Doane Stuart seniors interested in pursuing science and medicine spent part of their first week of school attending a lecture by one of the foremost experts on brain behavior and neuroscience. Dr. Wells brought students from his Topics in Cell Biology class – Antonia ‘18 and Lucas ‘18 DiPreta of Clifton Park, Hannah Nye ‘18 of Rotterdam and Sam Smith ‘18 of Delanson – to a scientific seminar held at the University of Albany as part of their Life at the Interface of Science and Engineering lecture series.
They heard a lecture entitled “Nature’s gift: how the discovery of structural principles in a microbial protein helped illuminate the pathophysiology of psychiatry” by Dr. Karl Deisseroth. Dr. Deisseroth is Professor of Bioengineering, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He told the audience how he discovered a process by which he can control neural activity by using light. This new technique is called optogenetics and is revolutionizing the study of brain circuitry and behavior.
The Cell Biology class is currently reading a paper that uses optogenetics to better understand how memories are formed in the brain. The paper they are reading is not from Dr. Deisseroth’s lab, but hearing how this novel technique works from the person who discovered it was very illuminating.
Thank you to Dr. Wells for providing our students with the opportunity to hear from a world-renowned lecturer and brain expert.