Dr. Cristina Flors
Following my degree in Chemistry, I completed my PhD at the Institut Químic de Sarrià in Barcelona in 2004 under the supervision of Prof. Santi Nonell. During that time, I studied the photophysical properties of phenalenone derivatives, with particular emphasis on singlet oxygen photosensitization, using a range of spectroscopic techniques.
In 2005 I moved to the laboratory of Prof. Johan Hofkens at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, to learn single-molecule and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. I investigated the photophysical properties of different molecules such as perylene diimide dendrimers and a range of fluorescent proteins. My most representative result from that period was the single-molecule characterization of the photoswitching properties of the fluorescent protein Dronpa and its mutants. Importantly, we showed how the thorough understanding of photophysics can help optimize super-resolution imaging (Flors et al, J. Am Chem. Soc. 2007). Having gained expertise in a new technique with great potential, I moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2008 to begin my independent research career, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and The Royal Society. I started a new research program to develop methodology for super-resolution imaging of DNA based on single-molecule localization (Flors et al, ChemPhysChem 2009; Curr. Op. Chem. Biol. 2011). In February 2012 I moved to IMDEA Nanoscience with a Ramón y Cajal fellowship, and I am now Research Professor. At IMDEA I continue working on the improvement of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy methods, most recently combining them with atomic force microscopy. In parallel to the super-resolution work, I am also interested in the photosensitizing properties of fluorescent proteins and their applications in advanced microscopy and phototherapy.