Chemistry Graduate Dr. Cynthia McMurray featured with breakthrough in Synchrotron Cell Phenotyping

Posted On October 8, 2018
Categories Department News

Dr. Cynthia McMurray, a graduate of the GSU Chemistry Department and Dr. David Wilson’s laboratory, is now a full professor at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory associated with the University of California at Berkeley. She has recently made a breakthrough discovery in the use of a synchrotron beam to determine the identify of specific cells, a new spectral cell phenotyping technique. Current methods to identify cells are more laborious and frequently require treatment of the cell with a variety of chemicals that cause irreversible damage. Dr. McMurray and her team have found a strong yet gentle beam of light could one day allow researchers to classify cells while leaving them unharmed and alive for additional study. The results are very exciting since if the synchrotron-driven method can be adapted to infrared instruments available to other labs and hospitals, spectral phenotyping might one day also help diagnose illnesses, probe the cellular changes that lead to disease, and delve into embryonic development. The team is currently developing the method with 1-year pilot grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). This is the kind of impact that GSU Chemistry Graduates are having in a wide range of areas around the world. Dr. McMurray’s work is described in a news article in the Journal Science on August 8, 2018.