Hannahmariam Mekbib

MIT Department: Physics

Undergraduate Institution: Boston University

Faculty Mentor: Nikta Fakhri

Research Supervisor: Yoon Jung

Website: LinkedIn



I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but my family moved to the U.S. four years ago. I’m a physics major and math minor at Boston University. I have worked in different physics labs so far, ranging from soft matter to condensed matter physics. I’m interested in soft condensed matter research but I also want to explore working in other fields such as solid state physics. My hobbies include reading books, swimming, drawing, watching movies and sight seeing.

2017 Research Abstract

Automation of fluorescence microscopy-based live cell imaging platform

Hannahmariam T. Mekbib, Department of Physics, Boston University,

Yoon Jung, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Tzer Han Tan, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Nikta Fakhri, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Fluorescence microscopy has enabled biologists to learn about the living cell and to study biological events such as cell signaling and gene expression for many years. In order to image live cells and probe the dynamics of fluorophores with high temporal resolution, imaging conditions must be set to an optimal compromise between phototoxicity, localization precision, photobleaching and temporal resolution. We present automation of a custom-made fluorescent microscope as an instrumentation technique to minimize these limiting factors. We developed a LabVIEW program to simultaneously control several electronics in our microscope setup including an Acousto Optic Tunable Filter (AOTF) which we will add to our setup to control the excitation source. The combination of these modifications will significantly decrease the exposure time by only exciting the fluorophores when they are being imaged which allows imaging live cells for longer periods of time. This project will not only enable live cell imaging but also allow additional modalities such as super resolution microscopy.