Neuroscience Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory
Assistant Professor in Neurobiology
The University of Chicago
The Kasthuri lab at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory is pioneering new techniques for brain mapping of the fine structure of the nervous system – ‘connectomics’ and ‘projectomics’. I will describe these developments including: large volume automated electron microscopy for mapping neuronal connections, synchrotron source X-ray microscopy for mapping the cellular composition of entire brains, and combining both with cell type specific labeling for multi-scale, multi-modal brain maps. We have applied these tools to brains from octopuses and squids, to primates and mice, to the enteric nervous system and how stem cells integrate into the brain. We hope to help answer questions like: how do brains learn as they grow up? And how do brains differ across individuals and across species? And how can we reverse engineer brain function in our own computers and robots?
Dr. Kasthuri is the first Neuroscience Researcher at Argonne National Labs and an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Neurobiology, University of Chicago. He has an MD from Washington University School of Medicine and a D.Phil. from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes scholar. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Kasthuri developed an automated approach to large volume serial electron microscopy (‘connectomics’). Currently, the Kasthuri lab continues to innovate new approaches to brain mapping including the use of high-energy x-rays from synchrotron sources for mapping brains in their entirety. The Kasthuri lab is applying these techniques to in service of answering the question: how do brains grow up, age, and degenerate?