Navigation Links
The first HFSP Nakasone award goes to Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University
Date:4/8/2010

The Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is pleased to announce that the first HFSP Nakasone Award has been conferred upon Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University for his pioneering work on the development and application of optogenetic techniques for the study of the relationship between neural circuits and behaviour. The HFSP Nakasone Award has been established to honour scientists who have made key breakthroughs in fields at the forefront of the life sciences. It recognizes the vision of former Prime Minister Nakasone of Japan in the creation of the Human Frontier Science Program. The recipient will give the first HFSP Nakasone Lecture at the annual meeting of HFSP awardees to be held in Kerala, India in November 2010.

A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying neural circuits responsible for behaviours. Approaches from pharmacology and electrophysiology have made major contributions to our understanding of the chemical and electrical basis of neural activity, but have not allowed the manipulation of specific classes of nerve cells in defined anatomical areas. Karl Deisseroth's contribution has been to engineer neurons of defined specificity in a way that makes them sensitive to light, and to use light as a stimulus to activate or inhibit their activity.

His approach builds on studies of microbial opsins (genes that encode light-activated ion channels and pumps called bacteriorhodopsins, halorhodopsins, and channelrhodopsins), ranging from work by Walter Stoeckenius and Dieter Oesterhelt in 1971 to work by Peter Hegemann and Georg Nagel in 2002, on the microbial biology and biophysics of these proteins. In a paper published in 2005, Karl Deisseroth, the principal investigator of a team at Stanford that included graduate students Ed Boyden and Feng Zhang, took the gene for one of these microbial opsins and inserted it into a virus that was then used to insert the genes into nerve cells in cell culture. The cells could be stimulated with blue light with millisecond time resolution, thus allowing for the first time optical activation of nerve cells at physiological time scales. Using the power of genetics to create different modified viral vectors, Karl Deisseroth has been able to apply this approach in living animals to make defined sets of neurons sensitive to light, even in deep brain structures of mammals. He has also developed sophisticated optical fibre technologies to allow both the optical stimulation and recording of neuronal activity together with behavioural observation. Finally, he has led the molecular engineering of microbial opsins for new classes of function, and the application of these new tools to study neural circuit function in health and disease. This combination of genetics with optics has been dubbed "Optogenetics". Karl Deisseroth has made this technology freely available and it is now being used by hundreds of laboratories throughout the world.

Karl Deisseroth holds joint appointments as Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His pioneering work has been recognised by many prestigious awards, including from the Society for Neuroscience for his development of optogenetics, and from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


'/>"/>

Contact: Martin Reddington
mreddington@hfsp.org
33-388-215-124
Human Frontier Science Program
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Which came first, the moth or the cactus?
2. First all-African GM crop is resistant to maize streak virus
3. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
4. CU-Boulder team discovers first ancient manioc fields in Americas
5. First finding of a metabolite in 1 sex only
6. First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
7. First individual genome sequence published
8. U of M begins nations first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
9. UNH becomes first university in nation to use landfill gas as primary energy source
10. Scientists in first global study of poison gas in the atmosphere
11. Weight gain between first and second pregnancies associated with increased odds of male second child
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, today announced ... 25,000,000 shares of its common stock and warrants ... at a price to the public of $1.00 ... Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding the proceeds, ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" ... providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging operating ... September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference call ... 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). Key ... a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink Communication ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The report forecasts ... grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. ... market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the ... report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 ... für Molekulargenetik, erweitert seine Palette an anpassbaren SureSeq™ ... Custom FH Panels, das ein schnelles und kostengünstiges ... Das Panel bietet eine Erkennung von Einzel-Nukleotid-Variationen (Single ... mit einem einzigen kleinen Panel und ermöglicht eine ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, ... ... announces the commercial launch of flexible packaging for their exceptionally efficient human ... bag system extends RoosterBio’s portfolio of bioprocess media products engineered to radically ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, ... biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to ... need, announced today that it will be hosting an ... am ET on the origins of innate defense regulators ... a review of oral mucositis and the recently announced ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Partnering to fuel ... Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania ... parent company of Independence Blue Cross; and Safeguard Scientifics ... intentions for a $6 million funding initiative over a ... Responding to a burgeoning economic vitality in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: