Dr Brad Amos
Position: Group Leader Emeritus, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Personal home page: http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/group-leaders/emeritus/brad-amos/
PubMed journal articles - click here
Brad Amos is a biologist and a designer of optical instruments. A boyhood visit to the Plymouth Lab of the Marine Biological Association in the late ?50s led him to study Zoology at Oxford and then to do a PhD at Cambridge on the contraction of Vorticella, a microscopic pond organism. In this organism, he discovered and named an abundant calcium-binding protein which is now known as centrin and has been found in all cells. In 1981 he moved informally to the LMB , where he found that John White had set up a prototype confocal microscope. With John, Mick Fordham and Richard Durbin, he developed the confocal microscope which was taken up by Bio-Rad and was soon in use in labs throughout the world. Brad was seconded to Bio-Rad by the MRC for the next 17 years, and designed both the Radiance series of confocal microscopes and the production line jigs for manufacturing it. When the UK factory was acquired and closed by Zeiss he continued to design optical equipment for use in the LMB and to organise a course on advanced optical microscopy in Plymouth which is now in its eleventh year. Since retirement in 2010 he has been working part-time in the University of Strathclyde on new types of microscope, using his ?Mesolens? and collaborating in published work on nonlinear optics and novel lasers. He has retained his interest in marine and freshwater biology and has also written papers on gem faceting and invented a method for the measurement of refractive indices in gemstones (including diamond) where the index is too high for a conventional refractometer.