Public Funding Sources

National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIMH

nih

National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIMH

Funded Project: A platform for high-throughput production of targeting systems for cell-type-specific transgene expression in wild-type animals
PI: Ian Wickersham | Co-I: Robert Desimone
Grant details: 1U01MH109129 | Sep 9, 2016 – May 31, 2019

We will use high throughput techniques to produce a set of viral vectors that will allow selective expression of transgenes in specific populations of neurons in the brain. Along with many other applications, this will allow optogenetic control, recording, and genomic modification of targeted neuronal populations without the need for production of transgenic or knock-out lines. This will provide neuroscience with a versatile and powerful set of tools that will make possible a broad set of new experimental designs that are likely to yield major (more…)

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National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIA

nih

National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIA

Funded Project: Anterograde monosynaptic tracing
PI: Ian Wickersham | Co-Is: Guoping Feng, Lynn Enquist
Grant details: 1U01MH109129 | Sep 23, 2015 – Jun 30, 2018

Monosynaptic tracing using rabies virus has become a standard component of the systems neuroscience toolkit, allowing identification and manipulation of neurons directly presynaptic to any targeted neuronal population in the brain. However, while this retrograde monosynaptic tracing system is now well established, an anterograde counterpart, which would allow identification and manipulation of neurons directly postsynaptic to a target cell group, has never been constructed. Here we propose to meet this important outstanding need, with a multipronged (more…)

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National Science Foundation (NSF)

nsf

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Funded Project: Cell-type-specific optogenetics in wild-type animals
PI: Ian Wickersham | Co-Is: Robert Desimone, Li-Huei Tsai, Kay Tye
Grant details: I0S-1451202 | Oct 01, 2014 – Aug 31, 2016

Over the last decade, sophisticated genetic tools have been developed that allow control and monitoring of neurons’ electrical activity using light alone. “Optogenetics”, as this area of technology has become known, has revolutionized most areas of neuroscience by allowing specific components of complex neural systems to be individually controlled or monitored. Optogenetics is only useful, however, if the optogenetic molecules can be specifically expressed in functionally meaningful groups of neurons, instead of broadly in all the diverse neuron types (more…)

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National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIMH

nih

National Institutes Health (NIH), NIMH

Funded project: Cortical circuits and information flow during memory-guided perceptual decisions
PI: Mriganka Sur | Co-Is: Ian Wickersham, Kwanghun Chung, Emery Brown
Grant details: 5U01NS090473 | Sep 30, 2014 – Jul 31, 2017

Perceptual decision-making involves multiple cognitive components and diverse brain regions. To perform a perceptual decision, an individual must process an incoming sensory percept, retain this information in short- term memory, and choose an appropriate motor action. Research using delayed-response tasks in nonhuman primates has revealed that sensory and choice information is distributed across a hierarchy of cortical areas, with task-relevant information flowing from sensory to association to motor regions. However, a mechanistic understanding of how (more…)

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National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIMH, NEI

nih

National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIMH, NEI

Funded Project: Novel technologies for nontoxic transsynaptic tracing
PI: Ian Wickersham | Co-Is: Robert Desimone, Li-Huei Tsai, Kay Tye
Grant details: 5U01MH106018 | Sep 26, 2014 – Jun 30, 2017

This project consists of engineering a system for causing expression of optogenetic molecules selectively within targeted neuron populations in wild-type (i.e., not genetically modified) animals of any species. The result will be a set of reagents that will be made freely available to the scientific community through nonprofit repositories and service centers. This new set of tools will enable the study of neural circuitry with greater resolution, power, and throughput than is currently possible, allowing major advances in understanding the organization of (more…)

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Private Funding Sources

Simons Center for the Social Brain

simons-center

Simons Center for the Social Brain

Funded Project: Multimodal characterization of oxytocin input circuitry
PI: Gloria Choi | Co-I: Ian Wickersham
Grant details: Jun 01, 2015 – May 30, 2016

Converging evidence from many laboratories suggests that the projections from the hypothalamus that release the peptide oxytocin in many regions throughout the brain play a central role in social perception, cognition, and behavior. Despite this, the basic anatomical organization of this circuitry, as well as the roles of its components in neural mechanisms of social interaction, are still mostly unexplored. We will use cutting-edge genetic techniques, both those that are already established and some that are actively being developed in our laboratories (more…)

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Allen Institute for Brain Science

allen-institute

Allen Institute for Brain Science

Funded Project: Design and production of rabies viral vectors for high-throughput neuroscience
PI: Ian Wickersham
Grant details: Dec 15, 2014 – Dec 14, 2015

The goal of this project is to facilitate large-scale neuroscientific projects by designing and producing rabies viral vectors for retrograde transduction and monosynaptic tracing applications. (more…)

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Simons Center for the Social Brain

simons-center

Simons Center for the Social Brain

Funded Project: Determining the structure and function of oxytocin circuitry
PI: Gloria Choi | Co-I: Ian Wickersham
Grant details: Dec 01, 2013 – Nov 30, 2014

A major part of animals’ sensory and cognitive abilities is used to recognize and behave appropriately with respect to socially relevant information, and the dysfunction of the “social brain” is associated with psychiatric illnesses such as autism spectrum disorders. A number of studies have established oxytocin, a peptide released by neurons in the hypothalamus, as playing a key role in multiple aspects of social cognition, but the circuitry and mechanisms of its projections and pathways remain poorly understood. (more…)

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