University of Connecticut

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Joint Seminar - Cho

Friday, September 5, 2014
12:00pm – 1:00pm

UConn Health
CGSB, 400 Farmington Ave. Edmund & Arlene Grossman Auditorium, R1210

Center for Cell Analysis & Modeling/Institute for Systems Genomics Joint Seminar Speaker: Yongku Cho, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut Title: "Engineered proteins for controlling and imaging membrane voltage" Hosts: Dr. Leslie Loew/Dr. Marc Lalande Abstract: One of the grand challenges we face is to understand the mechanisms behind brain function and to identify the root causes of its disorders. Critical steps in tackling these challenges is to map out the connections between neural cells, and identify how the circuit activity results in complex functions such as behavior, memory, and learning. One of the major advances in achieving these goals came from a set of tools that enable optical control of membrane voltage in neurons. With these tools, it is possible to activate or inhibit specific neural circuits in vivo with high temporal resolution. In this talk, I will present two new tools and discuss engineering approaches that led to their development. First tool is a set of channelrhodopsins (microbial rhodopsin ion channels) that enable independent activation of two distinct neural populations using two colors of light. The second tool is a combination of microbial rhodopsins that allow simultaneous control and imaging of membrane voltage in neurons. Potential applications of these tools will be discussed along with critical factors to consider when applying them in a new system.

Contact:

Tiffany Gough, tgough@uchc.edu

Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (primary), Center for Quantitative Medicine

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