Dissecting microglial function in neuroinflammation by mapping nitric oxide in real time in the living brain

2016 Scientific Innovations Award
Yamuna Krishnan, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry
The University of Chicago

Nitric oxide (NO), a gaseous chemical messenger, is a neuroprotective agent in the brain. It is vital to brain function, as controlled amounts are critical to triggering important signaling mechanisms. NO also causes neurodegeneration, as seen in conditions like stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementias. Dr. Krishnan’s lab seeks to spatiotemporally image NO within the living brain, using molecularly programmed DNA-based nanodevices, which would offer deep insights into mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

Other Awards

James J DiCarlo, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Using Computer Models of the Neural Mechanisms of Visual Processing to Non-Invasively Modulate Brain States
DiCarlo’s research team is exploring an innovative approach to address emotional challenges, such as anxiety and depression. Traditional treatments for these disorders can be complex and often cause unpleasant side effects,…
Eiman Azim, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Learning from Error: Defining how Cerebellar Circuits Drive Adaptation in a Changing World
The ability to move effectively through the world is one of the most important functions of the brain. However, the world and the body are constantly changing, meaning the signals…
Hillel Adesnik, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
All Optically Probing the Neural Codes of Perception in the Primate Brain
How patterns of action potentials in space and time give rise to sensory experience is among the most enduring mysteries of biology. Despite decades of experiments correlating brain activity patterns…
Chaolin Zhang, Ph.D., Columbia University
Human-specific Alternative Splicing, Brain
Development, and Ciliopathies
Like movie frames needing to be edited to tell an engaging story, pieces of genetic information stored in DNA for each gene need to be sliced and rejoined, through a…