NIBIB 10th Anniversary

A Decade of Innovation for Health

For the past 10 years, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has harnessed the talents of engineers, biomedical researchers, and clinicians to tackle challenging medical problems. In June, NIBIB celebrated its 10th anniversary with a daylong scientific symposium that showcased the latest biomedical advances.

The program included two Nobel laureates; a patient with paraplegia who can now stand and walk for short periods of time thanks to a small device, developed by NIBIB-supported researchers, implanted in his back; and Hari Shroff, head of NIBIB’s High Resolution Optical Imaging Lab, who described how new imaging tools provide clearer, faster, and less invasive movies of neurodevelopmental processes in living nematode embryos. A technology showcase featured live demonstrations and exhibits.

In his welcome address, NIBIB Director Roderic Pettigrew applauded the many advances made or supported by NIBIB: magnetic-resonance elastography, a noninvasive diagnostic tool that combines magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) with sound waves; an MRI-guided focused ultrasound that can heat and destroy diseased or damaged tissue; a lung-on-a-chip device that mimics the mechanical and biochemical behaviors of the human lung and can be used for drug screening; and a micro–nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imager that can be used at the bedside to detect cancer cells.

NIH Director Francis Collins praised NIBIB’s achievements in translational medicine and its contributions to the Human Connectome Project to map connections within the brain. NIBIB is developing high-speed MRI technology to shed light on how the brain integrates neural information. 

The NIBIB Intramural Labs


Richard Leapman, Ph.D., Chief and Senior Investigator; NIBIB Scientific Director

The LCIMB develops new cutting-edge biomedical technologies based on engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences for determining the organization, structure and interactions of macromolecular assemblies. Methods are applied within the cellular and tissue context, as well as to isolated cellular components. Ongoing techniques include electron microscopy, electron tomography, atomic force microscopy, and biophysical methods such as analytical ultracentrifugation and optical biosensing.


Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen, Ph.D., Chief and Senior Investigator

The LOMIN specializes in synthesizing molecular-imaging probes for positron-emission tomography, single-photon-emission computed tomography, magnetic-resonance imaging, optical imaging (bioluminescence, fluorescence, and Raman), contrast-enhanced ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging, and multimodality imaging. LOMIN puts special emphasis on high-sensitivity nanosensors for biomarker detection and theranostic nanomedicine for imaging, gene and drug delivery, and monitoring of treatment.


David Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., Lab Chief and Senior Investigator

The MBIL is adjacent—and has access—to the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences clinical imaging facilities. MBIL resources include workstations with advanced image-processing software for the analysis of biomedical images in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Ongoing research includes the evaluation of myocardial fibrosis in heart failure, the epidemiology of diabetes intervention and complications, and reduction of atherosclerosis using image-guided therapy.


George Patterson, Ph.D., Chief and Investigator

The Section on Biophotonics develops probes and techniques for use in diffraction-limited and sub-diffraction-limited fluorescence imaging of cells and tissues. Methods and technologies include confocal, total internal reflection fluorescence, and wide-field microscopies; single-molecule imaging; fluorescence spectroscopy; and protein engineering.


Hari Shroff, Ph.D., Chief and Investigator

The HROI develops novel technologies for studying biological processes at unprecedented speed and resolution. Research includes furthering the development of super-resolution optical-imaging techniques, particularly three-dimensional photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM); identification and screening of new photoactivable proteins and dyes for use in PALM or conventional imaging; and improving plane illumination microscopy in order to enable high-speed, noninvasive imaging of cells and embryos.

To learn more about NIBIB’s programs and scientific advances, visit