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

22 November 2021 - 8 December 2021

Lecture schedule

November 24 – 9:00am
Stefan Herlitze ((University of Bochum, Germany)
Optogenetic control and visualization of GPCR pathways, or a journey from mouse brain to bioluminescent fish

November 24 – 11:00am
Jonas Wietek
(Weizmann Institute of science, Israel)

November 25 – 9:00am
Tommaso Patriachi (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Genetically encoded tools for high-resolution in vivo imaging of neuromodulator dynamics

November 25 – 11:00
Michael Lin
(Stanford University, USA)

November 26 – 5:30pm (remotely)
Adam Cohen (Harvard University, USA)
Optical mapping of neural activity: from voltage imaging to time-tagged ticker tapes

November 27 – 11:00am
Ofer Yizhar (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)

November 29 – 9:00am
Tom Kash
(University of North Carolina, USA)

November 29 – 11:00am
Yaniv Ziv
(Weizmann Institute of science, Israel)

December 2  – 9:00am
Valentina Emiliani (Institut de la vision, France)
Holographie manipulation of neuronal circuits

December 2 – 11:00am
Stéphane Dieudonné (Aix-Marseille University, France)
A random-access strategy for all-optical recording and control of neuronal activity in vivo: how fast can we get?

December 3 – 9:00am
Anna Beyeler
(Bordeaux Neurocampus, France)
Circuit dissection scope and limits: case studies of the amygdala and insular cortex

December 3  – 11:00am
Adam Packer (University of Oxford, UK)
All-optical technologies for interrogation of neural codes and their transmission

December 4 – 11:00am
Simon Wiegert (Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg – ZMNH, Germany)
Illuminating neuronal circuits: from new tools to synapses and networks

December 6 – 9:00am
Tatiana Korotkova
(University of Cologne, Germany)

December 8 – 3:30pm (remotely)
Na Ji
(University of Berkeley, USA)
Imaging the brain at high spatiotemporal resolution

December 8 – 5:30pm (remotely)
Ute Hochgeschwender
(Central Michigan University)

Course overview

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.

Course directors

Ofer Yizhar
Course Director
Weizmann Institute of Science – Israel

Michael Lin
Stanford University – USA

Simon Wiegert
Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH) – Germany

Anna Beyeler
University of Bordeaux – France

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22 November 2021
8 December 2021
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