Title : Reconstructing Visual Circuits with Volumetric Super-resolution Fluorescence Microscopy
Speaker Name: Colenso Speer
Speaker Institution : University of Maryland College Park
Abstract : Light microscopy enables multi-color imaging, analysis, and live tracking of diverse cellular and molecular processes and is a vital tool for neuroscience. In the last decade, super-resolution microscopy techniques have extended the spatial resolution of optical imaging to the nanoscale and enabled new investigations of the molecular organization and structural properties of synapses in the nervous system. In this talk I will introduce our laboratory’s efforts to apply STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM), a localization-based super-resolution imaging approach, to the analysis of synaptic structure and connectivity in the brain. I will present an overview of STORM technology for neural circuit imaging including considerations for optimizing sample preparation, super-resolution image quality, and automated data analysis. I will present data demonstrating the imaging and analysis of synaptic inputs to morphologically identified neurons and introduce future directions for cell type-specific super-resolution imaging of functionally characterized circuits. Our group is developing and applying these tools to investigate the activity-dependent and molecular mechanisms that regulate circuit assembly and plasticity in the central nervous system, using the mammalian visual system as a model. We anticipate that volumetric super-resolution microscopy will provide important new structural and molecular imaging data that will complement the connectomic reconstruction of visual circuits by electron microscopy.