Molecular tools for neurobiology

at Brown University

By studying protein structure and function, we can repurpose nature's proteins into useful tools in the lab.

Because they are genetically encoded, protein tools can be easily introduced to various model organisms. These new molecular tools allow unprecedented ways of investigating animal models of human disease through optical visualization and manipulation of brain circuits.

We invent molecular tools to study how the brain works 

Brain circuits process information in the form of electrical and chemical signals to form memories and shape behaviors. However there is no natural contrast mechanism associated with these signals. In the lab, we use bioengineering and chemical approaches to develop molecular tools to visualize and study the brain. Our research combines electrophysiology, fluorescence imaging, protein engineering, and advanced genetic approaches to visualize the structure and function of the nervous system.

The genetically encoded voltage indicator, Voltron, in action in a rat neuron.