Visualizing the dynamic movements and interactions between biomolecules remains a challenge, motivating the development of new optical technology and computational algorithms for imaging at the nanoscale. We have built two technologies for multidimensional imaging of single molecules (SMs): the Tri-spot point spread function (PSF) and the Robust Statistical Estimation (RoSE) algorithm. The Tri-spot PSF measures each second moment of SM orientation with near-uniform sensitivity, thereby capturing the orientation and rotational diffusion of SMs using just one camera frame. For 3D imaging, we developed RoSE to minimize the vectorial localization errors in super-resolution microscopy that result from both the structure of the sample and the PSF itself. By estimating the likelihood of a blinking event to be present in each imaging frame, RoSE localizes molecules accurately and minimizes false localizations even when images overlap.
Professor Lew joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2015, after completing his PhD in Electrical Engineering in the Moerner Lab and a postdoctoral appointment in the de la Zerda group at Stanford. Professor Lew is a recipient of a 2017 NSF CAREER Award for his project entitled "CAREER: Nanoscale sensing and imaging using computational single-molecule nanoscopy." In 2016, Professor Lew was given the Hiruma/Wagner Award at the 16th Conference of Peace through Mind/Brain Science. He has also received a Second Place Poster Award at the Gordon Research Conference "Single-Molecule Approaches to Biology" and a PicoQuant Young Investigator Award at SPIE Photonics West. Professor Lew is a member the Optical Society, SPIE, the American Chemical Society, Tau Beta Pi, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was co-president of the Stanford Optical Society in 2013-14 and chair of the Stanford University Photonics Retreat in 2013.