Staff Profiles

Winfried Wiegraebe, Ph.D.

Director, Microscopy & Image Analysis

All his professional life, Winfried has used, programmed, and built microscopes. He worked in industry and academia, in Germany and the US.

Winfried received his diploma in Biophysics and Machine Tools and Industrial Management from the Technical University in Munich, Germany. For his diploma and Ph.D. thesis he joined the Department of Molecular Structural Biology headed by Wolfgang Baumeister at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. Under the mentorship of Reinhard ‘Guckus’ Guckenberger, Winfried investigated hydrated bacterial surface proteins with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). He developed an atomic force microscope (AFM) to measure their conductivity. He complemented this data with measurements of their local elasticity and friction.

For a short post-doc, he joined the group of Eberhard Unger at the Institute for Molecular Biology in Jena, Germany. He applied low current STM to hydrated microtubules. Being in Jena, where Carl Zeiss founded his microscopy company and Ernst Abbe worked out the theory of the light microscope and its resolution limit, Winfried headed a R&D team at Carl Zeiss to develop a product based on the discoveries of Eric Betzig, the scanning near field optical microscope (SNOM) to overcome this limit. Later, he became world-wide product manager for fluorescence correlation microscopy (FCS), a method that can measure the concentration, diffusion properties, and molecular interactions of proteins within living cells. In 2001, Winfried joined the Carl Zeiss group in the USA and helped customers to be successful users of confocal and two-photon microscopes (NLO), as well as FCS.

In 2005, Winfried moved back to academia and joined the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. He created the group for Advanced Instrumentation and Physics and became later the Head of the Stowers Microscopy Center. In this capacity he supported and built with his team a large variety of microscope techniques, from laser micro-dissection to super-resolution techniques and light sheet microscopy. He developed technology to automatically perform FCS measurements on 4000 different proteins in yeast.

Selected Publications

CellProfiler 3.0: Next-generation image processing for biology

PLOS | Biology
July 3, 2018

McQuin C, Goodman A, Chernyshev V, Kamentsky L, Cimini BA, Karhohs KW, Doan M, Ding L, Rafelski SM, Thirstrup D, Wiegraebe W, Singh S, Becker T, Caicedo JC, Carpenter AE