Loïc Royer first studied engineering, math, and physics in his native France. He then obtained a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, specializing in cognitive robotics, followed by a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from the Dresden University of Technology in Germany. As a member of Gene Myers’ lab, first at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus and then at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, he developed the first “self-driving” multi-view light-sheet microscope. Royer is fascinated by a seemingly simple but quite complex question: How do organisms develop from a single cell into a fully functional body with billions of self-organizing cells that form tissues and have different functions? He believes that solving this question will require expertise across computer science, advanced microscopy, and biology. To that end, Royer’s pluridisciplinary team designs and builds novel state-of-the-art light-sheet microscopes, develops deep learning-based image processing and analysis algorithms, and is using these technologies to build a time-resolved and multimodal atlas of vertebrate development, using zebrafish as a model organism.