Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System
July 24 - August 13, 2018
Application Deadline: April 15, 2018


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 focus of the course will be on in vivo applications of light microscopy, particularly functional imaging with genetically encoded calcium indicators. Methods taught will include multi-photon and light-sheet microscopy, and combination of imaging with optogenetics. Lectures by leading experts will progress through basic concepts to presentation of cutting edge methods. Students will learn the fundamentals of optics and microscopy, as well as the use of different types of cameras, laser scanning systems, in vivo preparations and image processing and analysis software. A strong emphasis is placed on building exercises that allow students to develop an understanding of basic principles, while also introducing them to a variety of state-of-the-art commercial systems. 

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.

2018 Visiting Lecturers included:

Jeff Lichtman, Harvard University
Jennifer Waters, Harvard Medical School
Michael Lin, Stanford University School of Medicine
Spencer Smith, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 
Loren Looger, Janelia Farm Research Campus / HHMI
Na Ji, Janelia Farm Research Campus / HHMI
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
Stephane Dieudonne, Institut de Biologie de I'Ecole Normale Superieure (IBENS), France
Benjamin Judkewitz, Charite Humboldt University, Berlin
Darcy Peterka, Columbia University
Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University
Peyman Golshani, University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine
Marius Pachitariu, University College of London, UK
Daniel Aharoni, University of California Los Angeles
Denise Cai, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine
Tristan Shuman, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine

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): $4,895

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 23 and plan to depart after lunch on August 13.

Before applying, ensure you have 1) Personal statement/essay; 2) Letter(s) of recommendation; 3) Curriculum vitae/resume (optional); 4) Financial aid request (optional). More details

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: