Multiplexed Nanoscale In Situ Proteomics

PI: Edwards S. Boyden
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: “Ultra-Multiplexed Nanoscale In Situ Proteomics for Understanding Synapse Types”
BRAIN category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Boyden’s team will simultaneously image both the identities and locations of multiple proteins within individual synapses – made possible by a new technique called DNA-PAINT.

Optogenetic toolkit for control of cells

PI: Gregory Hannon, Hannon Lab
Institution: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Title: “An optogenetic toolkit for the interrogation and control of single cells.”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Hannon’s group will develop optogenetic techniques that use pulses of light to control genes and isolate proteins in specific cell types in the brain for molecular studies.

Drivers for neuron gene expression

Principal Investigator: Oliver Hobert
Columbia Neuroscience
Title: “Developing drivers for neuron type-specific gene expression”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Hobert and colleagues will create a highly selective technology for experimentally manipulating genes in neurons, by tapping into the regulatory machinery of individual cell types.

Activity measurement at single cell

Principal Investigator: Craig Forest
Georgia Institute of Technology
Title: “In-vivo circuit activity measurement at single cell, sub-threshold resolution”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Forest’s team will use a newly developed robot guided technique to measure precise changes in electrical activity from individual neurons that are connected over long distances across the brain, to understand how these connections change when our brains go into different states, such as sleeping and waking.

Mapping neuronal chloride microdomains

Principal Investigator: Kevin J. Staley
Neuroscience@Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital
Title: “Mapping neuronal chloride microdomains”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Using protein engineering technology to monitor the movement of chloride through inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor channels, Dr. Staley’s group aims to understand the role of chloride microdomains in memory.

Nontoxic transsynaptic tracing

Principal Investigator: Ian Wickersham
MIT Neuroscience
Title: “Novel technologies for nontoxic transsynaptic tracing”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Wickersham and colleagues will develop nontoxic viral tracers to assist in the study of neural circuitry underlying complex behaviors.

Remote regulation of neural activity

Principal Investigator: Sarah Stanley
Rockefeller University
Title: “Remote regulation of neural activity”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

The Stanley team will focus on the development of tools to instantly and precisely target cell activity deep in the brain using radio waves, nanoparticles and genetically modified viruses.

Genetic Sparse Labeling Mammalian Neurons

Principal Investigator: X. William Yang
UCLA Neuroscience
Title: “Novel Genetic Strategy for Sparse Labeling and Manipulation of Mammalian Neurons”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Yang’s team will develop a new way to genetically target specific neurons, incorporating streamlined imaging and mapping methods that will enable the detection of sparse populations of cells that often elude existing methods.

Enhancers define cortical interneuron types

Principal Investigator: John L. R. Rubenstein
UCSF Neuroscience
Title: “Identification of enhancers whose activity defines cortical interneuron types”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Rubenstein and colleagues plan to identify enhancer molecules specific to particular types of interneurons – that relay neural signals – and use this information to profile distinct cell types and new ways to manipulate genes.

Dreadd2.0: A Chemogenetic Toolkit

Principal Investigator: Bryan L Roth
UNC Neuroscience
Title: ” Dreadd2.0: An Enhanced Chemogenetic Toolkit”
BRAIN Category: Tools for Cells and Circuits (RFA MH-14-216)

Dr. Roth and colleagues will build second generation technology that uses artificial neurotransmitters and receptors to manipulate brain activity simultaneously across select cells and pathways to understand their functions and potentially treat brain disorders.

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