University of Dundee

Physics and Life Sciences Lab

Promoting and enabling interdisciplinary research is one of our key goals.

The Physics and Life Sciences Laboratory (PaLS Lab) at the University of Dundee is designed to bring together physicists and life scientists in a common laboratory space, in order to address complex problems.

The focus of ongoing research is the development of novel microscopy and imaging techniques and fusing these with biophysical computational modeling and analysis for attacking pressing biological challenges. The driving motivation is to allow a proper interdisciplinary space to evolve, where the technical and application challenges meet in a way in which physics can push into new areas while the biology guides the physics to answer specific research questions.


  • Scanning Microscopy test rig to evaluate novel illumination sources for confocal and multiphoton imaging and an optical table for the development of Laser Tweezers.

Test beds for:

  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM),
  • 3D Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy
  • High Resolution Ultrasound
  • Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy (LSFM)


Our technology is developed to address a specific biological question.

For example, in the case of 3D STED, we aim to visualise the structural deformation of the human kinetochore, the macromolecular machine that helps distribute the chromosomes, carriers of DNA and the genetic code, to separate daughter cells during cell division. This direct visualisation of a molecular machine will reveal the dynamics of this critical machine and provide insight into how mistakes or failures lead to chromosomal defects in human disease and development.


Dr Yongchang Fan provides support in the PaLS lab, drawing on expertise in biophotonics and materials to catalyse interactions between life and physical scientists.