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Ilaria Testa

Profile picture of Ilaria Testa



Works for


Science for Life Laboratory

About me

I'm an Associate Professor (2018) at the Department of Applied Physics at the School of Engineering Science. My research group works at the interface of physics, chemistry and neuroscience on the development and application of cutting edge technology to advance the life sciences. We develop novel paradigms and concepts based on super-resolution light microscopy or fluorescence nanoscopy to address contemporary challenges in biophysics and molecular biology. To achieve these goals we will push forward the quantitative aspect of live cell imaging by taking advantage of different concepts of super-resolution microscopy based on single molecule detection (PALM/STORM/GSDIM) and targeted switching (STED/RESOLFT/SIM). These next generation microscopes will allow the precise identification of populations of biomolecules depending on their localization, abundance and dynamics inside their native environment. A special effort will be dedicated to investigate neuronal proteins, especially in synapses, where trafficking organelles and protein complexes are packed so tight in space that resolving them requires high resolution in space and time.

Selected Publication:

Andreas Bodén, Francesca Pennacchietti, Giovanna Coceano, Martina Damenti, Michael Ratz, Ilaria Testa (2021) Volumetric live cell imaging with three-dimensional parallelized RESOLFT microscopy

Nature Biotechnology, 1-10

Luciano A. Masullo*, Andreas Bodén*, Francesca Pennacchietti*, Giovanna Coceano, Michael Ratz and Ilaria Testa (2018) Enhanced photon collection enables four dimensional fluorescence nanoscopy of living systems.

Nature Communications 9, Article number: 3281

Francesca Pennacchietti*, Ekaterina O. Serebrovskaya*, ....., Alexander S. Mishin and Ilaria Testa. (2018) Fast reversibly photoswitching red fluorescent proteins for live-cell RESOLFT nanoscopy

Nature Methods 15, 601–604

Ilaria Testa, Nicolai T. Urban, Stefan Jakobs, Christian Eggeling, Katrin I. Willig, Stefan W. Hell (2012) Nanoscopy of living brain slice with low light levels,

Neuron 75: 992–1000 doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.07.028

Tim Grotjohann*, Ilaria Testa*, Matthias Reuss, Tanja Brakemann, Christian Eggeling, Stefan W Hell, Stefan Jakobs (2012) rsEGFP2 enables fast RESOLFT nanoscopy of living cells,

eLIFE Sciences 1:1–14 doi: 10.7554/eLife.00248 *equal first author

Tim Grotjohann*, Ilaria Testa*, Marcel Leutenegger*, Hannes Bock, Nicolai T. Urban, Flavie Lavoie Cardinal, Katrin I. Willig, Christian Eggeling, Stefan Jakobs & Stefan W. Hell (2011) Diffraction–unlimited all–optical imaging and writing with a photochromic GFP,

Nature 478: 204–208 doi:10.1038/nature10497 *equal first author

Find out more at Ilaria Testa scholar


Degree Project in Applied Physics, Second Cycle (SK202X), examiner | Course web

Experimental Physics (SK1105), teacher | Course web

Physics of Biomedical Microscopy (SK2500), course responsible, teacher | Course web

Physics of Biomedical Microscopy, Extended Course (SK2501), course responsible, teacher | Course web