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

s 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.


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

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