Imaging dynamics of endogenous protein interactions in single dendritic spines

2018 Scientific Innovations Award
Ryohei Yasuda, Ph.D.
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

Changes in the efficiency of synaptic communications between neurons underlie learning and memory. This process is called synaptic plasticity and is caused by biochemical reactions mediated by hundreds of species of molecules in each synapse. Many mental diseases are caused by failure of this process. However, the exact process of biochemical reaction in each synapse is not well understood, partly due to the lack of techniques for monitoring biochemical reactions in single synapses. Thus, in this project, we will establish a novel imaging technique to monitor precise biochemical reactions in single synapses by combining cutting-edge genome-editing techniques with advanced imaging technology. We expect that this will greatly improve our understanding of molecular processes underlying synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory, and will provide new insights into the mechanism of mental diseases.

Other Awards

Michael E. Talkowski, Ph.D.
Mechanistic dissection of three-dimensional regulatory architecture in neurodevelopmental disorders
Among the most intriguing discoveries to emerge from technological advances in recent years are the insights into how the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the genome influences many aspects of local…
Vikaas S. Sohal, Ph.D.
Do dopamine signals promote flexible behavior by recruiting synchronized brain rhythms?
Problems with cognition are the major cause of disability in schizophrenia. One idea is that these result from having too little dopamine in a part of the brain called the…
Xinyu Zhao, Ph.D.
Interrogating Experience-Induced Gene Regulatory Network Dynamics in Interneurons
Understanding the complex relationships between gene expression, neuronal plasticity, and behavior is a fundamental goal of neuroscience. However the brain contains many types of neurons. Therefore, a systematic understanding of…
James Eberwine, Ph.D.
Single Mitochondrion Analysis and Engineering for Human Neurological Disease
The goal of this proposal is to enable new therapeutic modalities for treating mitochondrial diseases through the development and use of novel mitochondrial engineering procedures. While mammalian genome engineering has…