Carnegie Mellon University

Marcel Bruchez

Dr. Marcel P. Bruchez

Professor, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering

Mellon Institute 749
Carnegie Mellon University
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S., Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995
  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1998


Dr. Bruchez is a Professor for Biological Sciences and Chemistry as well as the Director for the Molecular Biosensors and Imaging Center. Dr. Bruchez develops new approaches to paint living cells and organisms to reveal their inner workings. Bruchez played a key role in developing quantum dots, nanometer-sized particles that can be used to tag proteins and label cells. At Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Bruchez is extending the limits of fluorescent microscopy and fluorescent probes, and is applying these tools to the study of how protein synthesis, trafficking and degradation is coordinated and regulated in biological systems, and using photochemical tools to measure and manipulate biological processes in living organisms.


The research of Professor Bruchez has focused on the development of highly sensitive fluorescence labeling methods that can be used without any washing, to directly report on cellular activity or physiology in intact cells, tissues or organisms. His group has used a combination of genetically encoded tags and environmentally sensitive dyes to establish a broadly applicable toolset for imaging multicellular processes and local physiology in complex multicellular systems. These tools have revealed fundamental trafficking processes and new modes of intercellular antigen transfer, enabling new approaches to vaccine and therapeutic development. Professor Bruchez, a Technology Review “Top 100 Young Innovators” honoree, holds 28 patents, has published 65 peer-reviewed papers, and has received numerous recognitions for his work.

Research Interests: fluorescent probes for cell imaging; luminescent nanocrystal probes


Awards and Recognition

  • Top Ten Scientific Innovations, 2003

  • Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review Magazine, 2004

  • Lord Rank Prize for Optoelectronics, 2006