Dr. Maria F. Garcia-Parajo
ICFO-Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona
Nanophotonic approaches for live cell research: from nanoimaging to spectroscopy
Garcia-Parajo obtained her PhD in Physical Electronics in 1993 at Imperial College, London, UK, working on the fabrication and photoluminescence spectroscopy of quantum structures based on GaAs/AlGaAs. After acquiring extensive expertise in scanning probe microscopy at the L2M-CNRS, Bagneux, France (1993-1995) and University of Barcelona, Spain (1995-1996) she moved in 1996 to the Applied Optics group of the University of Twente, the Netherlands. In 1998 she obtained the prestigious award from the Dutch Academy of Sciences for her research on molecular optical sources for biological applications. In 2005 se moved to Barcelona as ICREA Research Professor, first hosted at the IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and since July 2011 at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences, leading the Single Molecule Biophotonics group.
Garcia-Parajo research focuses on the development of advanced optical techniques to the study of biological processes at the single molecular level on living cells. The group develops near-field optical approaches and photonic antennas to provide simultaneous nanoimaging and nanospectroscopy on living cells, in combination with other far-field nanoscopy methods. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy in ultraconfined volumes, and multi-color single particle tracking are exploited to gain access to dynamic processes down to the µs time resolution. In parallel, the group brings biophysical insight into fundamental biological questions that have important implications for health and disease, including cell biology and immunology, in close collaboration with biologists.