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Edward Boyden to deliver 20th Fred Fay lecture on Nov. 20

Lecture is the centerpiece of Imaging Week at UMMS

UMass Medical School Communications

November 12, 2019
Edward Boyden, PhD

Edward Boyden, PhD, will deliver the 20th Fredric S. Fay Memorial Lecture, Tools for Analyzing and Controlling Complex Biological Systems, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m. in the Albert Sherman Center auditorium. The Fred Fay lecture is presented annually in remembrance of the late UMass Medical School professor of physiology and his scientific contributions, particularly to the field of biomedical imaging. This year's lecture is the centerpiece of Imaging Week, which takes place at UMass Medical School Monday, Nov. 18, through Friday, Nov. 22.

Dr. Boyden is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is co-director of the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, and a member of a number of institutes and departments at MIT, including the Media Lab, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, the Koch Institute, the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Boyden’s research program concentrates on inventing and applying groundbreaking technologies that enable systematic interrogation of the brain and other complex biological systems. He is best known for first using a modified opsin, now called Channelrhodopsin-2, to control neuronal activity with pulses of light. A collaborative side project to his dissertation while in graduate school at Stanford University, this report launched the field of optogenetics. More recently his lab at MIT has developed expansion microscopy, a method where tissue is physically expanded allowing visualization of single proteins with nanoscale precision. The Boyden lab has used the method to produce spectacular 3-D images of central nervous system organization in unprecedented detail. Currently, his lab is focused on developing methods to monitor the location and translation of single RNA molecules in living cells.

Boyden is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows and the National Academy of Inventors. He has received numerous honors, most notably the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Gairdner International Award and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. 

Imaging Week celebrates light microscopy at UMMS with daily seminars, instrument demonstrations and workshops, a poster session and exhibits following the Fred Fay Lecture, and an Image Analysis Symposium.

Throughout the week, the Sanderson Center for Optical Experimentation (SCOPE) core facility will host open houses with refreshments and the opportunity to learn about the wide array of light microscopy instruments available for use. For additional information about Imaging Week, visit the SCOPE website or contact