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Scientist honoured with Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellowship

Professor Kishan Dholakia has been awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellowship to pursue the area of advanced optical imaging.

Kishan-Leverhulme-mainbodyThe prestigious award is for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties.

Professor Dholakia’s group at the University of St Andrews has developed a new form of light sheet imaging that uses an unusual beam that moves on a peculiar curved trajectory known as the Airy beam, named after the British astronomer Sir George Airy.

Compared to imaging with a conventional light sheet, the Airy beam light sheet allows for high resolution over a much larger field of view: in fact by up to a factor of ten.

Additional recent innovations by the group have included new compact geometries for microscopy and all optical sample manipulation. The work has been funded by a UK EPSRC grant and has involved many collaborators.

Such approaches are poised to impact our understanding of the development of complex biological organs such as the brain.

‌Professor Dholakia said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award which is an outstanding recognition of the efforts of all of my group and colleagues in the Schools of Biology and Medicine, and the Scottish Oceans Institute, with whom we are driving forward new forms of optical imaging.

“I am thrilled that St Andrews is now emerging as a truly world leading institute for various aspects of optical imaging, something we could not have envisaged even a few years ago.”


Notes to news editors

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society’s strategic priorities emphasise its commitment to the highest quality science, to curiosity-driven research, and to the development and use of science for the benefit of society. These priorities are: promoting science and its benefits; recognising excellence in science; supporting outstanding science; providing scientific advice for policy; fostering international and global cooperation; and education and public engagement. For further information please visit the Royal Society’s website. Follow the Society on Twitter or on Facebook. 

Further information about the Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellowships:The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the First Viscount Leverhulme with the instruction that its resources should be used to support “scholarships for the purposes of research and education”. More information

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office, contactable on 01334 46 7310 or proffice@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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