William Hughes works at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney (Australia). In his Lab Head position he is interested in the causes of diabetes particularly looking at changes in exocytic behavior of pancreatic beta cells as well as fat and muscle cells.
TIRF microscopy is predestined for researchers looking at cellular processes near the cytoplasmic membrane. That is why he uses this technique to watch insulin secretion and glucose transporter movement to the cell surface: “I guess it’s probably the only way to image this process, so without TIRF microscopy we wouldn’t have any understanding of these processes really.” Moreover coupling that with the super-resolution techniques further improves his view. He is convinced that “what we have being studying for many years was probably only five to six percent of the real story... With these super-resolution techniques, we’re able to really understand a much bigger part.”
Looking back to his research career the super-resolution revolution has been the most exciting thing for him. Concerning the future to his mind storage and analysis of the big data volumes created by super-resolution techniques will be a major challenge.