Electrophysiology and Optogenetics Technology and Innovation Center

CIBR has extensive expertise and core resources for electrophysiology and optogenetics, shared between the Ramirez, Welsh and Turner Labs. Multiple recording stations are maintained, configured for standard patch-clamp and multi-channel single unit recordings from cultured dissociated neurons, acute brain slices and in vivo preparations. Several recording stations are equipped with additional instrumentation permitting simultaneous rapid calcium imaging (two-photon microscopy) and optogenetic stimulation (laser and LED light sources). CIBR labs assisted the initial characterization and currently maintains Cre/loxP-based optogenetic mouse strains developed by the Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, which permits genetically-targeted expression of opsins engineered to activate or inhibit neuronal activity by light. Additional CIBR capabilities include facilities for characterizing recombinant ion channels and receptors in Xenopus oocytes, as well as the production of recombinant viruses for heterotopic expression of ion channels/receptors, optogenetic, and targeted siRNAi constructs. Collective scientific expertise at CIBR broadly extends from ion channels (molecular structure/function manipulation, single channel recordings), to neuronal cellular and circuit analysis (brainstem respiratory motor pattern generation, cerebellar and inferior olive rhythmogenesis, habenular function), and systems neuroscience (in vivo myography, multi-channel single unit brain recordings). We welcome active collaborations with other investigators to unravel fundamental brain mechanisms, and to understand and cure neurological disorders.

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