The Prescher Lab

Expanding the imaging toolkit to spy on cellular communication


Our research team is crafting novel probes to "spy" on cells and decipher their communications in vivo. Cellular networks drive diverse aspects of human biology, ranging from immune function to memory formation. Breakdowns in these networks also underlie numerous pathologies. While cell-cell interactions play key roles in human health and disease, the mechanisms by which cells transact information in vivo are not completely understood. The number of cells types involved, the timing and location of their interactions, the molecular cues exchanged, and the long-term fates of the cells remain poorly characterized in most cases. We are designing and deploying custom tools to visualize cellular networks in real time—and with molecular precision—in physiologically relevant environments. Collectively, our work is decoding cellular communications relevant to infectious disease, cancer metastases, and immune function.


News and Events

September 2020

  • Alicia was selected to receive a fellowship from the Hewitt Foundation. Congratulations!
  • Sean was the recipient of the 2020 Harold W. Moore award. Congrats!

August 2020

  • Our work on developing a crosslinking strategy featuring cyclopropenones was published at Chemical Communications. Congratulations team bioorthogonal!
  • Our latest review on advances in bioluminescence technology was published at Cell Chemical Biology. Congrats Anna!
  • Our work on developing pi-extended luciferins was published in JACS. Congrats Zi (and alumni Rachel and Brendan)!

July 2020

  • Our latest review on bioorthogonal probes was accepted to Nature Reviews Chemistry. Congrats Sean!
  • Drew starts his position as a lecturer at UCI. Congrats!

May 2020

  • Elena accepted a position in the Skowronska-Krawczyk lab at UCI. She will be venturing into some lipidomics work. Congrats!

April 2020

  • Mariana was named an NSF GRFP fellow! Congratulations!

March 2020

  • Dr. Alicia Mangubat-Medina (Rice University) joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Welcome!

February 2020

  • Graduate students Zach, Kat, and Sharon joined the lab. Welcome!

January 2020

  • Undergraduate Meghan Dyck joins the lab. Welcome to the team!
  • Undergrads Sabrina, Buvan, Elena, Clare, Landon, Jonathan, Steve, and Jenny were all awarded UROP Fellowships for their research projects! Keep crushing it guys!