Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System
July 23 - August 12, 2019
Application Deadline: April 1, 2019


Florin Albeanu, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Stéphane Dieudonné, Ecole Normale Supérieure
Benjamin Judkewitz, Charité and Humboldt University, Germany
Michael Orger, Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal
Lucy Palmer, Florey Institutute, University of Melbourne, Australia
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
  • 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
  4. Their long-term goals in learning more about optical methods

2019 Lecturers:

Jeff Lichtman, Harvard University
Jennifer Waters, Harvard Medical School
Michael Lin, Stanford University School of Medicine
Robert Campbell, University of Alberta, Canada
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
Kurt Haas, University of British Columbia, Canada
Jerome Mertz, Boston University 
Darcy Peterka, Columbia University
Ruben Portugues, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany
Elizabeth Hillman,
Columbia University
Carsen Stringer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Cathie Ventalon, The European Neuroscience Institute at Paris Descartes University, France
Chris Xu, Cornell University

Support & Stipends

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


We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:

Microscope Systems:
Bruker Corporation, Intelligent Imaging Innovations, Scientifica, Sutter Instrument Company, Thorlabs, Inc.
Equipment: Andor Technology, Bitplane, Coherent, Inc., Conoptics, CrystalLaser, Hamamatsu Photonics, Holoeye, Molecular Devices, Narishige International USA, Nikon Corporation, Photometrics, Thorlabs, Inc., Vidrio Technologies LLC, World Precision Instruments

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): $4,990

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 22 and plan to depart after lunch on August 12.

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: