Teaching and Outreach

set of 20x, 40x, and 60x CellScopes to look at sea anemones

As basic scientists we spend a lot of time quite removed from what the general public might consider a clear path to cure cancer or solve the world hunger problem. While this is perfectly justifiable as  the impact of basic research is hard to predict ahead of time, I do think we have a responsibility to communicate our work to the public and engage especially the young generation. We found that experiments on live samples in combination with cutting edge technology such as smart phones and tablets works wonders to get kids excited.

The Fletcher lab has developed a hand held microscope mounted onto a cellphone, which we call CellScope. The first version was the result of an exam question in Professor Fletcher’s optics class, and since then the project has taken off in different directions. Many talented people have creatively modified the design and the optics to meet the multitude of applications this idea can be targeted to.

Development efforts in Dan Fletcher’s lab range from disease diagnostics in the developing world to coral reef monitoring to detect coral bleaching. A few years ago we started working on collaborations with schools and museums to teach the public about microscopy using CellScope.


See a movie from the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco featuring our efforts in education using CellScope

Or a video explaining our outreach activity at the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) Meeting 2012 can be viewed here.


students-at-ipad (from ASCB)


For more information about our CellScope Education Program, please visit our webpage!



Teaching and Outreach activities


MCB 290, Graduate Course, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, UC Berkeley, Instructor, Spring semester

‘Exploratorium After Dark: Teeny Tiny’ with CellScope

Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium with Cell Scope


Teaching assistant, Physiology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA


Teaching assistant, Physiology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Teaching in New Orleans public schools with CellScope in collaboration with the American Society of Cell Biology.  See video here: CellScopes go to New Orleans Public Schools


Teaching assistant, Physiology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA


iBioMagazine interview on ‘Why I do Science’

Bay Area Science Festival Discovery days at AT&T Park with CellScope

Collaboration with the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to use CellScope for education. See movie!

Mentoring middle school science teacher Saber Khan for curriculum development to teach digital microscopy and optics with CellScope in the classroom

Teaching assistant, Physiology courseMarine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA

San Francisco Friends School, 6th grade Science classes about coral reefs and microscopy (with CellScope and live anemones)

Introduction to Molecular Cloning, 2 hour lecture at UCB BioE

2010 – present

Interdisciplinary Membrane Subgroup leader


Teaching assistant, Cell Physiology course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, USA

Additionally, over the years I have trained and mentored many lab members in general lab practices, techniques and project development.