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Last Name

Karl Dean Bellve PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
373 Plantation Street, Room 114
Worcester MA 01605
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentMicrobiology and Physiological Systems

    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, United StatesBSBiochemistry
    University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, United StatesPHDMolecular Cellular Biology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview

    Questions about Microscopy? microscopy@umassmed.edu

    Karl Bellve is a cross-discipline scientist covering the fields of Biology, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology (1996, U.MD) and joined the Biomedical Imaging Group in 1997. More information about the Biomedical Imaging Group can be found from http://big.umassmed.edu.

    High-Speed 3D Epi/TIRF/Structured Light Microscopy

    His focus is on the design and implementation of computer systems and software to control  various electronics, including high-speed CCD cameras, and coordinate the high-speed electro-optical/mechanical systems, and to develop the software for specific imaging protocols necessary to gather imaging data, as well as necessary image computation and display tasks required on the control computer, and the User Interface Software that makes the system accessible. He is extremely well qualified for this role, as he designed, built and programmed the entire computer and control system for the fast TIRF/GFPM microscope system. His work has resulted in the creation of a novel high-speed fluorescence microscope system that can rapidly produce high-resolution, 3-dimensional images of fluorescence inside single cells, as well as corresponding images of near plasma membrane events at speeds of 90 images per second, using a specialized technique called Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) imaging, developed and implemented in collaboration with the Optical Physicists of the Biomedical Imaging Group.

    3D Deconvolution

    Additionally he has created the ability to rapidly produce 3-dimensional reconstructions of cells from 3-D images (using a process known as "deconvolution microscopy") by having developed and programmed a high-speed cluster of inexpensive computers (sometimes known as a Beowulf cluster) for this purpose.

    GPU Programming (CUDA)

    He was the first on campus to take advantage of using GPUs to exponentially speed up processing-intensive applications like 3D Deconvolution.

    Open Source Software

    A key feature of his efforts has been to contribute his software back to the scientific community. As an example, he is a significant contributor to uManager, an open source microscope acquisition package. He has contributed multiple device adapters, java classes, and bean shell scripts to the uManager code base, as well as solved difficult programming problems for the uManager community.

    Open Hardware

    Unlike Open Source Software, Open Hardware is fairly new and the basic tenets are as follows:

    "Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design."

    With that in mind, he recently developed an Open Hardware Focus Stabilization project called pgFocus. pg is short for "pretty good",  and is meant to poke fun at other names like Perfect Focus, Definite Focus, and Ultimate Focus.

    Focus Stabilization

    pgFocus monitors focal changes through the positional changes of a reflected laser beam.

    pgFocus Basic Implementation

    A significant feature of pgFocus is it acts as a "man-in-the-middle." It is designed to pass through faster high fidelity signals meant for a piezo Z controller while adding a slower focus control signal. This happens in the analog realm, which avoids sampling artifacts introduced by digitizing the original signal. This design also reduces the cost of pgFocus.

    pgFocus Circuit


    pgFocus Optical Layout


    More information about pgFocus can be found here:

    Academic Background

    1990, B.S.,  University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    1996, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Maryland


    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Qu M, Lu P, Bellve K, Lifshitz LM, ZhuGe R. Mode Switch of Ca2 + Oscillation-Mediated Uterine Peristalsis and Associated Embryo Implantation Impairments in Mouse Adenomyosis. Front Physiol. 2021; 12:744745. PMID: 34803733.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Zhang L, Zhang M, Bellve K, Fogarty KE, Castro MA, Brauchi S, Kobertz WR. Wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated fluorescent pH sensors for visualizing proton fluxes. J Gen Physiol. 2020 Jun 01; 152(6). PMID: 31978216.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Qu M, Lu P, Bevell K, Fogarty K, Lifshitz L, Shi F, ZhuGe R. Smooth muscle cell-specific TMEM16A deletion does not alter Ca2+ signaling, uterine contraction, gestation length or litter size in miceā€ . Biol Reprod. 2019 Jun 07. PMID: 31175367.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Zheng K, Lu P, Delpapa E, Bellve K, Deng R, Condon JC, Fogarty K, Lifshitz LM, Simas TAM, Shi F, ZhuGe R. Bitter taste receptors as targets for tocolytics in preterm labor therapy. FASEB J. 2017 May 30. PMID: 28559440.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Zhang L, Bellve K, Fogarty K, Kobertz WR. Fluorescent Visualization of Cellular Proton Fluxes. Cell Chem Biol. 2016 Dec 22; 23(12):1449-1457. PMID: 27916567.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Ly S, Navaroli DM, Didiot MC, Cardia J, Pandarinathan L, Alterman JF, Fogarty K, Standley C, Lifshitz LM, Bellve KD, Prot M, Echeverria D, Corvera S, Khvorova A. Visualization of self-delivering hydrophobically modified siRNA cellular internalization. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Jan 09; 45(1):15-25. PMID: 27899655.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Kubo T, Brown JM, Bellve K, Craige B, Craft JM, Fogarty K, Lechtreck KF, Witman GB. Together, the IFT81 and IFT74 N-termini form the main module for intraflagellar transport of tubulin. J Cell Sci. 2016 May 15; 129(10):2106-19. PMID: 27068536.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Wu S, Bellve KD, Fogarty KE, Melikian HE. Ack1 is a dopamine transporter endocytic brake that rescues a trafficking-dysregulated ADHD coding variant. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 15; 112(50):15480-5. PMID: 26621748.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Rojas-Rodriguez R, Lifshitz LM, Bellve KD, Min SY, Pires J, Leung K, Boeras C, Sert A, Draper JT, Corvera S, Moore Simas TA. Human adipose tissue expansion in pregnancy is impaired in gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia. 2015 Sep; 58(9):2106-14. PMID: 26067361.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Lefkowitz JJ, DeCrescenzo V, Duan K, Bellve KD, Fogarty KE, Walsh JV, ZhuGe R. Catecholamine exocytosis during low frequency stimulation in mouse adrenal chromaffin cells is primarily asynchronous and controlled by the novel mechanism of Ca2+ syntilla suppression. J Physiol. 2014 Nov 1; 592(21):4639-55. PMID: 25128575.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Rojas-Rodriguez R, Gealekman O, Kruse ME, Rosenthal B, Rao K, Min S, Bellve KD, Lifshitz LM, Corvera S. Adipose tissue angiogenesis assay. Methods Enzymol. 2014; 537:75-91. PMID: 24480342.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Guo D, Standley C, Bellve K, Fogarty K, Bao ZZ. Protein kinase Ca and integrin-linked kinase mediate the negative axon guidance effects of Sonic hedgehog. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2012 May; 50(1):82-92. PMID: 22521536.
      View in: PubMed
    13. De Crescenzo V, Fogarty KE, Lefkowitz JJ, Bellve KD, Zvaritch E, MacLennan DH, Walsh JV. Type 1 ryanodine receptor knock-in mutation causing central core disease of skeletal muscle also displays a neuronal phenotype. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 10; 109(2):610-5. PMID: 22203976.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Lefkowitz JJ, Fogarty KE, Lifshitz LM, Bellve KD, Tuft RA, ZhuGe R, Walsh JV, De Crescenzo V. Suppression of Ca2+ syntillas increases spontaneous exocytosis in mouse adrenal chromaffin cells. J Gen Physiol. 2009 Oct; 134(4):267-80. PMID: 19786582.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Li X, Standley C, Sapp E, Valencia A, Qin ZH, Kegel KB, Yoder J, Comer-Tierney LA, Esteves M, Chase K, Alexander J, Masso N, Sobin L, Bellve K, Tuft R, Lifshitz L, Fogarty K, Aronin N, DiFiglia M. Mutant huntingtin impairs vesicle formation from recycling endosomes by interfering with Rab11 activity. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Nov; 29(22):6106-16. PMID: 19752198.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Kolpak AL, Jiang J, Guo D, Standley C, Bellve K, Fogarty K, Bao ZZ. Negative guidance factor-induced macropinocytosis in the growth cone plays a critical role in repulsive axon turning. J Neurosci. 2009 Aug 26; 29(34):10488-98. PMID: 19710302.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Leonard D, Hayakawa A, Lawe D, Lambright D, Bellve KD, Standley C, Lifshitz LM, Fogarty KE, Corvera S. Sorting of EGF and transferrin at the plasma membrane and by cargo-specific signaling to EEA1-enriched endosomes. J Cell Sci. 2008 Oct 15; 121(Pt 20):3445-58. PMID: 18827013.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Huang S, Lifshitz LM, Jones C, Bellve KD, Standley C, Fonseca S, Corvera S, Fogarty KE, Czech MP. Insulin stimulates membrane fusion and GLUT4 accumulation in clathrin coats on adipocyte plasma membranes. Mol Cell Biol. 2007 May; 27(9):3456-69. PMID: 17339344.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Hayakawa A, Leonard D, Murphy S, Hayes S, Soto M, Fogarty K, Standley C, Bellve K, Lambright D, Mello C, Corvera S. The WD40 and FYVE domain containing protein 2 defines a class of early endosomes necessary for endocytosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Aug 8; 103(32):11928-33. PMID: 16873553.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Bellve KD, Leonard D, Standley C, Lifshitz LM, Tuft RA, Hayakawa A, Corvera S, Fogarty KE. Plasma membrane domains specialized for clathrin-mediated endocytosis in primary cells. J Biol Chem. 2006 Jun 9; 281(23):16139-46. PMID: 16537543.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Scriven DR, Klimek A, Asghari P, Bellve K, Moore ED. Caveolin-3 is adjacent to a group of extradyadic ryanodine receptors. Biophys J. 2005 Sep; 89(3):1893-901. PMID: 15980179.
      View in: PubMed
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