Cajal course : Optogenetics, chemogenetics and biosensors for cellular and circuit neuroscience

March 8 to 28, 2021

Application before November 23, 2020

Spatio-temporally precise manipulation and read-out of brain circuit function has been one of the longest-standing challenges in neuroscience. The recent explosion in the field of genetically encoded tools to control and measure neuronal activity has greatly facilitated investigation of brain function, ranging from single synapses to large-scale circuits. Both control and readout of neuronal activity can now be achieved over orders of magnitude in space and time, ranging from micrometers to entire brain regions and from milliseconds to days.

This course will provide participants with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience using the latest genetically encoded tools and state-of-the-art equipment for brain circuit investigation. A particular focus will lie on multiplexed manipulations and read-out of brain circuits. Participants will be familiarized with the biophysical principles behind the sensors and actuators, and given training complementary to their background in the technical aspects of experimental approaches.

Hands-on experiments will employ optogenetic and chemogenetic actuators, including excitatory and inhibitory ion channels, pumps, enzymes and G-protein coupled receptors. These actuators will be complemented by genetically encoded indicators of neural activity, including calcium and voltage indicators as well as indicators for neurotransmitters and neuromodulators such as glutamate, dopamine and norepinephrine.

The course will cover a wide range of experimental systems with an emphasis on functional brain circuits in vivo. Finally, participants will be guided through data analysis and conceptual interpretations of their experiments.

In partnership with the BIC

Course director & co-directors

  • Ofer Yizhar (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
  • Michael Lin (Stanford University, USA)
  • Simon Wiegert (Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg, Germany)
  • Anna Beyeler (Bordeaux Neurocampus, France)

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Publication: 01/11/20
Last update 23/11/20