Seminar Series

The STROBE Seminar Series provides students and participants with a variety of research and professional development experiences that will enhance understandings of the imaging science modalities across all STROBE disciplines by inviting experts in the imaging sciences fields to showcase their research. Participants will also expand leadership and management skillsets with professional development workshops, and increase communication skills by showcasing research in short presentation format. This seminar series enhances integration between the different scientific thrusts of STROBE (electron, x-ray, and nano imaging modalities and STROBE’s underpinning technologies) and strengthens the ties between STROBE institutions. Attendance and a final project report are required to receive full credit.

Spring 2019 Instructors: Dr. Nico Hernández Charpak and Dr. Ellen Keister


  • CU Boulder - JILA Foothills Room
  • UCLA - Knudsen 5-142
  • UC Berkeley - Tan 775A
  • UC Irvine - 4179 Frederick Reines Hall

Time: 12pm PT | 1pm MT | 3pm ET

2018 Course Listings (2019 coming soon):

  • CU Boulder- PHYS7810-007 or ECEN5606-001
  • UCLA - Physics 269D
  • UC Berkeley - Chem 195
  • UC Irvine - Physics 261B


Title Event Datesort descending Event Details
STROBE Seminar: Introduction to Seminar, IDP, and StrengthsFinder Monday, January 28, 2019 - 1:00pm StrengthsFinder Affiliate at your STROBE Campus,

The first STROBE Seminar of 2019 will focus on developing your IDP, or Individual Development Plan. Prior to the first seminar, seminar attendees will receive a link to a StrengthsFinder self-assessment to hone in on your skills and how they will help you succeed in your future career. An in-person facilitator at Boulder, Berkeley and UCLA will explain the StrengthsFinder and IDP results for students and postdocs.

STROBE Seminar: Individual Development Plan (IDP) and 3 Minute Thesis Introduction Monday, February 4, 2019 - 1:00pm Ellen Keister, PhD, Nico Hernández Charpak, PhD, CU Boulder

Ellen and Nico will give an introduction and overview of the seminar, including the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) assignments. This session is open to anyone who would like to attend, as both the IDP and 3MT are great exercises for everyone, even if you are not registered for the class!

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Z. Hong Zhou Presents "Atomic cryoEM for proteins, nucleic acids and lipids" Monday, February 11, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Z. Hong Zhou, California NanoSystems Institute and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) has emerged as a tool of choice for determining three-dimensional (3D) structures of macromolecular complexes or biological nano-machines (>50 kDa) in their native forms. When such complexes can be isolated in microgram quantities, atomic models can now be obtained by cryoEM single-particle analysis and model building. Comparisons of atomic models obtained for the same complex at different functional states provide mechanistic insights for its functions. For pleomorphic complexes, such as those in their cellular or tissue environments, molecular resolution structures can be reconstructed by cryo electron tomography (cryoET). Examples will be presented to illustrate the power of cryoEM in visualizing 3D structures of nano-scale biological machines containing proteins, nucleic acids or lipids to inform such fundamental biological processes as genome transcription, molecular translocation and infectious diseases.

STROBE Seminar: 3 Minute Thesis Practice Monday, February 18, 2019 - 1:00pm ,

No Seminar - 3 Minute Thesis Practice. President's Day for California campuses. At CU Boulder, STROBE community lunch & lab tours in Engineering, led by Rafael Piestun's group.

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Gordana Dukovic Presents "Elemental distribution and local electronic structure in oxynitride nanocrystals" Monday, February 25, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Gordana Dukovic, CU Boulder

Zinc-gallium oxynitride (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) exhibits visible absorption with a band gap that depends on composition (i.e., the value of x) and has been demonstrated to split water under visible irradiation. The origin of visible absorption in this solid solution material in this material is not understood. Furthermore, the local atomic-level distribution of the 4 elements, Ga, Zn, N, and O may play an important role in the optical properties of (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx).

This presentation will focus on our use of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) tools to characterize the local composition and electronic structure of these particles. I will describe the elemental distribution within (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) nanocrystals, measured by Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) with sub-nm resolution, as well as the methods to control compositional disorder. Furthermore, I will describe our ongoing efforts to use Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) to correlate local composition with local electronic structure and elucidate the relationship between the two. Together, these tools allow us to postulate a comprehensive picture of the optical properties of (Ga1-xZnx)(N1-xOx) nanocrystals.

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Kevin Fahey, "Leveraging the Extreme Ultraviolet: Extending Correlative Microscopy into Industrial Applications, the Time Domain, and More" Monday, March 4, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Kevin Fahey, CEO, KMLabs

In the last century and defining the first two decades of this one, the development of novel materials and manufacturing processes has demanded the advancement of new characterization techniques. This characterization leveraged light in its many rich forms: While optical probes proved tractable in the first half of this timeframe, it took the emergence of synchrotrons and other X-ray sources and optics to penetrate matter and move to higher photon energies. Only in the very recent past, however, have innovators been able to successfully utilize the Vacuum region of the spectrum (VUV, EUV, and Soft X-ray) effectively in the laboratory. This long-overlooked region of the spectrum is proving to be a rich and promising probe for practical materials and devices—filling a void in the existing characterization and imaging space.

In this talk, we will discuss the advent of Coherent EUV light as the next technique to complement this correlative suite of instruments. Uniquely merging diffractive imaging, spectroscopic, and time-resolved measurements enables key applications that will unlock new avenues ranging from Semiconductor metrology, fundamental materials and device characterization. We will discuss how it takes a diverse and extensive team to bring such technology from an idea to impact. More importantly, we will discuss the evolution of a technology that has been taken from the limited confines of the Synchrotron community to very soon becoming a laboratory instrument available to augment the rich tool suite now relied upon by academic researchers and industrial microscopists alike.

STROBE Seminar: Best Practices in SciComm Monday, March 11, 2019 - 1:00pm Ellen Keister, PhD, Nico Hernández Charpak, PhD, JILA, CU Boulder

In this session of the STROBE seminar, we will use the time to go over best practices of visual communication, and then workshop materials brought by the participants (you!). Please send a maximum 1-slide document to Ellen and Nico before Friday. We will break out into groups at each node to workshop the materials as a group, with input from experienced communicators. The material can be intended for your 3-minute thesis presentation, or for a conference presentation.

STROBE Seminar: David Ren, "3D Phase Contrast Tomography with Atomic Resolution" Monday, March 18, 2019 - 1:00pm David Ren, Graduate Student in Waller Group, UC Berkeley

Electron tomography is a technique used in both materials science and structural biology to image features well below optical resolution limit. In this work, we present a new algorithm for reconstructing the three-dimensional(3D) electrostatic potential of a sample at atomic resolution from phase contrast imaging using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Our method accounts for dynamical and strong phase scattering, providing more accurate results with much lower electron doses than those current atomic electron tomography experiments. Our simulation results show that, for a wide range of experimental parameters, we can accurately determine both atomic positions and species, and also identify vacancies even for light elements such as silicon and disordered materials such as amorphous silicon dioxide and also identify vacancies. Our preliminary experimental results also show promising outcome of the method.

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Laura Oliphant, "Innovation in the Semiconductor Industry: Implications for Education and Diversity" Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 10:00am Dr. Laura Oliphant, General Partner, Spirit Ventures

Abstract: Dr. Laura Oliphant has been at the forefront of technology for over 25 years, first at Intel, as an Engineer and Corporate Venture Capitalist, and now, as a General Partner of a Venture Fund, Board Director and CEO of startups.  She will talk about her career trajectory, the challenges for technology innovation going forward, the implications for education, diversity, and what she wishes that she had known in starting out in her career.

About the Speaker: Laura is a General Partner with Spirit Ventures, a new venture capital firm that will focus on key enabling technologies. She is an experienced CEO, Board Member, and Investor who was an Investment Director in Intel Capital from 2001 until her retirement from Intel in 2016. At Intel, she brought significant strategic and financial value to Intel, and she was awarded Intel’s highest award, the Intel Achievement Award, for her contributions. After retiring from Intel, she was the CEO of Translarity, an investor backed, semiconductor test startup. Laura is also currently part of the Board of Directors for Thin Film Electronics ASA (THIN), a public company, Novelda AS, and Numascale AS, all based in Oslo, Norway. Prior to her role in Intel Capital, Laura served as a Supply Chain Program Manager in Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group (TMG). Laura was one of the key coordinators for Intel’s transition to the 300 mm wafer size in their factories, a project which delivered to cost targets and added to Intel’s gross margin. Laura was also the co-chairperson of the SEMATECH Metrology and Yield Management Advisory Group, and was part of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) committee for yield management technology. Laura is currently on the board of advisors for the UC Berkeley Skydeck Accelerator and has served on the Lawrence Berkeley Lab Innovation Grant Committee. Laura received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where her thesis research was centered on candidate batteries for electric cars.

NO SEMINAR - SPRING BREAK Monday, March 25, 2019 - 1:00pm ,


STROBE Seminar: Three Minute Thesis Practice Monday, April 1, 2019 - 1:00pm Seminar Instructors, Dr. Keister and Dr. Hernández Charpak and Assistant Director of Outreach, Dr. Sarah Schreiner,

During this class, we will talk about your three-minute thesis presentations, sign up for a time to present, and work on drafts of the PowerPoint slide that will accompany your presentation using some of the best practices discussed earlier in the seminar. One week prior to your presentation, send your slide to Ellen and Nico and attend office hours to discuss your presentation. 

OFFICE HOURS (starting 04/02): Tuesdays at 1pm PT/2pm MT/4pm ET AND Thursdays at 9am PT/10am MT/12pm ET, or by appointment.

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Emilie Ringe, "Earth-Abundant Plasmonics" Monday, April 8, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Emilie Ringe, University of Cambridge, Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy and Department of Earth Sciences

The optical properties of gold and silver nanoparticles have been known for centuries, appearing in Roman glassware as well as medieval stained glass. An understanding of the phenomenon giving rise to these brilliant colors emerged in the last century: collective oscillations of conduction electrons called localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) can be excited by light, leading to wavelength-dependent absorption and scattering. LSPRs have a broad technology potential as an attractive platform for surface-enhanced spectroscopies, non-bleaching labels, hyperthermal cancer therapy, waveguides, and so on. Excitingly, this light-matter interaction can be controlled by the size, shape, and dielectric environment of the nanoparticles; enabling the manipulation of LSPR energy, absorption/scattering ratio, light confinement, as well as far-field and near-field emission geometry, all important for specific applications.

Most plasmonic metals studied to date are composed of either Cu, Ag, and Au. The former two can pose significant challenges related to oxidation, the latter is often perceived as cost-prohibitive, and all three are rare. Recently, much attention has been focused on earth-abundant Al, which is an excellent plasmonic in the UV. This talk will briefly discuss colloidal Al nanoparticles as a plasmonic material, then report results on a new composition: magnesium. Mg nanoparticles are remarkably active plasmonics across the UV, Vis and NIR, as shown optically and with STEM-EELS. Surprisingly, they are stable in air for weeks owing to a self-limiting oxide layer. Colloidal Mg has potential on its own as a plasmonic structure, and can also be used as a scaffold for additional surface chemistry, sensing, and hybrid photocatalysts.

STROBE Seminar: Project Management for Scientists: Project Planning Monday, April 15, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Nico Hernández Charpak and Dr. Ellen Keister, STROBE, JILA, CU Boulder

Being a successful scientist requires planning and managing complex team projects that span multiple years. This two-part, interactive workshop will give you the tools and insights necessary for you to navigate this type of project management. By structuring the workshop around an example research project, attendees will directly see how specific tools and strategies can be applied to their current and future work. The first workshop session will focus on project planning, and the second session will focus on project monitoring and operation. To get the full project management landscape, it is highly encouraged for you to attend both sessions. The second session will be Monday, April 29.

STROBE Seminar: Dr. Melanie Muller Monday, April 22, 2019 - 1:00pm Dr. Melanie Muller, Fritz-Haber-Institut, Berlin


STROBE Seminar: TBD Monday, April 29, 2019 - 1:00pm TBD,



Title Event Datesort descending Event Details
STROBE Seminar: Introduction to Seminar, IDP, and StrengthsFinder Monday, January 22, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Tess Eidem, STROBE Assistant Director of Education, University of Colorado Boulder
JILA Foothills Conference Room, GoToMeeting

The first STROBE Seminar of 2018 will focus on developing your IDP, or Individual Development Plan. Prior to the first seminar, seminar attendees will receive a link to a StrengthsFinder self-assessment to hone in on your skills and how they will help you succeed in your future career. An in-person facilitator at Boulder, Berkeley and UCLA will explain the StrengthsFinder and IDP results for students and postdocs.

STROBE and SPC Seminar: UCI-Invited Science Communication / NPR Speaker Monday, January 29, 2018 - 4:00pm Sandra Tsing Loh, NPR
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Among her many roles as an actress, author, and artist, Sandra Tsing Loh is the host of the daily NPR radio program, The Loh Down on Science, where she delivers the latest in science in a humorous, yet informative minute-long broadcast. In addition, she leads the Science Communication course at UC Irvine, where she teaches young scientists how to communicate their work to the general public and avoid pitfalls in conveying complicated and controversial science. During this seminar, Sandra will show how scientists can share their projects in fun and engaging ways without relying on difficult, technical terminology.

Hosted by: Franklin Dollar at UC Irvine

STROBE Seminar: Project Management Monday, February 5, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Dan Moorer, Director of Engineering Management Program, University of Colorado Boulder
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Leadership and project management skills are essential for a successful career in STEM across academia, industry, and government, yet many STEM trainees often overlook opportunities to build fundamental professional skills that will propel their success in their future careers.

Dr. Moorer, Director of the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program at CU Boulder, will outline the importance of leadership and project management, highlight their use in STEM careers, and share information on formal training to improve these skills.

Hosted by CU Boulder and broadcast across STROBE nodes.
Everyone welcome to attend!

STROBE Seminar: Entangled Photon Imaging for Biological Materials Monday, February 12, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Ralph Jimenez, NIST, JILA, and University of Colorado Boulder
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Fluorescence imaging is a widely used method for resolving molecular events in cells and tissues.  The development of genetically-encoded fluorophores and a detailed understanding of their photophysics is critical for quantitative bioimaging. Dr. Jiminez will provide an overview of the properties of fluorescent proteins and biosensors and describe some of his research to quantify and improve the performance of these important biological probes. Dr. Jimenez will also describe a new research direction aiming to dramatically enhance bioimaging by employing quantum optics techniques.

Hosted by CU Boulder and broadcast across STROBE nodes.
Everyone is welcome to attend!

STROBE Seminar: Overcoming Diffraction Limitations in Optical Imaging Monday, February 19, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Rafael Piestun, STROBE Faculty, University of Colorado Boulder
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Optical computational imaging seeks enhanced performance and new functionality by the joint design of illumination, optics, detectors, and reconstruction algorithms. In this talk we discuss how this approach helps overcome the diffraction limit in fluorescence microscopy. Abbe’s resolution limit has been overcome after more than 130 years enabling unprecedented opportunities for optical imaging at the nanoscale. Fluorescence imaging using photoactivatable or photoswitchable molecules within computational optical systems offers single molecule sensitivity within a wide field of view from far field measurements. The advent of three-dimensional point spread function engineering associated with optimal reconstruction algorithms provides a unique approach to further increase resolution in three dimensions. Compressive imaging techniques further enable resolution of dense emitters and enable acceleration of the super-resolution data collection.

Hosted by CU Boulder and broadcast across STROBE nodes.
Everyone is welcome to attend!

STROBE and SPC Seminar - Hands on Python Workshop: Image Analysis in the Jupyter Notebook Monday, February 26, 2018 - 4:00pm Antonino Ingargiola, UCLA
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Link to Workshop Materials:

This hands-on workshop will give students a taste of modern scientific computing in python using the Jupyter Notebook environment. Jupyter notebooks are executable documents that interleave narrative (rich text, math equations, figures, links) with code. The notebook workflow ties together high-level descriptions of the analysis, code and results in a single document that is easy to share or re-run. Even beginners can read and re-run analyses modifying parameters and exploring the effect on the results, either on the cloud or on personal computers. In this workshop we will interactively explore a single-molecule fluorescence microscopy video, performing tasks such as background subtraction, denoising, region of interest extraction, segmentation and analysis of blinking time-trajectories (on-off trajectories) of individual emitters. We will use numpy, scipy, matplotlib, pandas and more. Some basic experience with python is preferred. The analysis will be performed on a cloud service accessed with own laptop (browser-only, no installation required).

All participants are required to register and test the login prior to the workshop. Users without a working log-in will not be able to participate.

For registration go to

SPC would like to thank Max Kopelevich for IT surpport involved with this workshop. We also would like to thank Yung Kuo and Maya Segal who served as instruction assistants for the workshop.

Publishing chemistry and materials research in Nature: an editor’s perspective Friday, March 2, 2018 - 3:00pm Claire Hansell , Nature
Streaming to all STROBE institutions

Talk title: Publishing chemistry and materials research in Nature: an editor’s perspective


The time between manuscript submission and the binary outcomes of acceptance or rejection can often seem like a black box of intrigue, witchcraft, denial, confusion and much more. However, that is not the intended external face of peer review, and editors make judgements on what is best for any given manuscript every day based on just a few rational principles. Claire Hansell is a senior editor at Nature, previously at Nature Chemistry, and her talk will (hopefully) enlighten as to what goes on at an editor’s desk, with a specific focus on what editors at Nature are looking for in submissions.

STROBE Seminar: Modern Electron Microscopy: Atomic Imaging Monday, March 5, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. John Spear, UCLA
JILA Foothills Conference Room

There have been numerous recent advancements on the TItan platform TEM for high resolution imaging in both Materials Science applications and also cryo-EM for protein structure determination. Not only have there been improvements in the technology itself but also int eh degree of automation in these instruments lowering the expertise needed for acquiring high quality datasets. 

Hosted by UCLA and broadcast across STROBE nodes.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

STROBE and SPC Seminar: Strategies for Effective Mentoring Monday, March 12, 2018 - 4:00pm Linda von Hoene, Sabrina Soracco, University of California Berkeley
JILA Foothills Conference Room

The purpose of this workshop is to assist graduate students and other STROBE participants in working effectively within the context of mentoring relatinoships with faculty, graduate students, and udnergraduates. Participants will learn about the importance of mentoring both to mentors and mentees, how to initiate mentoring relationships and keep them on track, and how to address problems that may arise. 

Hosted by UC Berkeley and broadcast across STROBE nodes. Everyone is welcome to attend!

STROBE Seminar: Characterizing Disordered Solids with Electron Microscopy Monday, March 19, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Mary Scott, STROBE Faculty, University of California Berkeley
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Owing to their lack of long-range order, measuring local structural variation in amorphous materials is challenging. Electron microscopy is uniquely able to characterize ordering and symmetry in disordered materials at the 2-5 nm length scale, enabling new insight into this class of materials.

Hosted by UC Berkeley and broadcast across STROBE nodes. Everyone is welcome to attend!

SPRING BREAK - NO SEMINAR Monday, March 26, 2018 - 10:00pm ,


STROBE Seminar: Solving protein structure with laser-controlled electron beams (phase contrast electron microscopy) Monday, April 2, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Osip Schwartz, University of California Berkeley, Postdoc in Dr. Holger Müller’s group
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Transmission electron microscopy of frozen-hydrated specimens (cryo-EM) enabled atomic-resolution reconstruction of biological macromolecules. However, thin soft matter specimens are almost transparent to the electron beam and are extremely sensitive to radiation damage. This hinders the reconstruction of protein complexes that are either too small or too structurally heterogeneous to be readily discerned in electron micrographs. The visibility of biological macromolecules in cryo-EM images can be improved via electron interferometry, similarly to Zernike phase contrast in optical microscopy. We develop laser-based electron interferometry tools to enable Zernike phase contrast in electron microscopy. Laser coherent control of electron beams holds the promise of expanding the class of protein complexes amenable to cryo-EM reconstruction. Initial demonstration experiments are currently underway.

Hosted by UC Berkeley and broadcast across STROBE nodes.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

STROBE Seminar: Graduate Student 3-Minute Thesis Talks 1 Monday, April 9, 2018 - 4:00pm Graduate Students and Postdocs, STROBE Institutions
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Three minute talks about STROBE thesis projects.

STROBE Seminar: Graduate Student 3-Minute Thesis Talks 2 Monday, April 16, 2018 - 4:00pm Graduate Students and Postdocs, STROBE Institutions
JILA Foothills Conference Room

Three minute talks about STROBE thesis projects.

STROBE Seminar: IP Seminars at Individual STROBE Institutions Monday, April 23, 2018 - 4:00pm Various Speakers, STROBE Institutions
JILA X317/X325

CU Boulder Seminar Description: If you ever wondered about the different types of Intellectual Property (IP) and strategies in using patents to make an impact, this seminar is for you. We will provide you with an overview of the different types of IP, how it is managed at CU and how the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) can help commercialize your inventions. We will also tell you about a variety of resources to help move your invention forward, regardless of whether you are interested in starting a company. This session will also discuss the importance of protecting confidential information and why a student may wish to obtain a non-disclosure agreement prior to speaking with a third party. 

STROBE Seminar: New Algorithms for Phase Retrieval and Ptychography Monday, April 30, 2018 - 4:00pm Dr. Stan Osher, UCLA
JILA Foothills Conference Room

We use splitting methods, suitably modified, to develop new and apparently successful algorithms.

We seem to outperform state of the art when applied to real data obtained by working with Professor Miao's group.

Responsible Conduct of Research STROBE-wide Seminar Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 12:00pm