2022-2023 NTC HighlightsWorking with the Department of Pharmacology, the NTC recently completed a joint faculty recruitment of Dr. Justin O’Hare, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow and K99/R00 awardee from Columbia University. Dr. O’Hare, is a neuroscientist whose research program employs a cutting-edge combination of electrophysiological recording, fluorescence imaging, and behavioral monitoring to study neuronal dendritic calcium signaling dynamics during behavior time-scale synaptic plasticity that underlies hippocampal place cell formation during spatial learning and memory. Justin is currently a visiting postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and will join the Department of Pharmacology as an Assistant Professor in Summer 2024 when his K99 fellowship ends.
-Total usage of the core: 5394 hours
Advanced Light Microscopy (ALMC) Core Highlights
-Total number of laboratories that have used the core: 114
-Number of new users of the core: 137
-Number of papers published that used the core instruments: 12
-New microscope purchased: Infinity STED microscope by Abberior, arriving next fiscal year
-Submitted NIH S10 grant for new Zeiss LSM980 2P/confocal FLIM to replace Zeiss LSM780
- Worked with 30 different research laboratories on 32 projects.
Optogenetics and Neural Engineering (ONE) Core Highlights
-Developed a novel system for precise control of behavior experiments, including delivery of light, sound, and foot shock while simultaneously acquiring time-stamped videos.
-Designed system for detecting the force of a mouse licking a water droplet.
-Engineered and fabricated novel experimental equipment, including well plate bifurcation chambers and a rotational anesthesia delivery system for rodents.
-Obtained new equipment to expand capabilities for user projects, including high-performance computers for data analysis and a dual extruder, high volume 3D printer.
- Worked with 12 users in 8 research laboratories.
Innovation and Design for Experimentation and Analysis (IDEA) Core Highlights
-Food Pellet Delivery System - Capable of 3-axis positioning with a mechanically stable, compact design, Home Cage Trainer - Automated training of autonomously head-fixed mice
-Head-fixed Wheel - A head-fixed mouse runs on a transparent wheel for 3D video recording
-Animal Behavior Core: Fear Conditioning - One computer manages four behavior chambers for fear conditioning in mice
-Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) OCD Monitor - A touchscreen-based GUI and apparatus for imaging patients in an outpatient clinic with chronic DBS implants
-DBS OR Monitor - A GUI and apparatus for imaging patients undergoing acute DBS in the operating room
-Organ Perfusion Chamber - Platform for culturing and perfusing explanted murine blood vessels
-Pup Clamp - Platform for positioning young mouse pups in preparation for brain stem injections
- Worked on over 120 projects from 43 research laboratories.
Neuroscience Machine Shop Highlights
- Overall, these projects included featured novel fabrication of research equipment from large scale acoustic isolation chambers and olfactometers to very small GRIN Lens/Mini-scope Adapters. Additionally, the shop offered maintenance of existing equipment, and repair projects for damaged equipment and animal enclosures.
-Prototyped a mouse treadmill compatible with microscopy.
-Worked to patent a novel needle bending device designed and created in the shop for gastrointestinal surgery.
-Expanded our capabilities by adding updated equipment (Laser cutter, Advanced 3-axis CNC Control, and 5-axis Micro-Mill) to complete more sophisticated parts and difficult geometries.
-Helped research teams design, plan, and perform long-term and short-term behavioral studies.
Animal Behavior Core (ABC) Highlights
-Coordinated the move to the new AHSB vivarium space, increasing the number of testing rooms from 5 to 11 (6 mouse rooms, 4 rat rooms, 1 zebrafish).
-Worked with IDEA and Machine Shop cores to implement duplicates of tasks in the new space (Fear conditioning, Open Field…)
-Instituted new behavioral testing paradigms (Optomotor Visual Response, Porsolt Forced Swim Test)
-Total number of laboratories that used the ABC: 28
-Departments/divisions served: 13
-6 published papers plus 3 papers submitted.
-Coordinated the move to the new AHSB vivarium space and set up EEG recordings for mice and rats in 2 new rooms.
In Vivo Neurophysiology Core (IVNC) Highlights
-Total number of laboratories that used the IVNC: 5
-Departments/divisions served: 7