Massively Parallel Brain Imaging in Mouse Models of Human Brain Disease

Research on brain disease stands poised to achieve conceptual breakthroughs due to recent technological advances. There are now mice that provide models of human disease for study, tools to target specific brain regions, and ways to adjust certain patterns of brain functioning. However, science has yet to uncover the normal patterns of neural dynamics and how these go awry in disease states. This Allen Distinguished Investigator has created a technology to fill this gap by providing the necessary data to guide therapeutic strategies for re-tuning neural dynamics. Specifically, the research has created mass-producible brain imaging devices for use in freely behaving mice, enabling researchers to observe the dynamics of large numbers of individual, genetically identified neurons and in many mice in parallel. This innovation will yield crucial knowledge of how circuit dynamics differ between normal and diseased brains, a key toward creating corrective strategies.

Affiliated Investigators

Mark Schnitzer, Ph.D.

Stanford University

Mark Schnitzer is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Applied Physics and Biology and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a faculty member of the Neuroscience, Biophysics, and Molecular Imaging Programs in the Stanford School of Medicine, as well as of the Stanford Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Schnitzer has longstanding interests in neural circuit dynamics and optical imaging.