Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Genetically encoded sensors for imaging neurochemical dynamics in vivo

Descrizione del progetto

Nuovi biosensori per tenere d’occhio le sostanze neurochimiche

L’attività neurochimica è orchestrata da neurotrasmettitori, neuropeptidi e ormoni, che guidano il nostro stato mentale e il nostro comportamento. Lo scopo del progetto OPTONEUROCHEM, finanziato dall’UE, è di comprendere la funzione di queste molecole nella salute e nelle malattie. A tal fine, i ricercatori svilupperanno sensori geneticamente codificati per l’immaginografia in tempo reale e ad alta risoluzione delle sostanze neurochimiche. Saranno studiate le complesse interazioni di queste molecole e le loro dinamiche in più regioni cerebrali di animali comportamentali svegli. La conoscenza generata offrirà una visione senza precedenti nel campo della neurobiologia, mentre gli strumenti sviluppati trasformeranno l’attuale panorama biotecnologico.

Obiettivo

How specific neurochemicals (neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones) influence our mental states and behaviors remains one of the biggest questions in biology. So far, we largely lack tools to precisely monitor the temporal and spatial profile of neurochemical signaling in behaving animals. The ability to do this is a prerequisite for understanding the critical functions of these molecules in both health and disease.
OPTONEUROCHEM is a bold and transformative project that will develop a new breed of genetically encoded sensors to enable real-time and highly-specific functional imaging of neurochemicals at unprecedented resolution in awake behaving animals. This project is geared towards creating innovative tools that will transform the current biotechnological landscape.
I will first engineer novel red-shifted sensors for monoamines and apply them in multiplex and optoacoustic imaging experiments (Objective 1). I will then develop sensors for neuropeptides based on previously unexplored receptor subtypes. These will be validated in increasingly complex biological systems and utilized for monitoring the task-specific dynamics of endogenous neuropeptides in multiple brain regions of awake behaving mice (Objective 2). Finally, I will leverage on novel protein scaffolds to engineer the first ultrasensitive probes for steroid hormones and explore their application to in vivo imaging (Objective 3). This high-risk high-reward project combines state-of-the-art cross-disciplinary techniques, ranging from protein engineering and optogenetics, to animal behavior, and in vivo fluorescence and optoacoustic imaging. Together, the next generation tools I plan to develop will revolutionize our approach to study neurochemical activity in living animals. Ultimately, these tools will advance our understanding of brain function in health and disease.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-STG - Starting Grant
æ

Coordinatore

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 498 750,00
Indirizzo
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich
Svizzera

Mostra sulla mappa

Regione
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Altri finanziamenti
€ 0,00

Beneficiari (1)