Spring 2025

Quantitative Imaging with Lab: From Molecules to Cells and Beyond

Listed in: Biochemistry-Biophysics, as BCBP-391  |  Biology, as BIOL-391  |  Neuroscience, as NEUR-391


Marc A. Edwards (Sections 01 and 01L)


(Offered as BIOL 391, BCBP 391, and NEUR-391) Fluorescence imaging offers a window to understanding the structure and function of living cells at sub-cellular resolution. This laboratory and lecture course will focus on advanced quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques used for imaging a range of biological model systems and functions ranging from single molecules to cells to tissues. Students will learn the fundamentals of optics and microscopy and gain hands-on experience with classical and emerging imaging technology including: confocal microscopy, deconvolution and super-resolution methods, and live-cell imaging. Fluorescent probes and genetically encoded biosensors will be discussed and used to study dynamic cellular processes. In addition, the class will explore a range of image processing and analysis workflows. Lectures dealing with the theory, mechanics, and application of fluorescent imaging methods will be intermingled with extended laboratory sessions in our new Amherst Biological Imaging Center.

Pre requisites : BIOL 191 and PHYS 117 and one of BIOL/BCBP291, BIOL221 or BIOL/NEUR 301, or with instructor permission.

There will be two 80-minute lectures and a weekly laboratory. Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Edwards.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to Biology, Neuroscience, and BCBP majors by seniority.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Laboratory-based skills assessments, group work, readings, oral presentations, quantitative work, off-site visits to research facilities, and computational analysis.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2025