Richard Levenson, professor and vice chair for strategic technologies in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been selected Innovator of the Year for the development of Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation, or MUSE -- a technology that obtains high-resolution images of biological tissue specimens without first requiring the time-consuming preparation of thin sections mounted on glass slides.
The technology, based on intellectual property jointly developed at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and UC Davis, uses ultraviolet light to penetrate the surface of tissue samples to a depth of a few microns, about the same thickness of tissue slices on traditional microscope slides.
The result is a detailed, diagnostic-quality image in minutes instead of the many hours that traditional methods require. MUSE has the potential to transform the practice of pathology, especially in low-resource settings, and to have a major global impact in health care by greatly reducing the cost and time to deliver definitive diagnostic results.
The ability to obtain such nearly instant, high-resolution, full-color images can also be a valuable tool for researchers who want to get tissue-based insights at the laboratory bench.
Levenson is the co-founder of MUSE Microscopy Inc., which is working to commercialize the technology.
About the award
Innovators of the Year awards recognize individual faculty, staff or teams whose innovative research or accomplishments have made a measurable societal impact in the preceding year, or whose university activities have achieved important milestones, and present very strong potential for societal impact.
Recipients receive $10,000 that can be applied to their research or to university enabled societal engagement efforts. In addition to Levenson, the DryCard team from the Horticulture Innovation Lab was also awarded.