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Functional and anatomical mapping of neuropeptide circuitry using modern neuroscience techniques featuring Jennifer Treweek
March 6, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Functional and anatomical mapping of neuropeptide circuitry using modern neuroscience techniques
NARSAD Young Investigator in the laboratory of Dr. Viviana Gradinaru
Division of Biology and Bioengineering, Caltech
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Natural Sciences, Room 1114
Neuropeptide systems are notoriously difficult to study due to their biological complexity and the overall technical inadequacy of traditional tools (e.g., synthetic receptor ligands and immunohistochemical reagents often lack specificity). However, given the pathological relevance of neuropeptides, such as corticotropin releasing factor, to a variety of disease states, the functional and anatomical characterization of neuropeptide circuitry is crucial to our discovery of better disease therapies. The development and application of new technologies to enable such characterization is an important first step towards this goal.
In my talk, I will summarize recent improvements to in vivo modalities for recording and perturbing neuronal activity in behaving rodents, as well as ex vivo techniques for analyzing the functional connectivity of targeted cells at the single-molecule through systems-levels. In particular, our methods for the multiplexed labeling and imaging of mRNA and peptide epitopes at depth in cleared tissue offer scientists an opportunity to visualize transcriptional changes and structural plasticity in intact circuits during the progression of disease.
About Jennifer Treweek
After studying chemistry and economics at Caltech as an undergraduate (BS with honors), Treweek earned her PhD in chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute (thesis entitled: Immunological therapeutics for drugs of abuse: from self-vaccination to passive vaccination). She is currently a NARSAD Young Investigator in the laboratory of Dr. Viviana Gradinaru, Division of Biology and Bioengineering, Caltech. Her postdoctoral research has encompassed two main projects: (1) the optimization of tissue-clearing methodologies, and (2) the systems neuroscience investigation of a sparse, understudied population of dopaminergic cells in the dorsal raphe nucleus.