Harald Hess

Harald Hess

After a PhD in Physics at Princeton in 1982, Harald Hess pursued cryogenic hydrogen atom trapping and its Bose-Einstein condensation at MIT as a postdoc and then developed various low temperature scanning probe microscopes to visualize diverse physics phenomenon at Bell Labs. After 1997 he spent 8 years in industry developing advanced equipment for hard disk drive and semiconductor inspection and production. In 2005, he and a colleague, Eric Betzig, learned about photoactivatable fluorescent proteins and invented PALM (photo-activated localization microscopy) to reveal details of cell structure beyond the diffraction limit. It was built in his La Jolla condo, tested at the National Institute of Health and perfected at Janelia Farms/Howard Hughes Medical Institute where he is extending PALM to a 3D super-resolution microscopy and exploring its application for cell biology research.  He is also developing 3D electron microscopy techniques for volume imaging of cells and neural tissue as well as exploring modalities to correlate such electron microscopy with super-resolution microscopy.