MDI Biological Laboratory

Giving Tuesday at MDIBL

  • November 16, 2022

Meet Marko Pende, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Murawala lab at MDI Biological Laboratory.

Marko investigates limb regeneration in axolotls, and is also an award-winning science photographer who’s inventing new ways to “clear” sample tissues, making them transparent for easier viewing.

MDI Biological Laboratory scientists begin to build a microscope

Pende, Murawala, and Bonnet with components of the mesoSPIM.

This fall, with his colleagues in the Light Microscopy Facility, Pende is building a new microscope called a mesoSPIM, one of only four of its kind in the US – that will produce cleaner, brighter 3D images. The mesoSPIM will push the boundaries of science by allowing scientists to visualize and measure greater levels of detail than ever before and changing our understanding of how cells communicate and respond to disease or injury.

The impact of these technological advances will be felt around the state of Maine and beyond as we build an innovative imaging service available to scientists and students nationwide. With your help, we will continue to explore the unknown, gaining new insights into how to treat and prevent life-threatening disease.

We have a generous donor who has agreed to match dollar for dollar the funds raised on Giving Tuesday. Can we count on your support?

Philanthropic gifts from donors like you foster creativity and innovation and change the way we see the world. Help us ensure Marko and his colleagues have the freedom they need to explore new ideas, make ground-breaking discoveries and, ultimately, improve human health.

Below is a model of the mesoSPIM, which will be assembled in early December. Building a custom microscope is takes a lot of collaboration. The team would like to acknowledge Fritjof Helmchen, Ph.D., and Fabian F. Voigt, Ph.D., for their expertise and contributions.

mesoSPIM microscope schematic

The mesoSPIM will be custom built by scientists at MDIBL and collaborators from other institutions. Photo: mesoSPIM