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Deisseroth set for Discovery Lecture

Feb. 13, 2014, 10:17 AM

Neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., renowned for his development of tools that allow scientists to control and map brain circuits, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 20.

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D.

His lecture, “Optical Deconstruction of Fully-Assembled Biological Systems,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

His team developed optogenetics, a method for controlling cell function with light. Optogenetics involves inserting light-sensitive proteins into cells, and then using light to alter cell behavior. Nature Methods named optogenetics the Method of the Year in 2010.

Last year, Deisseroth’s team reported a new method called CLARITY, which uses a chemical treatment to make intact brain tissue transparent. Researchers can then use targeted probes to examine brain structures and connectivity.

Deisseroth is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a practicing psychiatrist. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and has received numerous awards, many for the development of optogenetics.

The Department of Biochemistry and the Vanderbilt Brain Institute are sponsoring Deisseroth’s lecture. For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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