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Office Location:
BSTS 225

Mailing address:
3500 Terrace St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Phone: 412-352-2277

Other Affiliations:
Hillman Cancer Center (Genome Stability Program); Department of Immunology, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine


Simon C. Watkins, PhD

Distinguished Professor, Department of Cell Biology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Research Interests

The major focus of my career and of the CBI (which I founded and direct) is to develop, train and imbue researchers at all levels (undergraduate, student, post-doc and faculty) with a solid understanding (both theoretical and practical) of the power of microscopy.   As a professor of Cell Biology a major focus of my research has been to develop, build, and apply computer aided microscopes and analysis tools for imaging subcellular events at all levels of resolution within fixed and living systems. These include high speed Total internal Reflection Fluorescence microscopes able to image at 100 frames/second, high speed confocal systems able to collect multicolor 3D stacks in the second timeframe and other prototype confocal systems able to scan very large tissue sections with submicron resolution at very high speed. My achievements in this field had led to my promotion to Distinguished Professor in 2014.  Most recently we have been developing very high speed deep tissue imaging solutions to collect quantitative images at the diffraction limit of entire tissues including brain. The devices we are working on are effectively 30-60 times faster than a conventional confocal microscope making truly massive scale imaging a possibility.

Technique Expertise or Resources to share

All Aspects of optical microscopy and computer aided image analysis

Scopus H-Index 119, Google H-Index 141 lifetime, 65 since 2016


Lab website:

Visit the lab/center’s contact page to view all 20 faculty and staff members.