Two-week Neuroimaging Course enlightens scientists and sparks collaboration

From February 03 – 15, The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) hosted the fifth advanced Neuroimaging Course. The laboratory-oriented program gives pre-doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and early-career intense and comprehensive training on the principles of modern imaging and the cutting-edge applications used to study the brain.

The two-week course included special lectures, collaborative discussions with distinguished scientists, and hands-on workshops highlighting novel neuroimaging techniques from leaders in the field, including Max Planck Society scientists, guest faculty, and lecturers. Catherine Dulac, Ph.D., Professor from Harvard University, and Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D. Professor from Yale University, gave exceptional lectures and led insightful discussions with the participants. The 2020 course was particularly unique because it featured Mackenzie Mathis, Ph.D., a former student of the 2016 Imaging Course, and now an assistant professor at Harvard University, as one of the special lecturers.

“The Neuroimaging course at MPFI provides talented neuroscientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to fast track results and discoveries across brain related research”, described Ryohei Yasuda, Ph.D., Scientific Director at MPFI. “The course also offers the perfect settings to spark scientific collaborations.”

A recent collaborative publication between the Yasuda Lab and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry’s Attardo Lab included results obtained during the 2018 Neuroimaging Course. This study, published in the JoVe – Journal of Visualized Experiments, described the technical details for multiphoton imaging in a region of the brain that is responsible for memory formation. One of the highlights of this study is the use of 3-photon imaging for deeper multiphoton imaging in living animals. The multiphoton microscopy is the reference method for both deep and live fluorescence imaging of biological tissues and together with the rapid progress in genetically engineered probes, it is a central tool in fields such as neuroscience, developmental biology, immunology, and others.

Cutting-edge imaging topics covered in the 2020 Course included multiphoton photostimulation using holography activation, a technique that allows the imaging of neuronal populations in living animals, and the miniature microscope that evaluates how the brain of a mouse functions during a given task.

The fifth annual advanced neuroimaging course was made possible thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, Inscopix, Thorlabs and Spectra Physics, with the additional support from Bitplane and Hamamatsu.