Next Seminar

9/22
Garrett Stanley, BME, Georgia Tech
Reading & Writing the Neural Code: Challenges in Neuroengineering

The external world is represented in the brain as spatiotemporal patterns of electrical activity. Sensory signals, such as light, sound and touch are transduced at the periphery and subsequently transformed by various stages of neural circuitry, resulting in increasingly abstract representations through the sensory pathways of the brain. It is these representations that ultimately give rise to sensory perception. Deciphering the messages conveyed in the representations is often referred to as “reading the neural code”. True understanding of the neural code requires knowledge of not only the representation of the external world at one particular stage of the neural pathway, but ultimately how sensory information is communicated from the periphery to successive downstream brain structures. In contrast, prosthetic devices designed to augment or replace sensory function rely on the principle of artificially activating neural circuits to induce a desired perception, which we might refer to as “writing the neural code”. This requires not only significant challenges in biomaterials and interfaces, but also in knowing precisely what to tell the brain to do. Taken together, an understanding of these complexities and others is critical for understanding how information about the outside world is acquired and communicated to downstream brain structures, in relating spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity to sensory perception, and for the development of engineered devices for replacing or augmenting sensory function lost to trauma or disease.


All are welcome, (attendance required for graduate students). Lunch is provided.

Contact: Prof. Qi Wang.

Day/Time/Location: Fridays 11-12 noon, 633 Mudd Building (unless otherwise noted)

Fall 2017 Departmental Seminar Schedule

  •  
    9/15
    Joshua C. Brumberg, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Biology, Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Sensory Experience and the Shaping of Cortical Circuits

    Sensory experience early in development has profound and lasting impacts on the development of neocortical circuits. Using the mouse whisker-to-barrel system we have examined the influence of sensory activity on neuronal and glial components of the barrel cortex with a special emphasis on the perineuronal net (a neuron specific component of the extra cellular matrix). Sensory deprivation induced by whisker trimming from birth increases dendritic complexity, alters dendritic spines and decreases a specific component of the extracellular matrix suggesting a possible substrate for changes in receptive field properties of neurons in deprived cortex. Subsequent, physiological studies define the role of the perineuronal net in shaping neuronal activity.

  •  
    9/22
    Garrett Stanley, BME, Georgia Tech
    Reading & Writing the Neural Code: Challenges in Neuroengineering

    The external world is represented in the brain as spatiotemporal patterns of electrical activity. Sensory signals, such as light, sound and touch are transduced at the periphery and subsequently transformed by various stages of neural circuitry, resulting in increasingly abstract representations through the sensory pathways of the brain. It is these representations that ultimately give rise to sensory perception. Deciphering the messages conveyed in the representations is often referred to as “reading the neural code”. True understanding of the neural code requires knowledge of not only the representation of the external world at one particular stage of the neural pathway, but ultimately how sensory information is communicated from the periphery to successive downstream brain structures. In contrast, prosthetic devices designed to augment or replace sensory function rely on the principle of artificially activating neural circuits to induce a desired perception, which we might refer to as “writing the neural code”. This requires not only significant challenges in biomaterials and interfaces, but also in knowing precisely what to tell the brain to do. Taken together, an understanding of these complexities and others is critical for understanding how information about the outside world is acquired and communicated to downstream brain structures, in relating spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity to sensory perception, and for the development of engineered devices for replacing or augmenting sensory function lost to trauma or disease.

  •  
    9/29
    Ashutosh Agrawal, BME, University of Miami
    Resealable, Optically accessible, PDMS-free Fluidic Platforms for Organs on Chips

    We report the design and fabrication of robust fluidic platforms for culturing and interrogating 3D organoid cultures. The optimized design of convective fluid flows, use of bio-inert and non-absorbent materials, reversible assembly of the platform, manual access for loading and unloading of cultures, and straightforward integration with commercial imaging and fluid handling systems are major improvements over conventional PDMS-based low volume microfluidics.

    The platform has been used for perfusion interrogation of human pancreatic islets, and engineered spheroid cultures that mimic the metastatic niche of the human bone marrow. Islets were tested for dynamic secretion of hormones, concomitant live-cell imaging, and optogenetic stimulation of genetically engineered islets. The efforts to evaluate ex vivo function of islets are informing the clinical efforts to transplant human islets in Type 1 Diabetic patients.

    The platform is also being tested for long term culture of spheroids composed of primary human cells of the bone marrow along with vascular cells and supporting pericytes. The efforts to recreate the metastatic niche are enabling in vitro maintenance and propagation of circulating tumor cells derived from the blood of breast and prostate cancer patients, as tools for enabling precision oncology.

  •  
    10/6
    TBD
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    10/13
    Krish Sathian, Neurology, Rehabilitation Medicine and Psychology, Emory University
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    10/20
    Xiaoqin Wang, BME, Neuroscience and Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins Univ.
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    10/27
    Eve Donnelly, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    11/3
    TBD
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    11/10
    TBD
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    11/17
    Michael Murrell, BME, Yale University (joint with Mech.E)
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    12/1
    J. Ruben Morones-Ramirez, Chemical Engineering, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

  •  
    12/8
    Marius Linguraru, Depts. of Radiology and of Pediatrics, George Washington U.
    Title and Abstract TBA

    Title and Abstract TBA

 


500 W. 120th St., 351 Engineering Terrace, New York, NY 10027    212-854-4460                 
©2016 Columbia University