MPFI holds Advanced Neuroimaging Techniques Course

March 12, 2024

International experts in the latest microscopy techniques in Neuroscience gathered from February 5th – 17th to share their expertise with attendees from around the world at MPFI’s Advanced Neuroimaging Techniques Course. The two-week lecture and lab course provided students with the fundamental theory and hands-on experience to apply these cutting-edge microscopy approaches in their own research.

Students began the course with foundational lectures in optics and microscopy and advanced to concepts including fluorescence lifetime imaging, super-resolution microscopy, and adaptive optics. The students also attended research lectures by course faculty to hear about the latest scientific discoveries made using these techniques. The keynote lecture was given by Howard Hughes Medical Institute Senior Group Leader Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, who shared how new approaches to visualize dynamic internal structures of cells are fundamentally shifting our molecular understanding of how cells work and communicate across scales to produce behavior and maintain health.

In the afternoons and evenings, course students worked in small groups with a faculty expert on a research project centered around an imaging technique of their choosing. From voltage imaging in neuronal compartments to electron microscopy to see the ultrastructure of the brain in fine detail, these projects provided students with practical, hands-on experience applying technical theory to address scientific questions.

“The course is a wonderful opportunity for the students to work closely with leaders in neuroscience and gain mentored training in microscopy and its research applications,” describes the Neuroimaging Course Director and MPFI Scientific Director Dr. Ryohei Yasuda. “Sharing this expertise through a hands-on approach with young scientists who are full of new ideas accelerates the pace of discovery and our progress in tackling challenging neuroscience questions!”

Some of the imaging applications covered in the 2024 course included holographic photostimulation, allowing for precise control of neuronal activity; miniature microscopy to watch the brain activity of animals during behavior; and long wavelength 3-photon microscopy to see deep into the brain.

This course was made possible thanks to the generosity of our corporate sponsors Bruker, CSR Biotech, Coherent, MetaCell, Light Conversion, ThorLabs, and ZEISS. Stay tuned for details on the next MPFI Neuroimaging course here.