Single Cell Transcriptomics Classification

PI: John J. Ngai, Ngai Lab
University of California Berkeley
Title: "Classification of Cortical Neurons by Single Cell Transcriptomics"
BRAIN Category: Census of Cell Types (RFA MH-14-215)

To understand what makes neurons distinct, Dr. Ngai's team will explore one major type of mouse brain cell, pinpointing genes responsible for differentiating them into subtypes and will also test whether each subtype has unique functions, using a new technique that labels them with tagged genes.

Optical control of synaptic transmission

Principal Investigator: Richard Kramer
UC Berkeley Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Title: " Optical control of synaptic transmission for in vivo analysis of brain circuits and behavior"
BRAIN Category: Large-Scale Recording-Modulation - Optimization (RFA NS-14-008)

Dr. Kramer's team will develop light-triggered chemical compounds that selectively activate or inhibit neurotransmitter receptors on neurons, to precisely control the signals sent between brain cells in behaving animals.

MRI Corticography (MRCoG)

Principal Investigator: David Alan Feinberg
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
Title: "MRI Corticography (MRCoG): Micro-scale Human Cortical Imaging"
BRAIN Category: Next Generation Human Imaging (RFA MH-14-217)

To image the activity and connections of the brain's cortex on a micro scale – with dramatically higher resolution than existing scanners – Dr. Feinberg's group will employ high sensitivity MRI coils that focus exclusively on the brain's surface.

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