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.

Title: MUSE: A New, Fast, Simple Microscopy Method for Slide-Free Histology and Surface Topography


Microscopy with Ultraviolet Surface Excitation (MUSE) is a novel rapid approach for obtaining high-resolution, diagnostic-quality histological images from unsectioned thick tissue specimens. Although conventional histology requires extensive tissue processing and thin physical sectioning, this requirement can be circumvented if optically sectioned images can be acquired free from the blur contributed by out-of-focus regions. However, existing optical sectioning techniques can be complex and expensive, and may generate images with unfamiliar tissue orientation and contrast. MUSE achieves optical sectioning by using 280-nm UV light provided by an off-axis light-emitting diode (LED).  Excitation light in this range penetrates only a few microns into tissue to yield easily interpretable images. Moreover, this short-wavelength light can excite a wide range of exogenous dyes, and the resulting visible-band fluorescence images can be captured using ordinary microscopic optics and standard CMOS or CCD cameras, and can be converted computationally to resemble conventional hematoxylin- and eosin-staining.

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 clinical and pre-clinical pathology.

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