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Optogenetic approaches to investigating the nervous system

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Concurrent Symposia Session II

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Classrooms 1 and 2


  • Lex Kravitz, NIDDK


This symposium will introduce exciting work being performed at the NIH with optogenetic techniques. Optogenetics refers to the genetic expression of light-activated proteins which can be used to selectively control the activity of specific cell types in the brain. The symposium will feature five presentations from researchers who are using this technology to study diverse systems. The diverse research topics in this symposium reflect how widely applicable this technology is, and the variety of problems it has helped to illuminate.

The relationship between indirect pathway medium spiny neurons and anxiety; FARE award winner
Kimberly LeBlanc, NIDDK

Optogenetic control of dorsal striatal-mediated reward learning
Hadley Bergstrom, NIAAA

Optogenetic investigation of motoneuronal feedback to the central pattern generator in the neonatal mouse
Melanie Falgairolle, NINDS

Drug-induced activation of a Gs-coupled designer GPCR in hypothalamic AgRP neurons stimulates chronic food intake and weight gain in mice
Zhengzhong Cui, NIDDK

The dorsal raphe nucleus: heterogeneous involvement in reward circuitry
Ross McDevitt, NIDA

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