featured cocktail and appetizing food, added a social element to the event, creating a relaxed atmosphere conducive to networking.

Moreover, the live product demonstrations added a practical dimension to the summit, allowing participants to witness cutting-edge technologies in action. The showcase featured ONI's state-of-the-art instruments such as the Nanoimager, CODI, and the newly launched dSTORM Training Kit and Discovery Kit. These demonstrations provided firsthand insights into the capabilities of these tools, enhancing the audience's understanding of their applications in super-resolution microscopy. Additionally, participants had the valuable opportunity to book one-on-one consultations with ONI representatives, ensuring personalized guidance and addressing specific queries. A standout feature was the private group session focusing on extracellular vesicles, providing an intimate setting for researchers to delve into this specialized topic collectively. The inclusive and interactive nature of these sessions underscored the summit's commitment to fostering collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and hands-on engagement with cutting-edge microscopy technologies.


"You can create much more meaningful connections to the research field and fellow scientists in this kind of event designed with lots of networking time. One of the most exciting things was bringing people together, introducing researchers from different backgrounds that are looking for similar microscopy solutions. It was great to see how imaging tips and tricks were shared. It felt like an afternoon amongst peers" said ONI's Field Applications Scientist Dr Laura Woythe.

Fun1 Fun3

Fun2  IMG_5357


Stay tuned for next year's super-resolution summit!

As we reflect on the wealth of knowledge shared during this event, we look forward to the continued evolution of super-resolution microscopy. The fascinating glimpse into the intricate world of molecular structures and dynamics promises exciting developments on the horizon.

For those eager to delve deeper into the microscopic wonders, stay tuned for the announcement of next year's Super-Resolution Summit schedule. Whether you're a seasoned researcher, an aspiring scientist, or simply curious about the latest advancements in microscopy, the summit promises to be an enriching experience.

We might be heading towards a city near you, bringing together experts, innovators, and enthusiasts to explore the cutting-edge developments in the field. Join us on this journey as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the microscopic realm. The Super-Resolution Summit is not just a conference; it's a convergence of minds shaping the future of scientific discovery. We look forward to sharing more insights, discoveries, and breakthroughs with you in the coming year. Until then, keep your eyes peeled for updates, and get ready for another immersive exploration into the microscopic universe at the next Super-Resolution Summit!


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