A Modular System for Temporal and Cell-type Specific Manipulation of Neural Circuits

2019 Seed Grant
Tiffany Schmidt, Ph.D.
Northwestern University

Women’s Council Seed Grant

One major hurdle to treating diseases affecting vision is a fundamental lack of understanding of how light signals sent from the retina influence our behavior and physiology. In the proposed work, we will develop a suite of genetic tools to label, manipulate, and ablate specific subsets of retinal neurons at specific times. These tools have the potential to expand our understanding of the basic functions and wiring of the visual system in health and how this signaling goes wrong in disease. Most importantly, these tools will be made available to the wider neuroscience community where they could aid in the understanding of how specific neuronal cell types contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, and mental health issues.

Other Grants

Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Microglial Lysosomes in Selective Neuronal Vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
How the Nervous System Constructs Internal Models of the External World
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the Orchestra of Movement—Functional Role of Striatal Astrocytes in Health and Disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…