He studied Physics at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) and received the MS in 2000, with a diploma thesis on computerized tomography reconstruction. He was granted the PhD degree (Dr.ès sc.) from the same institution in 2004 for a dissertation on Digital Holography and Image Processing that he completed under the advisory of Prof. Michael Unser at the Biomedical Imaging Group, EPFL. From 2004 to 2007, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the lab of Prof. Scott E. Fraser at the Biological Imaging Center, Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology. In November 2007 he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSB, where he served as Assistant Professor and, since July 2013, as Associate professor.
His research interests are biological image acquisition, reconstruction, processing, and analysis. More specifically, he focuses on developing novel microscopy instrumentation combined with computational tools to quantify dynamic biological systems. Tools developed in his lab have enabled dynamic, multi-modal, and in vivo cellular imaging during embryonic heart morphogenesis.
Michael Liebling is the recipient of the 2004 Research Award of the Swiss Society for Biomedical Engineering. He was granted prospective (2004–2005) and advanced (2006–2008) researcher fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He received a Hellman Family Faculty Fellowship (2011). In 2015, he was co-recipient of a Northrup-Grumman Teaching award.
Michael Liebling is chair of the IEEE Signal Processing Society's Bio-Imaging and Signal Processing Technical Committee (BISP-TC, 2014-2015) and was Technical Program co-Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging in 2011 and 2013 (ISBI'11, ISBI'13).