Texas A&M University biologist Dylan McCreedy has been named a Fellow for a new initiative, Scialog: Advancing Bioimaging, in which more than 50 promising early-career scientists will take on the challenges involved in enhancing high-resolution imaging of tissues to support basic science and disease treatment.
Sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with additional support from the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation, the multi-year initiative is the latest of six currently underway as part of the broader Scialog® program, short for “science + dialog,” that seeks to accelerate the work of 21st century transformational science through research, dialog and community.
McCreedy and Texas A&M biomedical engineer Alexandra Walsh are among 55 Scialog Fellows with wide-ranging expertise who will collaborate across institutional and disciplinary lines to develop the next generation of imaging technologies capable of enhancing our ability to study tissues at cellular or sub-cellular resolution and map biological processes within and throughout organisms. The select group of optical physicists, chemists, engineers and biologists will be engaging in a similar collaborative process that resulted in the creation of four previous landmark innovations in imaging which have been recognized with recent Nobel Prizes: 3-D tomography/MRI, genetically encoded fluorescent proteins, super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, and atomic resolution electron microscopy.
“Advances in imaging technology — from hardware and biological probes to computational techniques and algorithms — could open up new avenues for developing treatments and curing diseases,” said CZI Imaging Program Officer Ed McCleskey. “Early-career researchers bring important insights to science, and we’re excited to hear their ideas for transformative projects in bioimaging.”
Established by RCSA in 2010, the Scialog format creates communities of early-career scholars selected from multiple disciplines and institutions across the U.S. and Canada to push the boundaries of knowledge aligned with each theme. Guided by a group of senior facilitators, these participating scientists discuss challenges and bottlenecks, build community around visionary goals for how these technologies can be developed and deployed, and seek collaborators for breakthrough pilot projects.
The first meeting in the Scialog: Advancing Bioimaging series will be held virtually May 20-21, where participants will form multidisciplinary teams to design cutting-edge research projects that they will pitch to leading scientists — including Texas A&M biomedical engineer Kristen Maitland — who will be facilitating discussions throughout the meeting. A committee of these facilitators then will recommend seed funding to catalyze the most promising of those team projects, based primarily on the potential for high-impact results.
“I am honored to be selected as a Scialog Fellow, and I am very excited for the opportunity to collaborate with scientists across multiple institutions to develop new imaging technologies,” McCreedy said.
McCreedy earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, then completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan/Northwestern University and the University of California-San Francisco prior to joining the Texas A&M Department of Biology in 2019 as an assistant professor of biology and TIRR Foundation Fellow. In addition, he is an affiliated member of the Texas A&M Spinal Cord Initiative and the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience.
McCreedy’s research investigates the roles of early inflammation after spinal cord injury and its effect on tissue damage, paralysis and and wound healing. His Texas A&M laboratory specializes in developing new three-dimensional imaging strategies using lightsheet microscopy to effectively clear, label and image whole spinal cords — work that provides scientists with a powerful tool to assess the dynamics of inflammation, neural circuit damage and plasticity. In addition to characterizing the mechanisms underlying acute inflammatory damage, he and his group are developing neuroprotective strategies to reduce tissue loss and improve long-term recovery for the more than 250,000 people in the U.S. alone who are living with spinal cord injuries, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
“Dr. McCreedy is a terrific researcher, which of course is why we hired him, but it is great to see that leaders in his field also recognize his skills and insights to modern imaging techniques and their many applications in neurobiology,” said Dr. Thomas D. McKnight, professor and head of Texas A&M Biology.
McCreedy’s professional affiliations include the National Neurotrauma Society, Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Stem Cell Research, Biomedical Engineering Society, Society for Biomaterials and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
Find more information on McCreedy and his research at https://www.mccreedylab.com/.
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About Research Corporation for Science Advancement: Research Corporation for Science Advancement was founded in 1912 and is the second-oldest foundation in the United States (after the Carnegie Corporation) and the oldest foundation for science advancement. Research Corporation is a leading advocate for the sciences and a major funder of scientific innovation and of research in colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, visit https://rescorp.org/.
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