01 August 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scintillon team to play key role in center for creating bioluminescent neuroscience tools
San Diego, CA
In a new collaboration, scientists will advance and freely circulate a research technology that makes brain cells able to produce, respond to, and communicate with light.
Nathan Shaner, Ph.D. will lead Scintillon Institute’s contribution to a national center dedicated to developing and disseminating new tools based on bioluminescence. The five-year grant from the National Science Foundation aims to develop tools to give nervous system cells the ability to make and respond to light. Neuroscientists can use these tools to manipulate and observe the circuitry of the brain in a variety of model organisms.
“NeuroNex Technology Hub” is a new collaboration of labs at Brown University, Central Michigan University and the Scintillon Institute. The team will improve upon and combine several unique bioengineering technologies to create new research capabilities, rooted in bioluminescence-the natural ability of cells to make light. They will then make their advances rapidly, easily, and freely available to the global scientific community.
Shaner joins co-principal investigators Diane Lipscombe, Brown professor of neuroscience and director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, and Ute Hochgeschwender, professor at CMU, on a team led by Christopher Moore, a professor of neuroscience at Brown. Justine Allen, a Brown neuroscience PhD alumna, will be the center’s administrative director.
Creating a curriculum, which combines elements of biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, to engage and educate high school students will be a key facet of the center’s mission.
“The highly visual nature of this research is a great way to get young people interested in science,” said Shaner. “Being able to see living neurons lighting up as they fire under a microscope can be a transformative experience for them.”Read more