Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System
July 23 - August 13, 2024

Key Dates
Application Deadline:  March 31, 2024
Arrival: July 23rd by 6pm EST
Departure: August 13th around 12pm EST

CSHL Courses are intensive, running all day and often including evenings and weekends; students are expected to attend all sessions and reside on campus for the duration of the course.

Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University
Ruben Portugues, Technical University, Munich, Germany

Adam Charles
, Johns Hopkins University
Hod Dana, Cleveland Clinic

2024 Confirmed Speakers
Christina Baer, UMass Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA 
Stephane Dieudonne, INSERM, Paris, France 
Baljit Khakh, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 
Jeff Lichtman, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
Emilie Mace, University of Goettingen, , Germany 
Tim Murphy, University of British Columbia, , Canada 
Ian Oldenburg, Rutgers University, Rutgers, NJ 
Cristina Rodríguez, Yale University, New Haven, CT 
Yasaman Soudagar, Bruker, Toronto, Canada 
Lin TianMaxPlanck Institute, Jupiter, FL
Jennifer Waters, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 
Weijian Yang, UC Davis, Davis, CA 
Weijian Zong, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, , Norway 
Yi Zuo, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA 

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

Advances in microscopy, advanced data analysis techniques and the development of powerful optical indicators and actuators and model organisms present expanding opportunities for investigating the nervous system, from synaptic spines to networks in the living brain. 

This intensive lecture and laboratory and lecture course will provide participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge to leverage and combine emerging imaging technologies for neuroscience research. The primary focus of the course will be on in vivo applications of light microscopy, particularly functional imaging with genetically encoded indicators.

Methods taught will include:

  • Multi-photon microscopy
  • Light-sheet microscopy 
  • Use of spatial light modulators and digital holography
  • Combination of imaging with optogenetics
  • Head-mounted microscopes and fiber-optic methods
  • Integration and analysis of imaging and behavioral recordings
  • Structural imaging and spatial-omics
  • Analysis of imaging datasets 
Lectures and hands-on lab modules overseen by leading experts will progress through basic concepts to cutting-edge imaging methods. Students will learn the fundamentals of optics, lasers, spectroscopy and microscopy, laser scanning systems, camera-based systems, methods for quantifying and optimizing signal to noise and resolution, in vivo experiments in mice and zebrafish larvae, and image processing and analysis approaches. Hands-on building exercises are a fundamental component of the course, enabling students to develop an intuitive understanding of optical principles and assemble their own two-photon and light-sheet microscopes. The course will also host a range of state-of-the-art commercial imaging systems from a range of vendors who will actively participate in the course and provide ample opportunities to explore, compare and gain experience with these advanced systems.  During the last week of the course students will work in teams on guided research projects that will draw on the knowledge they acquired during the course.

We encourage applications from late-staged PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and early-career faculty or similar positions) from diverse interdisciplinary backgrounds who are interested in neurobiological research.  We are seeking applicants who hope to expand their knowledge, skillsets and experience in all aspects of imaging-based experimental neuroscience and related analysis methods.  The course will best cater those who study, mouse, zebrafish, and Drosophila Melanogaster but is open to all researchers with interest in other models.

In your personal statements, please answer the following questions (point by point, ≤ 1 page total):

  1. What are your reasons for wanting to attend the course?
  2. What unique skills and qualities will you be able to contribute to the course?
  3. What is your prior experience with neuroimaging techniques, and which imaging technologies are available to you?
  4. What aspects of data analysis are you seeking to improve?

Note, there are no wrong or right answers, we are just seeking to gather enough information to select a group with diverse perspectives and experiences, and for whom attending the course will have the highest impact.

All participants should familiarize themselves with the following concepts by the beginning of the course:
  1. Fundamentals of Fourier transform and matrix operations
  2. Basic programming experience in either MATLAB or Python (preferred) (see e.g.: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Support & Stipends
We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:
Microscope Systems:
Bruker Corporation, Intellegent Imaging Innovations, Scientifica, Sutter Instrument Company, Thorlabs, Inc
Andor Technology, Coherent, Inc, Conoptics, Crystalaser, Hamamatsu Photonics, Laser-Components, MBF Bioscience, Molecular Devices, Narishige International USA, Nikon Corporation, Photometrics, Spark Lasers, Thorlabs, Inc
Incubation: Okolab, Tokai Hit USA Inc

Major support provided by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health


Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:

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): $5,725 USD

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Before applying, ensure you have (all due April 1):
  1. Personal statement;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.
    One Letter of Recommendation is acceptable, two is preferred.

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: