NARSAD Grant-funded Research on Optogenetics Wins Prestigious Award

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, expert on Optogenetics and Depression
Dr. Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University used his NARSAD Young Investigator Grant to help invent optogenetics. On September 7th, he and three other scientists were awarded the K. J. Zülch Prize 2012, for imitating and promoting the still young research field of optogenetics. Optogenetics is a new technology that uses light to make neurons fire one at a time, giving researchers extraordinary control over specific brain circuits in living animals. Thanks to optogenetics, neuroscientists can go beyond observing correlations between the activity of neurons and an animal’s behavior; by turning particular neurons on or off at will, they can prove that those neurons actually govern the behavior.

Dr. Deisseroth, a member of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundations Scientific Council, will receive the award along with Ernst Bamberg of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Peter Hegemann of Humboldt University in Berlin, and Georg Nagel of the University of Würzburg. At the ceremony, Drs. Deisseroth and Nagel will report on the development of optogenetics and future applications.

Read More on the K. J. Zülch Prize

Read More About Karl Deisseroth and his work on optogenetics