Luke D Davis:
I dedicated my lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus to ushering the archaic field of dye chemistry into the modern era. When I received that email in 2015, we had just discovered how a simple chemical modification could make dyes brighter and last longer. As is often the case in our discipline, we patented the idea and planned to see if companies would license and commercialize the technology; in the meantime, we shared our initial batches of dyes within a small network of collaborators. But now the word was getting out, and email requests were picking up. And for the first time in my career, I felt I had the opportunity to change how the scientific community accessed these molecules.