Deep Into the Brain

Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University will present both morning and afternoon lectures on Friday.

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 6, 2017) — Last October, the Department of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with RPI, held its first seminar in the Life at the Interface of Science and Engineering lecture series. It featured Nobel Prize winner in chemistry Thomas Cech.

The series returns this Friday, tackling one of the most intricate parts of human life — the brain — and featuring one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Karl Deisseroth, D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, who will present this year’s program.

Two different discussions will be addressed during the day at the host school’s campuses: at 10:30 a.m. at RPI, Deisseroth will speak about the technology he developed to go deep into the brain to study axons and its individual elements; at 3 p.m. in the Life Sciences Research Building (LSRB) on UAlbany's Uptown Campus, he will explain his revolutionary approach at examining brain tissue and of using light to clarify it.

The Life at the Interface of Science and Engineering lecture series aims at discussing fundamental questions by pulling together expertise from both fields. It was created by UAlbany Distinguished Professor Marlene Belfort, a biologist, and RPI Professor Georges Belfort, a chemical engineer. The couple has collaborated at the interface of genetics, biochemistry, chemical engineering and biotechnology.

Deisseroth himself has had a remarkable career in the field of science and medicine. After completing his residency at Stanford’s School of Medicine in 2004, his lab published the first demonstration on how microbial opsin genes could be utilized in hopes to achieve optogenetic control of neurons.

In 2006, he was named diplomat of the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. He became a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2011 and of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

Deisseroth morning lecture will be held in RPI’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Auditorium (“Integrated Brainwide Structural and Functional Analysis”) and then at 3 p.m., in the LSRB’s D’Ambra Auditorium (“Nature's gift: How the Discovery of Structural Principles in a Microbial Protein Helped Illuminate the Pathophysiology of Psychiatry”).

A reception will occur 30 minutes prior to each lecture.

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