Ahluwalias’ research interests are at the crossroads of physics and biology. He is developing novel optical fluorescence imaging tools to decode the mysteries of nanoscale biological systems. During his young research career (PhD 2007), Ahluwalia has worked in different leading research groups in Asia (Singapore), Europe (University of Southampton, UK and UiT, Norway) and North America (University of California, Davis, USA). This has enabled him to acquire a unique, complimentary research expertise in the fields of laser physics, integrated optics, nanophotonic, optical nanoscopy and the basics of cell-biology and develop international collaborations. Ahluwalia has established himself as a promising young scientist and is a recipient of projects at different levels, EU, national, bi-lateral and at university level and as attracted around 50M NOK funding so far as lead Pinciple Investigator. His funded activities include ERC Grant in 2013 for research in optical nanoscopy, and he is principle investigator of UiT “Tematisksatsing” (Strategic Funding) to establish a “Centre on Nanoscopy to decode nanoscale biological systems”. He has also established close collaborations with various leading research groups across Europe and USA. Ahluwalia research team consists of 3 Post-doc and 4 PhDs together with in-house research infrastructure of state-of-the-art commercial optical nanoscopes (SIM and dSTORM).
Projects Lead by Ahluwalia are :
2016-2017 Chief Technical Officer (Ahluwalia), FORNY project funded by Research Council of Norway
Total Funding: 7 M NOK (2016-2017)
Activity: Developing first entry level prototype of chip based optical nanoscope
2016-2020- Principal Investigator (Ahluwalia) UiT Strategic Funding ( PI: Ahluwalia) “Center for Advanced Nanoscopy to decode sub-cellular biological systems” (2016-2020)
Total Funding: 4 PhDs and 1.25 Million NOK
Research Activity: Application of optical nanoscopy for nanoscale biological systems (Vascular Biology, Infection Biology, Embryology, Fishery Science)
2015-2017: Principle Investigator (Ahluwalia) of Indo-Norwegian Cooperation Programme (INCP- 2014/10024. Total Budget 1.2 M NOK, supports mobility & training of 11 PhDs (6 from India and 5 from Norway) in the field of optical super-resolution imaging and development of novel optical microscopy/nanoscopy. Funded by SIU Norway and UGC India.
2014-2019: Principal Investigator (Ahluwalia) of an ERC Starting Grant 2013 (Nanoscopy) “High-speed chip-based nanoscopy to discover real-time sub-cellular dynamics”. 12 Million NOK supports 2 PhD & 2 Post-Doc.
2014-2015: University Strategy Funding of 8 Million NOK. The project supports 1 Post-doc and State-of-the-art “Structured-illumination microscopy” for imaging of live biological cells.
2015-2016: Principle Investigator (Ahluwalia) of IS-DAAD Program with Germany, Project Title" High-speed optical super-resolution nanoscopy for live-cell imaging".
Total Budget 240,000 NOK , Funded by Research Council of Norway and DAAD Germany.
2011-2012: Principal Investigator (Ahluwalia) for Leiv Eiriksson Grant from The Research Council of Norway, Project No. 209286/F11. Combining optical trapping with super-resolution imaging. The grant was for NOK 40 K € (2011).