Barbara Foster

The Microscopy & Imaging Place

Barbara Foster is President and Chief Strategic Consultant of the Microscopy & Imaging Place, Inc.  (“The MIP”: For three decades, she has catalyzed business development and new technology commercialization for microscopy and imaging companies large and smallIn addition to providing expertise in business structure, strategy and rapid go-to-market plans, she is especially well known for creating action-driven programs built on concrete data derived from early stage, user-based market research.

Early in her career, she served as technical marketing manager or director with a number of major manufacturers including Unitron (a spin-off from Nikon), Zeiss, Cambridge Instruments/Reichert-Jung (now part of Leica), and confocal pioneer, Sarastro (acquired by Molecular Dynamics, now part of Amersham). Since 1991, she has headed her own strategic consulting firm (The Microscopy & Imaging Place, Inc.) and recently co-founded MicroSpec On-site, a consortium that provides customized on-site educational programs in microscopy and spectroscopy. Whether in-house or consulting, it is not unusual for her to be called into engineering and asked about both instrument and lab design from the customers’ perspective, including how tall a student microscope should be to how large a footprint should an integrated microscope/spectrometer have.

Her work encompasses a far-reaching constellation of disciplines and industries from confocal microscopy to gene chip readers, telepathology and revolutionary fluorescence illuminators, to surface structure texture analysis, semiconductor metrology, and 3D imaging. Recent activities focus on micro- and nanotechnology, particularly hybrid technologies that marry the power of imaging with the strength of spectroscopy from FT-IR/light microscopy fusions to next-generation SEM/EDS/Raman and AFM/Raman combinations. She has been a leader in the establishment of 10 companies and, over her career, has been responsible for the launch of more than 100 products.

Additionally, Ms. Foster is a contributor to R&D Magazine and other key trade publications. She is also the author of Optimizing Light Microscopy for the Biological and Clinical Laboratory (Kendall-Hunt, 1997) and several key chapters, including the microscopy chapters for The ACS Desk Reference on Polymers and Chemical Forensics (in press).