Computational Challenges and Opportunities for Fine Scale Mapping of Complete Brains

Event Sponsor: 
Computation Institute Presentation
Start Date: 
Feb 11 2016 - 12:00pm
Searle 240A, 5735 S. Ellis Ave., via Blue Jeans (See Webcast below)
The University of Chicago
Narayanan "Bobby" Kasthuri
Speaker(s) Title: 
University of Chicago
Ian Foster

The Kasthuri lab is pioneering new techniques for large volume reconstructions of the fine structure of the nervous system – ‘connectomics’. These developments include: large volume automated electron microscopy for mapping neuronal connections, synchrotron source X-ray microscopy to map the cellular composition of entire brains; improving sample preparation for serial electron microscopy in order to increase the efficiency of automated algorithmic tracing of these datasets; and combining electron microscopy with current techniques for interrogating the proteome and the genome.  These tools will be applied in the service of answering the question: how do brains learn as they grow up?  The lab focuses on the synaptic and cellular development of brains as a basis ultimately for understanding the cellular underpinnings of pathologies such as addiction and mental illness.

Bio: Dr. Kasthuri is an Neuroscience Researcher at Argonne National Labs and an Assistant Professor (adjunct) in the Dept. of Neurobiology, University of Chicago.  He has an MD from Washington University School of Medicine and a D.Phil. from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes scholar.  As a post-doctoral researcher in the Lichtman lab, Dr. Kasthuri developed an automated approach to large volume serial electron microscopy (‘connectomics’).   We are also now exploring the use of high-energy x-rays from synchrotron sources for mapping brains in their entirety. The Kasthuri lab is applying these techniques to developing, adult, and aged brains in service of answering the question: how do brains grow up and age?

Miscellaneous Information: 

Lunch will be provided.

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