Staff Profiles

Rusty Nicovich, Ph.D.

Senior Manager, Imaging

Rusty Nicovich holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from GaTech focusing on single-molecule spectroscopy and developing image analysis methods for flow analysis in microfluidics. He held a postdoc at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute investigating microtubule polymerization rates in peripheral neurons using TIRF microscopy. He made a big move to University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he started in the Biomedical Imaging Facility core overseeing the super-resolution instruments and developing image analyses for quantitative super-resolution microscopy, combinatoric labelling methods, and actin association. He then moved to the new Centre for Single Molecule Science, leading the instrument and algorithm development teams working to understand T cell activation and the assembly of molecular motors.


Research Interests

I like measuring things and figuring out how to measure things. This has manifested itself in a career in quantitative fluorescence microscopy and experimental design and image analysis to measure a wide range of parameters concerning an array of biological processes.  Included in this is developing the instruments with the capability of performing the experiments needed while being straightforward and robust enough to be used in the biology lab.


Light microscopy, especially fluorescence microscopy and super-resolution methods. Instrument development and analysis algorithm development for fluorescence and super-resolution microscopy. A big focus is translating new techniques from the initial demonstration into a tool that can be used by a wider audience of biologists. 

Research Programs

Anything that passes through the Imaging department.  Currently a big focus is instrument development for Multiplexed FISH. IVSCC, patch-seq, cell counting, synaptic physiology, mesoscale connectomics, genetic tools and cell types all aided by the Imaging core’s capabilities.

Selected Publications View Publications

Ultraprecise single-molecule localization microscopy enables in situ distance measurements in intact cells

Science Advances
April 17, 2020

Coelho S, Baek J, Graus MS, Halstead JM, Nicovich PR, Feher K, Gandhi H, Gooding JJ, Gaus K

Multi-immersion open-top light-sheet microscope for high-throughput imaging of cleared tissues

Nature Communications
July 4, 2019

Glaser AK, Reder NP, Chen Y, Yin C, Wei L, Kang S, Barner LA, Xie W, McCarty EF, Mao C, Halpern AR, Stoltzfus CR, Daniels JS, Gerner MY, Nicovich PR, Vaughan JC, True LD, Liu JTC

Classification of electrophysiological and morphological neuron types in mouse visual cortex

Nature Neuroscience
June 17, 2019

Gouwens NW, Sorensen SA, Berg J, Lee C, Jarsky T, Ting J, Sunkin S, Feng D, Anastassiou C, Barkan E, Bickley K, Blesie N, Braun T, Brouner K, Budzillo A, Caldejon S, Casper T, Castelli D, Chong P, Crichton K, Cuhaciyan C, Daigle T, Dalley R, Dee N, Desta T, Dingman S, Doperalski A, Dotson N, Egdorf T, Fisher M, de Frates RA, Garren E, Garwood M, Gary A, Gaudreault N, Godfrey K, Gorham M, Gu H, Habel C, Hadley K, Harrington J, Harris J, Henry A, Hill D, Josephsen S, Kebede S, Kim L, Kroll M, Lee B, Lemon T, Liu X, Long B, Mann R, McGraw M, Mihalas S, Mukora A, Murphy GJ, Ng L, Ngo K, Nguyen TN, Nicovich PR, Oldre A, Park D, Parry S, Perkins J, Potekhina L, Reid D, Robertson M, Sandman D, Schroedter M, Slaughterbeck C, Soler-Llavina C, Sulc J, Szafer A, Tasic B, Taskin N, Teeter C, Thatra N, Tung H, Wakeman W, Williams G, Young R, Zhou Z, Farrell C, Peng H, Hawrylycz MJ, Lein E, Ng L, Arkhipov A, Bernard A, Phillips J, Zeng H, Koch C

Single Molecule Localization Microscopy for Quantitative Biology

Journal of Biomolecular Techniques
December 30, 2019

Nicovich, PR

A Suite of Transgenic Driver and Reporter Mouse Lines with Enhanced Brain-Cell-Type Targeting and Functionality

July 12, 2018

Daigle TL, Madisen L, Hage TA, Valley MT, Knoblich U, Larsen RS, Takeno MM, Huang L, Gu H, Larsen R, Mills M, Bosma-Moody A, Siverts LA, Walker M, Graybuck LT, Yao Z, Fong O, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Lenz GH, Chavarha M, Pendergraft J, Harrington J, Hirokawa KE, Harris JA, Nicovich PR, McGraw MJ, Ollerenshaw DR, Smith KA, Baker CA, Ting JT, Sunkin SM, Lecoq J, Lin MZ2, Boyden ES, Murphy GJ, da Costa NM, Waters J, Li L, Tasic B, Zeng H

Cell types behaving in their natural habitat

November 16, 2018

Tasic B, Nicovich PR

h-Channels Contribute to Divergent Intrinsic Membrane Properties of Supragranular Pyramidal Neurons in Human versus Mouse Cerebral Cortex

November 1, 2018

Kalmbach BE, Buchin A, Long B, Close J, Nandi A, Miller JA, Bakken TE, Hodge RD, Chong P, de Frates R, Dai K, Maltzer Z, Nicovich PR, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Koch C, Anastassiou CA, Lein ES, Ting JT

Turning single-molecule localization microscopy into a quantitative bioanalytical tool

Nature Protocols
March 2017

Nicovich PR, Owen DM, Gaus K

Functional role of T-cell receptor nanoclusters in signal initiation and antigen discrimination

September 13, 2016

Pageon SV, Tabarin T, Yamamoto,Y, Ma Y, Bridgeman JS, Cohnen A, Benzing C, Gao Y, Crowther MD, Tungatt K

Clus-DoC: a combined cluster detection and colocalization analysis for single-molecule localization microscopy data

Molecular Biology of the Cell
November 7, 2016

Pageon SV, Nicovich PR, Mollazade M, Tabarin T, Gaus K

Effect of Surface Chemistry on Tropomyosin Binding to Actin Filaments on Surfaces

November 23, 2016

Nicovich PR, Janco M, Sobey T, Gajwani M, Obeidy P, Whan R, Gaus K, Gunning PW, Coster AC, Böcking T

Towards single molecule biosensors using super-resolution fluorescence microscopy

Biosensors & Bioelectronics
October 24, 2016

Lu X, Nicovich PR, Gaus K, Gooding JJ