Na Ji, PhD
2017 Fred S. Grodins Keynote Lecture
Biomedical Engineering Department
Title: Probing neural circuits with shaped light

Associate Professor Departments of Physics and Molecular Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Lecture Information:
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Location: EEB 132
3:00 – 4:00 pm Lecture
4:00 – 5:30 pm Reception

Abstract:
To understand computation in the brain, one needs to understand the input-output relationships for neural circuits and the anatomical and functional relationships between individual neurons therein. Optical microscopy has emerged as an ideal tool in this quest, as it is capable of recording the activity of neurons distributed over millimeter dimensions with sub-micron spatial resolution. I will describe how we use concepts in astronomy and optics to develop next-generation microscopy methods for imaging neural circuits at higher resolution, greater depth, and faster speed. By shaping the wavefront of the light, we have achieved synapse-level spatial resolution through the entire depth of primary visual cortex, optimized microendoscopes for imaging deeply buried nuclei, and developed a video-rate (30 Hz) volumetric imaging method. We apply these methods to understanding neural circuits, using the mouse primary visual cortex as our model system.

Biography:
Na Ji studied chemistry and physics as an undergraduate in the University of Science and Technology of China, then pursued her graduate degree at the University of California Berkeley. In 2006, she moved to Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where she worked with Eric Betzig on improving the speed and resolution of in vivo brain imaging. She started her own group in Janelia in 2011, where, in addition to imaging technology development, her lab applies the resulting techniques to outstanding problems in neurobiology.

GILDA A. BARABINO

2015 / 2016 Fred S. Grodins Keynote Lecture
Biomedical Engineering Department

Title: Cell Biomechanics and Disease

Gilda A. Barabino, Ph.D
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Dean,
The Grove School of Engineering,
The City College of New York
CV

Lecture Information:
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Davidson Continuing Education Center (DCC), Vineyard Room
3:00 – 4:00 pm Lecture
4:00 – 5:30 pm Reception

Abstract:
The connections between cell biomechanics and the onset and progression of human diseases is widely recognized. In the context of sickle cell disease (SCD), this presentation will illustrate the important role of biomechanics in the pathophysiology of disease and how a better understanding of biomechanics can lead to new developments in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. SCD is a debilitating genetic blood disorder affecting 72,000 Americans and millions globally that induces chronic inflammation and vascular dysfunction and causes multiple organ damage as a result. The pathophysiology of SCD is quite complex and involves altered interactions between blood cells and endothelial cells lining the vessel walls, altered mechanical properties of blood, blood cells and blood vessels, and altered tissue properties in affected organs. Although the molecular defect associated with aberrant sickle hemoglobin is well understood and the polymerization of sickle hemoglobin and sickling of red blood cells has been extensively studied, effective treatment remains elusive. We apply mechanical approaches to elucidate mechanisms underlying disease progression to enable new therapies and provide clinicians with therapeutic opportunities for improved management of individuals with SCD. This work has implications for other diseases that cause changes in the biomechanical properties of cells.