Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2017
For outstanding contributions to the development of innovative optical methodologies for functional and dynamic imaging of living tissues.

Making sense of scents: 3D videos reveal how the nose detects odor combinations

Via Science Daily | April 9, 2020

Every moment of the day we are surrounded by smells. Odors can bring back memories, or quickly warn us that food has gone bad. But how does our brain identify so many different odors? And how easily can we untangle the ingredients of a mixture of odors? In a new study in mice published today in Science, Columbia scientists have taken an important step toward answering these questions, and the secret lies inside the nose.

“From garbage to cologne, the scents we encounter every day are comprised of hundreds or even thousands of individual odors,” said Stuart Firestein, PhD, a Columbia professor of biological sciences and the co-senior author of today’s study. “Your morning cup of coffee can contain more than 800 different types of odor molecules. Although much work has been done to understand how the nose and brain work together to identify individual odors, scientists have long struggled to explain how this system works when multiple odors are mixed together… Continue reading.

High-speed microscope illuminates biology at the speed of life

Via Science Daily | September 27, 2019

The Columbia team behind the revolutionary 3D SCAPE microscope announces today a new version of this high-speed imaging technology. In collaboration with scientists from around the world, they used SCAPE 2.0 to reveal previously unseen details of living creatures — from neurons firing inside a wriggling worm to the 3D dynamics of the beating heart of a fish embryo, with far superior resolution and at speeds up to 30 times faster than their original demonstration.

These improvements to SCAPE, published today in Nature Methods, promise to impact fields as wide ranging as genetics, cardiology and neuroscience… Continue reading.

High-speed, 3D microscope captures stunning videos of fruit fly nerve cells in action

Via EurekAlert | March 29, 2019

Columbia engineers and neuroscientists have joined forces to create 3D videos of individual nerve cells moving, stretching and switching on inside fruit fly larvae as they move. Data gleaned from these videos reveals how nerve cells called proprioceptive neurons work together to help the body sense where it is in space. To accomplish this feat, the researchers harnessed SCAPE, a cutting-edge microscope developed at Columbia that images neurons at lightning-fast speeds.

These findings, published today in Current Biology, illustrate SCAPE’s ability to reveal the inner workings of the nervous system in unprecedented detail. By creating 3D, live action images of nerve cells in larvae as the animals crawled, SCAPE allowed the researchers to see exactly how those cells along the body wall reported movements back to the brain… Continue reading.

Elizabeth Hillman’s Magic Microscopes: Seeing Inside the Brain

Via Columbia University | February 11, 2019

Biomedical Engineer Elizabeth Hillman, PhD, a principal investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, is inventing new kinds of microscopes that create 3D movies of life in action. Her microscopes are helping researchers see the brain in a whole new light.

On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we hope that girls around the world will be inspired by the work of innovators like Dr. Hillman, and carve their own paths into science and engineering.

Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | March 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, Columbia University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Hillman was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions to the development of innovative optical methodologies for functional and dynamic imaging of living tissues..