Jan Huisken

Jan Huisken

Affiliate, Morgridge Biomedical Imaging



(608) 316-4417


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Huisken has been awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorship from Germany, and in October 2021 accepted a research position at the University of Göttingen. Huisken remains an affiliate of the Morgridge Institute.

The overall goal of my lab is the systematic study of developmental processes in living organisms by noninvasive biomedical imaging techniques such as optical microscopy. Of primary interest is the investigation of organogenesis in zebrafish with special emphasis on the function and morphogenesis of the cardiovascular system and the endoderm. We develop novel quantitative microscopy tools and experimental strategies to understand and describe tissue dynamics on a cellular level. High-speed fluorescence microscopy is the primary tool to capture the dynamics of a heartbeat and the fate of single cells during organogenesis.

In our interdisciplinary lab we address all experimental steps from innovative transgenic lines and microscope development to systematic image processing. The biologists in the lab have the opportunity to use cutting edge microscopy to perform experiments that are impossible with off-the-shelf instruments. At the same time the physicists in the lab can build novel microscopes that are immediately applied to address exciting biological questions.

Areas of Expertise

  • Selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM)
  • High-speed fluorescence microscopy
  • Organogenesis
  • Zebrafish, with special focus on the cardiovascular system and endoderm

Since 2016

Director of Morgridge Medical Engineering at Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison
Visiting Professor, Department of Integrative Biology


Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics


Postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco


Postdoctoral work at the EMBL-Heidelberg


PhD work at the EMBL-Heidelberg, PhD in Physics, University of Freiburg

Selected Publications