[Optical Control] Year Started : 2016

Kei M Igarashi

Understanding and repairing brain synchronization using fast optical manipulation

Researcher

Kei M Igarashi

Kei M Igarashi

University of California, Irvine
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor

Outline

Using fast manipulation of oscillatory synchronization in the memory circuit of the brain, and by assesssing resulting performance of animals engaged in memory tasks, this project aims at understanding and reparing circuit mechanisms of memory in the brain.

Hiroshi Ito

Spatiaotemporal light control to investigate behavioral decisions based on the brain’s spatial representaiton system.

Researcher

Hiroshi Ito

Hiroshi Ito

Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
Research Group Leader

Outline

While rats are known to have an ability to use positional relationships in the environment for spatial navigation as humans do, it is largely unclear how such spatial representations can be used for behavioral decisions. In this project, I will combine spatial-temporal light control and optogenetic techniques to dynamically modulate the activity of a targeted subset of neurons. This technique will allow us to artifically and reversibly modify the spatial representaitons in the brain, providing a possibility to investigate the influence of the brain’s internal representations on neural circuits for behavioral decisions.

Ken-ichi Inoue

Development in advanced techniques for high-resolution multi-dimensional analyses of neural networks based on pathway-selective optogenetic

Researcher

Ken-ichi Inoue

Ken-ichi Inoue

Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Assistant Professor

Outline

In this research project, we aim at developing advanced techniques for high-resolution multi-dimensional analyses of neural networks in nonhuman primates by means of large-scale electrophysiological recordings of local field potentials and single-unit activities in combination with pathway-selective optogenetic manipulation. The outcome of this project enables us to understand how the inputs through individual pathways modulate the network dynamics within target structures and contribute to behavioral representation.

Noriaki Ohkawa

Creation of new methods for manipulation of memory by extraction of characteristic patterns of engram

Researcher

Noriaki Ohkawa

Noriaki Ohkawa

Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama
Lecturer

Outline

Memory is encoded in a specific neuronal ensemble that is activated during a corresponding learning event. The ensemble is called an “engram”. In this project, I will propose to extract especial activity patterns from engram cells by visualization of activity of engram and non-engram cells in pre-, post-, and learning periods. Moreover, I will apply the information of extracted activity pattern of engram to optogenetic manipulation of engram cells, and then I will check qualitative changing of corresponding memory. These trials will open out possibilities to create new methods for manipulation of memory.

Takashi Kawakami

Development of methodology for photo-controlling and flureoscent imaging of proteins based on peptide-based molecular tools

Researcher

Takashi Kawakami

Takashi Kawakami

Graduate Faculty of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Yamanashi
Assistant Professor

Outline

In this reseach project, we will develop novel peptide-based molecular tools and apply them to methodology development for photo-controlling and fluorescent imaging of cellular proteins.

Keiko Kono

Optogenetic approaches to understanding plasma membrane-dependent celllular senescence

Researcher

Keiko Kono

Keiko Kono

Membranology Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
Associate Professor

Outline

Previously I found that plasma membrane damage promotes cellular senescence. In this project, I will apply optogenetic approaches to investigate/manipulate plasma membrane damage-dependent cellular senescence. The outcomes of this project will provide novel concepts to the cell biology and aging field, as well as potentially contribute to find new cancer therapies.

Kazuo Takayama

Development of a technology for light-inducible genome editing and gene expression modification in target organ

Researcher

Kazuo Takayama

Kazuo Takayama

Osaka University
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Visiting Academic Staff

Outline

In this project, we will develop a photoactivatable CRISPR/Cas9 system for genome editing and gene expression modification. To apply this system to in vivo experiments, we are going to use adenovirus vector-mediated gene transfer technology. This adenovirus vector-mediated optogenetically-modified CRISPR/Cas9 system will enable to perform light-inducible genome editing and gene expression modification with high spatial-temporal resolution in various organs or species. By developing this system, we believe that novel life science research and treatment of disease can be performed.

Satoshi Tsunoda

Attempts to vision restortion by applying enzyme rhodopsins

Researcher

Satoshi Tsunoda

Satoshi Tsunoda

Japan Science and Technology Agency
PRESTO Researcher

Outline

Signal transduction with cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) is one of the most versatile second messenger systems involved in several cellular processes such as memory formation, metabolism, immune reactions, regulation of heart rate and visions. Cellular cyclic nucleotides are balanced by cyclase (synthesis) and phosphodiesterase (degeneration). Thus phosphodiesterases are targeted for drug screening. This project first focuses on molecular characterizations of a novel light-sensitive phosphodiesterase which has been discovered from a fresh water algae, Salpingoeca rosetta. Then the feasibility of the enzyme to optogenetics application for spatial and temporal regulation of cellular cyclic nucleotides is going to be assessed in cultured mammalian cells. Finally attempts will be made to restore the vision by introducing the light sensitive phosphodiesterase into photoreceptor cells of a blind mouse.

Takashi Tokuda

Development of Fully Implantable Deivice for Optical Control

Researcher

Takashi Tokuda

Takashi Tokuda

Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor

Outline

A novel implantable microdevice for optical control is developed. A dedicated CMOS integrated circuit chip is integrated in the core part of the device. A unique optical energy-harvesting technology plays important role in this project. The device has many features including low invasiveness, deep part stimulation and applicability for freely-moving situations.

Kentaro Noma

Optogenetic mutagenesis for innovative genome modification

Researcher

Kentaro Noma

Kentaro Noma

Graduate School of Sciences, Nagoya University
Assistant Professor

Outline

It is important to know the relationships between genes and biological functions because defective genes cause various diseases. I will develop a novel optogenetic method to induce heritable random mutations in a particular gene or a subset of genes. By applying this approach to forward genetic screens, I will reveal novel genes and genetic interactions functioning in the nervous system.

Yutaka Nomura

Development of an ultra-deep imaging microscope using a long-wavelength laser system

Researcher

Yutaka Nomura

Yutaka Nomura

Institute for Molecular Science, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
Assistant Professor

Outline

Two-photon fluorescence microscopes have been used to observe activities in tissues deep within living organisms. However, conventional two-photon fluorescence microscopes are limited by the near-infrared excitation laser, which cannot penetrate deep into living organisms owing to strong scattering and absorption within the tissues. In this work, I will develop an ultrashort pulse laser system operating at a longer wavelength region and apply it for a multi-photon microscope to overcome the limitations of conventional microscopes.

Takeshi Maruyama

Opt-CRISPRed mouse system for understanding the behavior of transformed cells

Researcher

Takeshi Maruyama

Takeshi Maruyama

Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University
Lecturer

Outline

Transformed cells are extruded from an epithelial monolayer in a short time in vitro and ex vivo. To observe the short-time behavior predictable in vivo, accurate biotechniques are required, which allow the spatiotemporal induction of oncogenic mutagenesis onto the epithelium tissue in a given organ. In this regard, we shall create Precision Opt-CRISPRed mouse system, and induce the transformed cells in vivo using implantable LED nanodevices. The optical mouse model and elucidation of the extrusion mechanisms would lead to the development of novel therapies for cancer prevention.

Takayuki Yamashita

Development of non-invasive optical intervention techniques for elucidation of neural basis of animal behavior

Researcher

Takayuki Yamashita

Takayuki Yamashita

Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University
Associate Professor

Outline

Optogenetics is a revolutionary technique that makes it possible to manipulate specific neuronal activities with light and to interrogate their function in ongoing animal behavior. However, with optogenetics of the current status, it is impossible to freely operate cellular function deep in the tissue without invasiveness through insertion of an optic fiber. Using nano-materials that receive electromagnetic waves to emit visible light, I here attempt to develop novel, minimally-invasive techniques that enable one to activate or inactivate neurons deep in the tissue, in a large volume and with a high temporal resolution.

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