October 22, 1982 |
Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China
|Institutions||MIT, Broad Institute|
|Alma mater||Harvard University, Stanford University|
|Academic advisors||Karl Deisseroth|
|Known for||Optogenetics, CRISPR|
|Notable awards||Alan T. Waterman Award
National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award
Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize
Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine
Tsuneko & Reiji Okazaki Award
Canada Gairdner International Award
zlab.mit.edu, genome-engineering.org, Broad Institute
There may be an evolutionary advantage for schizophrenia genes during famine.
Brain cells are normally not sensitive to light. So by introducing light-sensitive proteins into specific types of neurons, we can now selectively control that specific type of neuron by shining light in the brain.
If someone had protected the HTML language for making Web pages, then we wouldn't have the World Wide Web.
The ideal way to study the property of different types of neurons is to control individual types of cells independently and see what happens when you alter one type of cell. Optogenetics helps to realize this goal.
Studies by many labs have already started to identify specific circuits of neurons involved in normal cognitive function like memory and learning, as well as disease processes such as Parkinson's disease, depression, and autism.
There are still many challenges and questions that need to be addressed before optogenetics can be applied in humans for therapeutic uses.