Staff profile: Dr Verena Wimmer

Staff profile: Dr Verena Wimmer

Illuminate newsletter index page, September 2019
September 2019

Dr Verena Wimmer
Dr Verena Wimmer has established cutting-edge imaging
techniques that support Institute researchers.

Dr Verena Wimmer

3D imaging specialist

Describe your job: I am a microscopist in the Centre for Dynamic Imaging where I assist researchers with their experiments. My focus is a novel technology called light sheet imaging, which allows us to visualise entire organs at a cellular resolution.

Why do you enjoy what you do?  I get to help our researchers tell their scientific stories in pictures. Biological structures are also very aesthetic, and I enjoy seeing things that nobody has seen before!

Lymph node
To image this whole lymph node in 3D, the organ was
rendered optically transparent to permit a better penetration
of the light for fluorescence microscopy imaging.
Credit: Fanny Lafouresse and Verena Wimmer

What is your favourite thing about the Institute’s culture?  People share their ideas openly, and there are many interdisciplinary collaborations. Importantly, balancing stimulating work with family responsibilities is supported.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? We have a farm in the Yarra Valley which is a great escape from sitting in the dark with a microscope. I find it relaxing to chop up fallen trees with a chainsaw!

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?  Wear steel-capped boots when chainsawing.

What has been your professional highlight so far? Last year I attended an amazing imaging workshop that helped me establish the cutting-edge techniques I now use at the Institute.

Super Content: 
Lattice light sheet microscope

Why optical microscopy has become one of the most powerful tools in medical research.

Microscopy image of liver cells

An annual exhibition showcasing the beautiful and bizarre images created and captured by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists.

Animation still showing cells changing

Our biomedical animation team explains the discoveries made by scientists through 3D animation.