Karl Deisseroth, a legend in the field of neuroscience visited Bangalore on January 18th, 2016 as part of the Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series. He presented a short talk titled “Illuminating the Brain” at the J.N Tata Auditorium in IISc.
The Stanford university neuroscientist and psychiatrist is credited with creating two techniques that allow researchers to study how intricate circuits in the brain operate and create different patterns of behavior.
- Optogenetics – Is a technique that integrates optical and genetic techniques to formulate neurons which have light sensitive ion channels. These special type of neurons can then be turned off and on using just light. This technique is being used at neuroscience labs across the world to come up with ground breaking findings since 2005, when it was first developed.
- CLARITY – Stands for Clear Lipid-exchanged Anatomically Rigid Imaging / Immunostaining-compatible Tissue hYdrogel, this new technique was more recently developed at Stanford University. By using this technique , neuroscientists are able to render tissues and even complete brains transparent while the cells and their connections remain intact. This new technique permits a remarkable view into the networks that shape behaviour.
Karl Deisseroth’s talk at Indian Institute of Science offered the students and researchers assembled a glimpse of his path breaking work and the challenges that motivate him and his team. The optogenetic methods developed by him has been used to study neural circuits and behaviour among rats and fruit flies.
You can read more about his group at :
A Profile of Karl and his work is available at :
Karl Deisseroth has helped chart fundamental advances in the study of brain science and is a top contender for the Nobel Laureate. The hall for his talk was jam-packed with at least 700 people in attendance.
For those neuroscientists looking for more information on optogenetics and CLARITY, you can head over to the following links :