Curso: “State-of-the-art methods in Neuroscience Research”


Kravitz Lecture

Schnitzer Lecture

Letzkus Lecture

Dietrich Lecture



During the last years several new tools have been developed that made possible to  dissect specific circuit players of precise animal behaviours. This lecture course is designed to provide PhD students and postdocs in neuroscience with a conceptual understanding of the techniques to study the connectivity and function of specific neuronal subtypes. The course will be divided into three main topics:

  • The use of viruses to target specific neuronal subtypes: an up-to-date explanation of trans-synaptic viruses that allow for the identification of presynaptic circuits, retrograde viruses that target neuronal subpopulations according to their projection pattern, and intersectional approaches that combine Cre and Flip recombination through transgenic lines and/or virus delivery to dissect neuronal subclasses. Many of these strategies can be use not only to map the connectivity but also to manipulate the activity of neuronal subpopulations.
  • Selective manipulation of neuronal activity in vivo: expression of light-sensitive channels or engineered receptors to depolarize or inhibit neurons through the delivery of light (optogenetics) or drugs (pharmacogenetics).
  • Strategies to record neuronal activity in vivo: calcium imaging in superficial or deep structures using miniaturized microscopes, voltage-sensitive dyes to record neuronal firing activity, and single unit extracellular recordings of specific neuronal subpopulations identified by their response to light.


The course will be organized in lectures to present the theoretical aspects of each topic, followed by paper reading and discussion to illustrate the use of those methods and round tables to promote the implementation of these tools to the student’s own research.


Organising committee:

María Sol Fustiñana, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.

María Soledad Espósito, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.

Joaquín Piriz, IFIBIO Houssay, CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires

Lorena Rela, IFIBIO Houssay, CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires



Johannes Letzkus, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany

Mark Schnitzer, Departments of Biology and Applied Physics, Stanford University, USA

Marcelo de Oliveira Dietrich,  Yale School of Medicine, USA

Alexxai Kravitz, NIDDK, NIDA

María Soledad Espósito, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.



27 – 29 September 2015

Day 1: 27/09/2015

18:00-19:00        Registration

19:15-19:30        Welcome words by course organizers

19:30-21:00        Lecture I:

“Mapping neuronal networks with viral tools”

 M. S. Espósito

21:00                     Dinner


Day 2: 28/09/2015

8:00-9:00             Breakfast

09:00-10:30        Group activity meeting – paper discussion

10:30-11:00        Coffee Break

11:00-12:30        Lecture II:

“In vivo 2-photon microscopy for dissection of neuronal circuits”

J. Letzkus

12:30 -14:00       Lunch

14:00-15:30        Lecture III:

“Visualizing large-scale neural ensemble dynamics in freely behaving mice”

 M. Schnitzer

15:30-16:00        Coffee Break

16:00-17:30        Group activity meeting – paper discussion

17:30-19:00        Lecture IV:

“Dissecting neuronal circuits using chemical genetic tools”

 M. de O. Dietrich

20:00-23:00        Dinner and Poster presentation


Day 3: 29/09/2015

8:00-9:00             Breakfast

09:00-10:30        Lecture V:

“In vivo optogenetics and electrophysiology”

 A. Kravitz

10:30-11:00        Coffee Break

11:00-12:30        Group activity meeting – paper discussion

Deja una respuesta