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Webinar: Super-Resolution Imaging of Neurons

The neuron is a highly complex and specialized cell with intricate networks of molecules that dynamically interact to propagate or restrict signals in order to allow for the development, function, and maintenance of a well-tuned neuron working within a neural circuit. The burgeoning of high-resolution imaging techniques and optical probes to label single-molecules allows neuroscientists to visualize the elaborate and dynamic relationship of critical components of the underlying cellular architecture and components of the synapse to appreciate how they define and influence the physiological properties of a neuron.

In this webinar, Daniel Choquet, Xiaowei Zhuang, and Stephan Sigrist will discuss how super-resolution imaging can elucidate the inner workings of neurons at the single-molecule and macro-molecular levels using specialized probes and optical techniques they have helped design and pioneer in the field of neuroscience.


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Daniel Choquet

Daniel Choquet heads the Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience and the Bordeaux Imaging Center core facility and is the director of the center of excellence BRAIN, Bordeaux Region Aquitaine Initiative for Neuroscience. An engineer by training, Dr. Choquet graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Paris in 1984 and moved into the field of neuroscience to study ion channels in lymphocytes under the supervision of Henri Korn at the Pasteur Institute where he completed his PhD. While visiting the United States in the laboratory of Michael Sheetz, he discovered the role of mechanical forces in controlling cell adhesion. Dr. Choquet’s research team in Bordeaux was founded in 1996. By combining neuroscience, physics and chemistry the Choquet lab has revealed the dynamic organization of neurotransmitter receptors and the role of this mobility plays in synaptic transmission.

Dr. Choquet has been the recipient of several awards including the 1990 Bronze medal from the CNRS, the Research prize from the Fondation pour la Recherche Mdicale, 1997, the Grand Prix from the French Academy of Sciences, prix du CEA and the 2009 Silver medal from the CNRS. He is a Member of the Institut de France and has been a member of the French Science Academy since 2010.

Xiaowei Zhuang

Xiaowei Zhuang is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Dr. Zhuang develops advanced optical imaging techniques, in particular single-molecule and super-resolution imaging methods, to study problems of biomedical interest. After graduating from the University of Science and Technology of China, Dr. Zhuang moved to United States where she received her PhD in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the lab of Steven Chu, Dr. Zhuang and her colleagues explored single-molecule fluorescent tools to study molecular dynamics in living tissues. As a professor at Harvard, Dr. Zhuang’s lab continues to develop tools to examine single biological molecules and assemblies and has helped pioneer the use of super-resolution imaging to examine the inner workings of neurons and synapses.

Dr. Zhuang was awarded the 2008 Coblentz Award, The Pure Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society, is a Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, MacArthur Fellow, Packard Fellow and was awarded the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics. Dr. Zhuang is a National Academy Science member since 2012.

Stephan Sigrist

Stephan Sigrist is Professor of Genetics at the Institute for Biology, Freie Universität Berlin and is affiliated with the Neurocure Cluster of Excellence, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Before, he was Professor for Experimental Biomedicine and Bio-Imaging at the Rudolf Virchow Center of Excellence, University of Würzburg.

His research group is active in the field of cellular and molecular neurobiology with the following major areas:
• Cellular and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation and plasticity
• Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission
• Molecular organization of synapses in physiological and pathophysiological states
• "Synaptopathy" in neurological-psychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases