FIP Seminar Series - Dr. Spencer Smith "Panoramic views of the brain: next generation two-photon calcium imaging"

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Wed, 10/12/2016 - 12:00 to 13:00


Dr. Spencer Smith

Dr. Spencer Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North CarolinaTwo-photon calcium imaging can be used to measure neuronal activity with subcellular resolution deep in scattering tissue, such as the mammalian brain. However, the approach has been limited to fields-of-view < 1 mm due to the constraints of commercially available optics. Mammalian neural circuitry extends past this length scale, and thus ongoing neuronal activity has only been viewed in one small portion of the brain at a time. To overcome this limitation, we are developing completely custom optical systems, including time multiplexed, flexibly positionable, multi-beam scan engines. This technology is revealing neuronal activity over multiple scales, with simultaneous imaging of multiple brain areas.Spencer L. Smith (B.S., physics and mathematics, U. Iowa; Ph.D, neuroscience and neuroengineering, UCLA; postdocs at UCLA and University College London). Since 2011, he has been an assistant professor at UNC. Smith's research uses state-of-the-art imaging, electrophysiology, and quantitative behavior to examine neuronal activity dynamics that encode stimuli and guide behavior at the circuit, cellular, and subcellular levels in vivo. His lab ( has developed novel imaging instrumentation to measure neuronal activity across multiple brain areas simultaneously with single neuron resolution. McKnight Technological Innovation Award (2015).