Prof. Richard Levenson

richard-levenson-192-252Richard Levenson, MD, FCAP, is Professor and Vice Chair for Strategic Technologies in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis.

He trained in medicine at University of Michigan and pathology at Washington University, and is Board-certified in Anatomic Pathology. A faculty position at Duke was followed by an appointment at Carnegie Mellon University where he helped develop multispectral imaging approaches for pathology and biology.

In 1999, he joined CRI to become VP of Research, and served as Principal Investigator on federally funded research to develop multispectral microscopy systems and software for molecular pathology and diagnostics, three-dimensional small-animal imaging, optical dynamic contrast techniques, and birefringence microscopy.

He serves on NIH, NCI and NSF review panels, is associate editor of Analytical Cellular Pathology, section editor for Archives of Pathology, and is on the editorial boards of Laboratory Investigation, Cytometry Part A, and Oncopathology.

At Pathology Horizons Prof. Levenson will be speaking on the topic of Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation (MUSE).

Title: “Path, Present and Future: Novel Microscopies.”


How microscopes work in actual clinical pathology has not changed materially in well over a century. Recently, however, a number of new approaches are being developed, some of which will eventually find their way into the mainstream. One will be described in detail: Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation. MUSE is a rapid approach for obtaining high-resolution, diagnostic-quality histological images from unsectioned thick tissue specimens, replacing the need for slide preparation and the attendant extensive tissue processing and thin physical sectioning. MUSE is notable for its optical and mechanical simplicity. Excitation of tissue surfaces with 280-nm UV excitation excites a wide range of exogenous dyes with very large Stokes shifts. The resulting images can be captured using ordinary microscopic optics and standard CMOS or CCD cameras.

Preparing a sample for MUSE imaging can be performed in around a minute. With appropriate stage travel, extended fields of view can be captured from whole organs with microscopic detail. This non-destructive process leaves the sample intact for subsequent downstream molecular or genetic analysis.

In addition, images can include shading and depth cues that reveal surface profiles important in understanding the three-dimensional organization of complex specimens. This inexpensive, rapid and slide-free, sample-sparing method has potential to replace frozen sections, and may have other applications in both high- and low-resource settings.

Major developments in pathology raise many questions. Be part of the discussion on the way forward.