“Imaging the brain at high spatiotemporal resolution”

Na Ji

(University of California at Berkeley)

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Date: May 3, 2023


Neuroscience aims to understand the brain, an organ that distinguishes humans as a species, defines us as individuals, and provides the intellectual power with which we explore the universe. Composed of electrically excitable cells called neurons, the brain continuously receives and analyzes information, makes decisions and controls actions. Similar to systems studied in physics, where many properties emerge from the interactions of their components, the functions of the brain arise from the interactions of neurons. The fundamental computational units of the brain, neurons communicate with one another electrochemically via submicron structures called synapses. Synapsing onto one another, neurons form circuits and networks, sometimes spanning centimeters in dimension and specializing in different mental functions. To understand the brain mechanistically, we need methods that can monitor the physiological processes of single synapses as well as the activities of a large number of networked neurons. Using concepts developed in astronomy and optics, my laboratory develops optical microscopy methods for imaging the brain at higher resolution, greater depth, and faster time scales. In this talk, I will outline our past and ongoing research efforts.


Further Information:

Na Ji received her B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science & Technology of China in 2000. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Berkeley in 2005. She started working as a postdoctoral fellow at Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2006, before becoming a Group Leader there in 2011. She returned to Berkeley and joined the Physics and Molecular & Cell Biology Departments in 2016. She become a full-time faculty in summer 2017.


Created: Friday, May 5th, 2023