Optogenetics (an experimental method involving the use of light beams to make neurons fire one at a time) and related technologies will give us clues as to the brain circuits which are involved in a variety of brain and behavior disorders. Most researchers see optogenetics as a research rather than therapeutic tool ─ at least with today’s technologies. Our hope is that a better understanding of the circuitry will provide us with rational approaches for pharmacologically-based treatments (e.g. better drugs).
Bryan L. Roth, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member
Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor
Director, NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical School