Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System
July 26 - August 15, 2016
Application Deadline: April 15, 2016


Michael Orger, Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal
Lucy Palmer, Florey InstitututeUniversity of Melbourne, Australia
Florin Albeanu, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Part-Time Instructor:

Philbert Tsai, University of California, San Diego

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past

Advances in light microscopy, digital image processing, and the development of a variety of powerful fluorescent probes present expanding opportunities for investigating the nervous system, from synaptic spines to networks in the brain. This intensive laboratory and lecture course will provide participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge to utilize emerging imaging technologies. The primary emphasis of the course will be on vital light microscopy. Students will learn the principles of light microscopy, as well as use of different types of cameras, laser scanning systems, functional fluorophores, delivery techniques, and digital image-processing software. In addition to transmitted light microscopy for viewing cellular structure, the course will examine a variety of molecular probes of cell function, including calcium-sensitive dyes, optogenetic and photo-activatable molecules. Particular weight will be given to multi-photon laser scanning microscopy and to biological fluorophores, especially Green-Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and its variants. We will use a spectrum of neural and cell biological systems, including living animals, brain slices, and cultured cells.

Applicants should have a strong background in the neurosciences or in cell biology. In their personal statements, applicants should specify: 1) their experience with optical techniques, 2) how they will apply optical methods in their current projects, 3) the microscope systems available to them, and 4) their long-term goals in learning more about optical methods.

Lecturers in the 2016 course include:

Jeff Lichtman, Harvard University
Jennifer Waters, Harvard Medical School
Florian Engert, Harvard University
Michael Lin, Stanford University School of Medicine
Thomas Oertner, University of Hamburg, Germany
Claire Wyart, Institut Di Cerveau Et De La Moelle, France
Chris Xu, Cornell University
Spencer Smith, University of North Carolina
Tim Holy, Washington University, Saint Louis
Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University
Loren Looger, Janelia Farm Research Campus / HHMI
Na Ji, Janelia Farm Research Campus / HHMI
Dan Dombeck, Northwestern University
Winfried Denk, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany
Jack Waters, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Valentina Emiliani, The European Neuroscience Institute at Paris Descartes University, France
Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University
Ryohei Yasuda, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Stephane Dieudonne, Institut de Biologie de I'Ecole Normale Superieure (IBENS), France
Sara Abrahamsson, Rockefeller University
Benjamin Judkewitz, Charite Humboldt University, Berlin
Liam Paninski, Columbia University
Darcy Peterka, Columbia University

Support & Stipends

Major support provided by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:

Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology)  & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
Domestic/International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Scientists from developing countries accepted into this course may be eligible for scholarships provided by the International Brain Research Organization.

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the  instructors. 

Cost (including board and lodging): $4,705

This button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course. No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on July 25 and plan to depart after lunch on August 15.