Benjamin Judkewitz receives Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Research Grant
Innovative project funded by program for collaborative cutting-edge research
Professor Benjamin Judkewitz has received a Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Research Grant as a lead investigator for the collaborative project "Real-time tracking and imaging of neuronal dynamics in freely moving vertebrates". HFSP research grants support interdisciplinary, collaborative high-risk/high-gain projects involving innovative, cutting-edge research.
A central goal in systems neuroscience is to understand how neuronal networks in the brain, confronted with a complex and changing environment, extract relevant features from sensory inputs, process the information, determine appropriate responses, and send commands to motor outputs. Many important insights are being gained from animals behaving in virtual environments. Yet, brains evolved in the real world, which stimulates many senses simultaneously and provides postural feedback. Therefore, it is essential that theories of brain function are ultimately tested in animals engaged in real environments.
So far, it has not been possible to image freely moving vertebrates at cellular resolution, as the field-of-view (FOV) of conventional microscopes is limited by inertia. In this project, the collaborators will join recent developments in wide-FOV optics with real-time tracking strategies. The international team will combine their interdisciplinary expertise in optical design, real-time control and zebrafish neuroscience to noninvasively image brain activity at single cell resolution across extended networks in freely behaving vertebrates.
Benjamin Judkewitz was recruited in 2014 by the Charité and Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure from the California Institute of Technology.