Many recent studies have aimed to create fully genetically encoded fluorescent indicators of membrane potential, due to the great need for tools that enable the monitoring of neural activity in defined cells in vivo. An ideal voltage indicator would localize properly to the plasma membrane, be bright and exhibit high signal-to-noise ratio, rapid respond to changes in voltage, exhibit stable fluorescence over time, and be compatible with optogenetic control of neural activity. Pioneering efforts have resulted in fluorescent voltage indicators that each possess a subset of these ideal properties, but to date it has remained difficult to simultaneously optimize all of these properties. Dr. Jung will present a novel voltage sensor optimized for all of these ideal properties, developed by a directed molecular evolution approach based on an innovative robotic cell picking system. In the first part of the talk, she will demonstrate the utility of the novel voltage sensor for in vivo neural imaging in multiple organisms. In the second part of the talk, she will discuss the application of neural imaging to develop an all optical brain-machine interface controlled by the zebrafish brain. This novel neuroprosthesis will allow researchers to quantify neural signals and behaviors of normal and pathological brains of animal models.
When: Friday, October 25, 1-2:00pm
Where: CDM Theater 708
Who: Dr. Erica Jung, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Now the colloquium talks are live-streamed and available on YouTube!
Speaker bio: Erica Jung is an assistant professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University and completed postdoctoral training at MIT Media Lab. Her research focus at Cornell was to integrate optical, biological, and microfluidic components in micro systems. At MIT, she worked on developing a genetically encoded fluorescent voltage sensor for in vivo neural imaging by employing a set of novel techniques. Her lab at UIC, BioMicrosystems Labarotory, focuses on the development of systems and methods to investigate physical properties of small organisms (e.g. zebrafish larvae) to facilitate fundamental research in neuroscience. She is one of the 2020 NARSAD Young Investigators selected by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.