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Dr. Michael Halter

Research Interests

  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • Live cell imaging
  • Engineering fluorescent protein gene reporter stem cell lines
  • Quantitative biology
  • Modeling gene expression dynamics 
  • Biomanufacturing of cell therapies
  • Quality control for quantitative optical microscopy

Research Opportunities

NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: 2-year fellowship at NIST, US citizens only, $66,919 salary plus benefits, relocation expenses included, application deadlines are Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, requires 10 page research proposal. Contact me if interested in writing a proposal on quantitative, live stem cell imaging or stochastic modeling of stem cell populations. See these links:

--Tracking Markers of Pluripotency and Differentiation in Live Cells

--Mathematical Models for Characterizing Pluripotent Stem Cell Populations

--Design, Development and Evaluation of Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging as a Quantitative Microscopy of Live Cells and their Extracellular Environment


H9 stem cell colony imaged by phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy.  Apple tree on NIST campus that is a direct descendant of the tree that provided Newton inspiration.

Left: Phase contrast image of H9 stem cell colony, highlights indicate the types of measurements that can be derived from an image. Middle: The same colony imaged in fluorescence, cells are expressing GFP under the control of the Oct4 promoter. Right: Apple tree on NIST campus that is a direct descendant of the tree that provided Newton inspiration.


Alexander W. Peterson, Michael Halter, Alessandro Tona, and Anne L. Plant.
High Resolution Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging for Single Cells. BMC Cell Biology. 2014 Dec 1;15:35. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-15-35.

Reyes DR, Halter M, Hwang J. Dimensional metrology of lab-on-a-chip internal structures: a comparison of optical coherence tomography with confocal fluorescence microscopy. J Microsc. 2015 Apr 8. doi: 10.1111/jmi.12245.

Lund SP, Hubbard JB, Halter M. Nonparametric Estimates of Drift and Diffusion Profiles via Fokker-Planck Algebra. J Phys Chem B. 2014 Nov 6;118(44):12743-9.

A Peskin, S Lund, YS Li-Baboud, M Halter, A Plant, P Bajcsy Automated ranking of stem cell colonies by translating biological rules to computational models. Proceedings of the 5th ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics. Sept. 2014.

Halter M, Bier E, DeRose PC, Cooksey GA, Choquette SJ, Plant AL, Elliott JT. An automated protocol for performance benchmarking a widefield fluorescence microscope. Cytometry A. 2014 Nov;85(11):978-85.

Hagwood C, Bernal J, Halter M, Elliott J, Brennan T. Testing Equality of Cell Populations Based on Shape and Geodesic Distance. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2013 Nov 25.

Chalfoun J, Kociolek M, Dima A, Halter M, Cardone A, Peskin A, Bajcsy P, Brady M. “Segmenting time-lapse phase contrast images of adjacent NIH 3T3 cells.” J Microsc. 2013 Jan;249(1):41-52.

Sisan DR, Halter M, Hubbard JB, Plant AL. “Predicting rates of cell state change due to stochastic fluctuations using a data-driven landscape model.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 20;109(47):19262-7.

Halter M. “Modernizing the MTT assay with microfluidic technology and image cytometry.” Cytometry A. 2012 Aug; 81(8):643-45.

Mancia A, Elliott JT, Halter M, Bhadriraju K, Tona A, Spurlin TA, Middlebrooks BL, Baatz JE, Warr GW, Plant AL. “Quantitative methods to characterize morphological properties of cell lines.” Biotechnol Prog. 2012 Jul;28(4):1069-78.

Hagwood C, Bernal J, Halter M, Elliott JT. “Evaluation of Segmentation Algorithms on Cell Populations Using CDF Curves.” IEEE Trans. on Medical Imaging. 2012 Feb;31(2):380-390.

Dima AA, Elliott JT, Filliben JJ, Halter M, Peskin A, Bernal J, Kociolek M, Brady MC, Tang HC, Plant AL. “Comparison of segmentation algorithms for fluorescence microscopy images of cells.” Cytometry A. 2011 Jul;79(7):545-59.

Halter M., Sisan D.R., Chalfoun J., Stottrup B.L., Cardone A., Dima A.A., Tona A., Plant A.L., Elliott J.T., “Cell cycle dependent TN-C promoter activity determined by live cell imaging.” Cytometry Part A. 2011 Mar; 79A(3): 192-202.

Chalfoun J., Cardone A., Dima A.A., Halter M. “Overlap-based cell tracker.” J. Res. Natl.
Inst. Stand. Technol. 2010 Dec; 115:477–486.

Peterson A. W., Halter M., Tona A., Bhadriraju K. and Plant A. L. “Using surface plasmon resonance imaging to probe dynamic interactions between cells and extracellular matrix.” Cytometry Part A. 2010 Sep; 77(9): 895–903.

Thomas P. C., Halter M., Tona A., Raghavan S. R., Plant A. L., Forry S. P. “Thin Film Oxygen Sensor for In Vitro Cell Culture.” Anal. Chem. 2009 Nov; 81(22):9239-9246.

M. Halter, J. L. Almeida, A. Tona, K. D. Cole, A. L. Plant, J. T. Elliott, “A mechanistically relevant cytotoxicity assay based on the detection of cellular GFP.” Assay Drug Dev. Technol. 2009 Aug; 7(4): 356-365.

A. W. Peterson, M. Halter, A. Tona, K. Bhadriraju, and A. L. Plant, “Surface Plasmon Resonance Imaging of Cells and Extracellular Matrix Proteins.” BMC Cell Biology. 2009 Feb; 10(16).

M. Halter, J.T. Elliott, J.B. Hubbard, A. Tona, A. L. Plant, “Cell volume distributions reveal cell growth rates and division times.” J. Theor. Biol. 2009 Mar; 257(1):124-30.

Elliott, J.T., Halter, M., Plant, A.L., Woodward, J.T., Langenbach, K.J., Tona, A., “Evaluating the performance of fibrillar collagen films formed at polystyrene surfaces as cell culture substrates.” Biointerphases. 2008 June; 3(2):19-28.

M. Halter, Y. Liao, D. Coffey, D. Ginger, B. Robinson, and S. Keller, “Molecular Self-Assembly of Mixed High-Beta Zwitterionic and Neutral Ground-State NLO Chromophores.” Chem. of Mater. 2008 Feb; 20(5): 1778-1787.

M. Halter, A. Tona, K. Bhadriraju, A. L. Plant, J. T. Elliott, “Automated live cell imaging of green fluorescent protein degradation in individual fibroblasts.” Cytometry A. 2007 Oct; 71(10): 827-34.

M. Halter*, M. Antia*, and V. Vogel, “Fibronectin conformational changes induced by adsorption to liposomes,” Journal of Controlled Release, 101(1-3), 209-22, (2005).

M. Halter, Y. Nogata, O. Dannenberger, T. Sasaki, and V. Vogel. “Engineered Lipids that Cross-link the Inner and Outer Leaflets of Lipid Bilayers,” Langmuir, 20(6), 2416-2423, (2004).

S. L. McArthur, M. Halter, V. Vogel, D. G. Castner. “Covalent Coupling and Characterization of Supported Lipid Layers,” Langmuir, 19(20), 8316-8324, (2003).

A. Erdemir, M. Halter, G. R. Fenske, C. Zuiker, R. Csencsits, A. R. Krauss, and D. M. Gruen, “Friction and Wear Mechanisms of Smooth Diamond Films During Sliding in Air and Dry Nitrogen,” Tribology Transactions, 40(4), 667-675, (1997).

A. Erdemir, M. Halter, G. R. Fenske, A. R. Krauss, D. M. Gruen, S. M. Pimenov, V. I. Konov, “Durability and Tribological Performance of Smooth Diamond Films Produced by Ar-C60 Microwave Plasmas and By Laser Polishing,” Surface & Coatings Technology Proceedings of the 1997 24th International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films, 94-95(1-3), 537-542, (1997).

A. Erdemir, M. Halter, “Preparation of Ultralow-friction Surface Films on Vanadium Diboride,” Wear, 205(1-2), 236-239, (1997).

Dr. Michael Halter


Research Scientist
Biosystems and Biomaterials Division
Cell Systems Science Group

Employment History:

(2008-present) National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), Research Scientist, Cell Systems Science Group

(2006-2008) National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate

(2005) University of Washington, Department of Chemistry, Postdoctoral Research Associate

(1998-2004) University of Washington, Department of Bioengineering


Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Washington, 2004
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Purdue University, 1998


Phone: 301-975-4195
Email: michael.halter@nist.gov
Fax: 301-975-8246