Optogenetics is a highly active and interdisciplinary field of research with major relevance to the broad neuroscience community.
Optogenetics enables cell-type- and brain area-specific, spatially confined and graded stimulation and inhibition of neurons.
Optogenetics ranges from tool making to applications in clinical neurosciences.
Insight into new optogenetic tools: tailored opsins and vectors (Boyden, Dalkara, Gradinaru, Moser) and light delivery approaches: structured illumination by spatial light modulators and implantable micro-LED arrays (Emiliani, Moser).
Understanding neural circuitry using optogenetic manipulation (Boyden, Gradinaru, Emiliani).
Restoring the function of neural circuitry by optogenetic stimulation (Boyden, Gradinaru, Dalkara, Moser).
Selection of speakers covers leading experts with balanced representation of gender (50% female), age, and European nations, two transatlantic speakers.

The workshop will highlight the measurement capabilities of key technologies for large-scale monitoring of neural activity, in particular fully integrated Neuropixels silicon probes and wide-field 2-photon imaging. We have selected leading experts in the field as speakers to share recent data and protocols related to all technical aspects; from building setups, to data processing (spike sorting and image processing), storage and analysis. The workshop also aims at stimulating discussions about major challenges, in particular the analysis of large datasets and the scientific interpretation of brain-wide signals in the context of behavior. Finally, we will discuss current technical limitations and possible improvements in next generation technologies. The purpose of the workshop is to bring together the rapidly growing user community and to establish best-practices in order to ensure data quality is maintained at the larger scale of measurement. The workshop further aims at facilitating the adoption of new technologies by lowering the threshold to become first-time users. Taken together, it will advance the technical capabilities of the circuit neuroscience community and it will foster scientific exchange related to a major question in neuroscience – how the coordinated neural activity across brain regions gives rise to mental function and behavior.

The past 4 decades highlighted the importance of glia, shifting the neurocentric vision of structure, function and pathology of nervous system to a more holistic perspective. In this view, the demand of technologies targeting the selective monitoring and control of glia is emerging as a challenge across Neuroscience, Engineering and Material Science. This workshop aims to present the most promising advances in unconventional tools & methods, that enabled to reach unprecedented insights into the 4 dimensional (4D) nature of spatio-temporal neuron-glial interactions, in the healthy and pathological brain. Specifically, we will show how 1)(bio)materials as silicon nanowire, graphene or hydrogels can provide transition from 2D to 3D models, mimicking in-vivo structure, where to study healthy or reactive glial cells in vitro 2)the use of nanostructured device allows stimulation and recording of astrocytes and neurons at different spatiotemporal scale 3)computational approaches and control theory can reverse-engineer neuron-glial interactions 4)combination of opto/chemogenetics, CLARITY and two-photon imaging reveals clues on significance of astrocytic domains in memory consolidation 5)photonic and spectroscopic methods uncover the signature of microglial cells in pain. The forum, presented by scientists from 5 different countries, will provide a multidisciplinary perspective on tools, potentially enabling to extend our knowledge on cognitive functions, pain and Alzheimer diseases.

People who plan electron microscopy connectomics tend to underestimate the sheer amount of work required after serial section images are obtained. Here technical challenges and solutions for the fly connectome projects with transmission and focused ion beam scanning EM will be reported and shared with the people working on diverse organisms. Timing is ideal, because a series of FIB-SEM connectome papers will be published just before the Forum. To promote communication we provide ten minute discussion for each talk. S. Plaza established a computational platform for analyzing EM section images and visualizing/annotating the traced data. M. Januszewski developed the first automated neuron segmentation algorithm that works with reliable precision, which was a breakthrough for FIB-SEM analysis. A. Cardona established a platform for cooperative manual segmentation/annotation and organized a large collaborative project. R. Parekh trained and coordinated a team of tens of technicians who segment, proofread, and annotate data of both TEM and FIB-SEM with high throughput. H. Otsuna developed systems for finding homologous neurons between EM and light microscopy images, making it possible to switch EM and LM analyses freely. (The proposal might conflict with the FENS policy in that 3 speakers come from a single institute. It is inevitable given that all the large-scale fly EM connectomics are done at Janelia. We appreciate your flexible evaluation in this regard for this rare occasion.)

With this workshop, the ALBA Network and The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence provide an opportunity for supporting the careers of researchers from underrepresented groups working in research. Participants will learn and discuss about the tools and strategies needed for successful career-related negotiations and management of different situations in a scientific career. Senior researchers and FENS-Kavli scholars will attend the session and be sharing experiences from their own careers. Registration is required for this event.

During the evening session – workshop format – several round tables will be organised simultaneously, and the afore-mentioned topics from the lunch seminar session will be discussed in-depth between the FKNE Scholars and alumni, and selected participants. This evening workshop is limited to 50 participants. Registration is required for this event.
Priority in selection will be given to senior postdocs, recently appointed and mid-career PIs.

Pre-registration and selection required.

–  Submit here your application to attend the workshop.

Application deadline25 May 2020

Click here to download the programme