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IBEC Seminar: Dr. François St. Pierre
Friday, July 24, 2015 @ 10:00 am–11:00 am
Imaging electrical activity in vivo with ultrafast protein sensorsDr. François St. Pierre, Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine / Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Imaging of rapid brain electrical activity has been on the wish list of neurobiologists for many years and has received renewed attention with the launch of the BRAIN initiative by the White House in the U.S.A. In particular, neuroscientists have long sought voltage sensors based on proteins to reveal brain activity in genetically defined neuronal circuits. I will present novel protein voltage sensors that leverage optimized parts and creative new designs to report neural activity with unprecedented temporal resolution in vitro, in brain slices and in vivo. Importantly, these synthetic sensors report neural activity at the millisecond timescale over which key information processing functions are thought to take place. I will show how these new optical tools enable us to follow neural information processing in the fly visual system with subcellular resolution. I will also present our recent success at monitoring spontaneous electrical activity in stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.