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Personal profile


Paul Dalgarno leads the Advanced Microscopy Group at Heriot-Watt University, which specializes in developing new microscopy and analytical techniques for the life sciences. His primary work focusses on interdisciplinary collaborations with core activities based on 4D imaging, multi-parameter microscopy, fluorescent lifetime imaging and the application of single photon detector arrays to life science imaging. Paul is heavily involved in public outreach and engagement leading activities and in 2017 he won the Heriot-Watt student association Switched-On teaching Oscar for most exciting, enthusiastic and dynamic lecturer.

Paul obtained an MPhys degree in physics in 2001 before graduating with a PhD from Heriot-Watt in 2005 on the study of self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots. He worked until 2009 on semiconductor quantum optics, notably single photon sources, quantum dot physics and microcavities, before moving to St Andrews to study single molecule spectroscopy of RNA. In 2011 Paul returned to Heriot Watt as a research fellow in the newly formed Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3). Since 2012 Paul has been an Assistant Professor and group leader of the Advanced Microscopy Group.

Research interests

Pauls research is based on developing novel optical and analytical techniques in order to address fundamental problems in the life sciences. Example methods include real time 3D cellular imaging, time resolved spectroscopy, multi-parameter micrsocopy, single moelcule detection and correlation imaging.

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Research Output

A comparison between image and signal sharpness-based axial localization of ultrasound scatterers

Diamantis, K., Dalgarno, P. A., Anderson, T., Jensen, J. A. & Sboros, V., 11 Jul 2019, 2019 IEEE 16th International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI 2019). IEEE, p. 1610-1613 4 p. (International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    A VPS33A-binding motif on syntaxin17 controls autophagy completion in mammalian cells

    Saleeb, R. S., Kavanagh, D. M., Dun, A. R., Dalgarno, P. A. & Duncan, R. R., 15 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294, 11, p. 4188-4201 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    34 Downloads (Pure)

    Do raw signal data provide better localisation than image data for super-resolution imaging?

    Diamantis, K., Anderson, T., Dalgarno, P., Arendt Jensen, J. & Sboros, V., 9 Dec 2019, 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS). IEEE, p. 1463-1465 3 p. (IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging of high-speed particles with single-photon image sensors

    Gyongy, I., Green, A., Hutchings, S. W., Davies, A., Dutton, N. A. W., Duncan, R. R., Rickman, C., Henderson, R. K. & Dalgarno, P. A., 4 Mar 2019, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy IV. Tsia, K. K. & Goda, K. (eds.). SPIE, 108890O. (Proceedings of SPIE; vol. 10889).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    High-speed dual color fluorescence lifetime endomicroscopy for highly-multiplexed pulmonary diagnostic applications and detection of labeled bacteria

    Pedretti, E., Tanner, M. G., Choudhary, T. R., Krstajić, N., Megia-Fernandez, A., Henderson, R. K., Bradley, M., Thomson, R. R., Girkin, J. M., Dhaliwal, K. & Dalgarno, P. A., 1 Jan 2019, In : Biomedical Optics Express. 10, 1, p. 181-195 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    22 Downloads (Pure)


    • 5 Participation in Festival or Exhibition
    • 5 Public lecture
    • 2 Invited talk
    • 2 School Outreach

    Multi-plane imaging and its application to 3D live cell particle tracking

    Paul A. Dalgarno (Speaker)

    6 Jul 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Super-resolution, Multi-dimensional Microscopy for Cellular Imaging

    Paul A. Dalgarno (Speaker)

    7 Dec 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Enlightenment: molecules, brains, light and art

    Paul Dalgarno (Speaker)

    13 Apr 2015

    Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture

    Beyond the naked eye

    Paul Dalgarno (Speaker)

    6 Jun 2015

    Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture

    'InnovationLight' public lecture, part of Innovation Nation

    Paul Dalgarno (Speaker)

    26 Nov 2015

    Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture

    Press / Media

    What do biologists, physicists and jellyfish have in common?

    Paul Dalgarno


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research