Optogenetics Pioneer Receives Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis

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For his groundbreaking work with lasers in the development and implementation of optogenetics, Karl Deisseroth will receive the Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis on September 21, 2018 in Ditzingen, Germany.

Karl DeisserothDeisseroth is a psychiatrist and an engineer at the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University.

Seeking to discover the neurological underpinnings of mental illness, Diesseroth developed optogenetic tools that enabled him and other researchers to investigate live mammalian brains in completely new ways.

Optogenetics uses a combination of techniques from optics and genetics to control and monitor the activities of individual cells, typically neurons, in living tissue. The key reagents used in optogenetics are light-sensitive proteins.

The international prize has been awarded biennially by the private foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung since 2006 to a single researcher for a groundbreaking contribution in or using laser technology.

Prize winners receive an award of €50,000.

Published: August 2018
A discipline that combines optics and genetics to enable the use of light to stimulate and control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, which have been genetically modified to respond to light. Only the cells that have been modified to include light-sensitive proteins will be under control of the light. The ability to selectively target cells gives researchers precise control. Using light to control the excitation, inhibition and signaling pathways of specific cells or groups of...
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