- Robert and Gerry Ligon Research Center of Vision Lectureship
May 23, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
“Vision restoration with engineered receptors”
Approved for 1 CME Credit.
Ehud Isacoff, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience and Director at Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute has worked on the mechanisms of ion channel and neurotransmitter receptor function, the molecular basis of synaptic transmission and plasticity, and the development of neural circuits. His work elucidated the basis of voltage sensing and gating of voltage-gated channels and enzymes. A major emphasis of the lab has been complementary efforts in imaging and optogenetic manipulation of neuronal signaling and synaptic transmission.
Dr. Isacoff developed the means to image excitatory synaptic transmission with quantal resolution with the signal-to-noise of electrophysiological measurement but with spatial information of synapse identity to reveal synaptic strength, heterogeneity and plasticity, and most recently, novel mechanisms of synaptic homeostasis. His Photoswitched Tethered Ligands provide optical control of neural firing and synaptic transmission with opto-chemical toggles that agonize, antagonize or block ion channels as well as ionotropic and metabotropic receptors on the microsecond time-scale with control that rivals that of the voltage clamp. This approach has opened a novel branch of optogenetics that enables synaptic connections to be probed in real-time in intact circuits at multiple scales. An applied effort of chemical optogenetics has been to create a treatment for blindness by installing light sensitivity into surviving retinal layers following photoreceptor cell degeneration.