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Taubman Technology Talk: Optogenetics

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Danto Auditorium

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NOTE: This Taubman Tech Talk takes place on a Tuesday, rather than the usual Thursday timing.

Brain Games: manipulating and monitoring neuronal activity

Paula Goforth, PhD, will present an overview of recently developed tools and methods that modulate and measure activity in specific cell populations, thus permitting the definition and investigation of neural circuits that regulate physiological processes.

These tools include optically- and chemically-activated proteins that are capable of stimulating or inhibiting neuronal activity, and specific sensors of cell function and activity (ex. calcium, voltage).

When combined with engineered mouse models, these genetically encoded tools can be targeted to discrete cell populations to probe their role in whole animal physiology.

Dr. Goforth is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Pharmacology and serves as the director of the Cellular Physiology Laboratory in the Michigan Diabetes Research Center.

Dr. Goforth’s research uses electrophysiological, imaging, and optogenetic techniques to examine the neuronal populations and circuitry that underlie the central control of metabolism and the dysfunction of these circuits in pathophysiological states such as obesity and diabetes.

All are welcome for the lecture and Q&A, followed by networking and light refreshments.

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