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Lasers and Drones: June at Penn Medicine, in Photos

The University of Pennsylvania campus largely falls silent in the summer months, but Penn Medicine keeps on truckin'. In fact, the month of June featured two of my favorite photography assignments thus far: lasers and drones.

I'll explain. Hang in there, we've got a slideshow at the end of the post.

First up, we have E. John Wherry, PhD, director of the Institute for Immunology, and his Becton Dickenson LSR II flow cytometer. If you have no idea what that means, you're not alone — so Wherry was kind enough to explain it:

"This instrument allows us to assess up to 20 parameters simultaneously at a single cell level with an amazing rate of up to 20,000 cells/second," he wrote in an e-mail. "As a result we can perform detailed profiling of the function of immune cells in different disease states."

Long story short, it enables researchers to determine which therapies are working and why a given therapy is effective or ineffective. This ultimately helps us develop better therapies and determine which patients will respond to a given treatment.

On top of that, it looks really cool. Wherry popped the hood on it and let me take a few shots. You can see them — and Wherry — in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

The second assignment was actually mentioned once on this blog already: Airwolf, the aerial photography drone. It's piloted by a professional drone photographer (which is to say an individual who takes photos with a drone professionally, not an individual who takes photos of drones), and will be used to grab shots of all of the ongoing construction in and around the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

In a real "who watches the watchmen" sort of twist, I was invited to grab photos of the inaugural flight. Most of the shots I got were pretty uneventful, as the drone has an impressive range and turns into a distant black dot very, very quickly, but some were exciting enough to warrant sharing. You'll find a selection of them in the slideshow below.

There's always more coming, so stay tuned for more photos and accounts of goings-on here at Penn Medicine.

And now, as promised, a slideshow:


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