Speakers: Sean McKinney

Sean McKinney

Manager, Microscopy Center
Stowers Institute for Medical Research


Sean McKinney serves as manager for the Microscopy Center at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research where his expertise is in automating the acquisition and processing of biological image datasets. He employs robotics, traditional image processing, and convolutional neural networks for turning microscopy images into analytical data for researchers. Typical tasks include segmentation and quantification of images, tracking of objects, and registration of images from fluorescence and electron microscopy using approaches that increasingly rely upon deep learning. He has deployed analysis tools for use in various fields including developmental biology, regeneration, neuroscience, and fat storage. In addition, his research requires expertise in imaging modalities at the forefront of light microscopy including FRET, FRAP, PALM, STORM, and SPIM. His graduate studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign centered on DNA conformational changes using single molecule FRET and creating software to analyze single molecule FRET time trajectories using Hidden Markov Modeling (HaMMy). As a postdoctoral fellow he moved to HHMI Janelia Farm where he focused on improving fluorescent proteins for performing PALM super-resolution culminating in the development of mEos2.