Wu Tsai Neuro's weekly seminar series is being held virtually during the winter and spring quarters. We hope to be able to bring the community together for in-person seminars again in the fall.
Community members interested in meeting with this week's speaker should contact host Michael Lin.
University of California, Davis
Lin’s research focuses on engineering optical probes for monitoring and controlling neural circuitry in living behaving animal. These new imaging techniques have greatly impacted the field of neuroscience, facilitating new types of biological experiments performed to address previously intractable questions.
Lin was born and raised in China. After graduating from University of Science and Technology of China, she joined an interdisciplinary PhD program at Northwestern University, where she studied the mechanisms of protein processing via ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in Dr. Andreas Matouschek’s lab. She then moved to HHMI Janelia Farm as a postdoc. The highly collaborative environment at Janelia resulted in her multidisciplinary training under three principle investigators, Dr. Loren Looger, Dr. Karel Svoboda and Dr. Luke Lavis. There, her research focused on engineering optical probes for monitoring and controlling neural circuitry in living, behaving animals.
These new imaging techniques have greatly impacted the field of neuroscience, facilitating new types of biological experiments performed to address previously intractable questions. One indication of the impact of this particular project on the field is the fact that the published paper on this topic (Tian et al, Nature Methods, 2009) has been cited about 400 times.
Lin has been with UC Davis since 2012.
Watching the brain in action: creating tools for functional analysis of neural circuitry
To study the neural circuitry, the action of one cells under the context of others, one would precisely measure and perturb specific neuronal populations and molecules in behaving animals who are specifically engaged in performing the computation or function of interest. The dataset of millions of neurons firing together underlying a behavior are required to develop and refine theories (hypotheses) explaining animal behavior in terms of brain physiology. The focus of lab is to develop novel genetically encoded indicators based on fluorescence proteins, especially focusing on direct and specific measurement of myriad input signals with needed spatial and temporal resolutions. In this talk, I will discuss our recent progress into develop and apply a new suite of genetically encoded indicators of neural activity. I will discuss the design, characterization and applications of these genetically encoded indicators for both in vivo imaging and drug discovery. In combination with calcium imaging and optogenetics, these sensors are well poised to permit direct functional analysis of how the spatiotemporal coding of neural input signaling mediates the plasticity and function of target circuits.