CB 399: Imaging synapse: structure, function, degeneration, and regeneration Spring 2012

Intellectual Unit:

Imaging synapse: structure, function, degeneration, and regeneration
Nanocourse Lecturers: Beth Stephens, Nikita Rudinskiy, Tara Spires-Jones
Curriculum Fellow: Catherine Dubreuil, catherine_dubreuil@hms.harvard.edu

The human brain contains approximately 1014 synapses, and the ability of these structures to adapt in response to environmental stimuli underlies the remarkable adaptability of the brain and our ability to learn.  Structural changes in synapses are associated with changes in network function, and the ability to accurately and quantitatively examine synaptic structure is essential across all branches of neuroscience.  However, until recently, imaging methods for examining synapses have either been extremely labor intensive (such as reconstructions form electron micrographs) or unable to resolve individual synapses due to technical limitations.  This course will examine high resolution imaging methods for the study of synaptic structure and function including array tomography and in vivo multiphoton imaging and the applications of these techniques to visualizing synapse collapse in Alzheimer’s disease and regeneration with treatment.  Students will gain an understanding of the state of the art of imaging synapses and their applications to studying neurodegenerative diseases. 

Beth Stephens, Assistant Prof of Neurology, Children’s Hospital Boston

Array tomography: high-throughput examination of synapse density, size, and protein composition

Nikita Rudinskiy, Research Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital

Studying synaptic function and plasticity with in vivo multiphoton imaging

Tara Spires-Jones, Assistant Professor in Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Imaging synaptic degeneration and regeneration in Alzheimer’s disease

 

Schedule:

First Session: Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:00 – 4:00 PM   
Location: TMEC Building, Walter Amphitheater
 
Second Session: Monday, May 21, 2012 1:00 – 4:00 PM   
Location: Charlestown Navy Yard

Second session activities:

For the second session, students will visit Tara Spires-Jones laboratory in the MGH Charlestown Navy Yard to see the synapse imaging techniques demonstrated.  Before the demonstrations students will be asked to give a 5 minute presentation exploring how the techniques learned in the course could be relevant to their research project.  Alternatively, they can prepare a 5 minute presentation exploring the applicability of these techniques to another field (neurodevelopment, brain injury, etc). 

 

DROP DEADLINE: Thursday, May 10, 2012

 

AUDITORS (Post-Docs, Faculty, or Staff) DO NOT NEED TO SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE 1st SESSION.  PLEASE DO NOT ENROLL.