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Optical and chemical tools for high-resolution investigation of intact biological systems

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Lecture by Leopoldina member Prof. Dr. Karl Deisseroth in the context of the symposium of the class III – Medicine

Datum: Mittwoch, 8. Juli 2015
Uhrzeit: 18:00 bis 19:00
Ort: Leopoldina, Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale)

The lecture will address optical tools for precise, high-resolution investigation of intact biological systems, and application of these tools to study the neural circuit underpinnings of adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Over the last years we have developed both optogenetics and CLARITY, a technology to optically resolve high-resolution structural and molecular detail within intact tissues without disassembly. Most recently in optogenetics, our team has developed strategies for targeting microbial opsins and light to meet the challenging constraints of the freely-behaving mammal, engineered a panel of microbial opsin genes spanning a range of optical and kinetic properties, built high-speed behavioral and neural activity-readout tools compatible with real-time optogenetic control, and applied these optogenetic tools to develop circuit-based insight into anxiety, depression, and motivated behaviors. With CLARITY, whole mouse brains have now been labeled and imaged, and molecular markers have been used to identify individual structures and projections in banked human brain tissue, thereby unlocking rich sources of information for probing disease mechanisms as well as the native structure and complexity of the nervous system, in a manner complementary to optogenetic approaches.

Prof. Dr. Karl Deisseroth

is Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He studied in Harvard and at Stanford, where he received his PhD. He continues as a practicing psychiatrist with specialization in affective disorders and autism-spectrum disease. He is best known for developing optogenetics and CLARITY (see abstract). He has employed these technologies to discover the neural cell types and connections that cause adaptive and maladaptive behaviors, and has disseminated the technologies to thousands of laboratories around the world. For his discoveries, Deisseroth has received numerous awards and prizes. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2012, and to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2014.


Foto: © Gunter Binsack

Further Information

No registration is required. The lecture is free of charge.

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