Lab Protocols

Molecular techniques 

We performed RNA sequencing of single cells and nuclei (scRNA-seq and snRNA-seq) as well as high-resolution in situ hybridization using mouse brains to clarify neuronal-subtype-specific transcriptional regulation after antidepressant treatment or optogenetics manipulations. In addition, we also perform several classical biochemical and immunoassays, such as immunostaining, ELISA, western blotting, and qPCR. We also apply protein complementation and proximity ligation assays to investigate protein: protein interactions; for protein: drug interaction, we employ binding of labeled compounds and microscale thermophoresis.

Microscopy  

To detect the presence of specific biomolecules (antigens) within the brain we utilize Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. The stained brain slices can be imaged with a wide variety of imaging techniques. Some of the imaging techniques we use in our lab include confocal microscopy, light-sheet microscopy, and multi-photon microscopy.

Super-Resolution microscopy  

Traditional microscopy techniques have resolution limitations due to light diffraction. As a result, imaging of small substructures and neuronal-compartments (axons, presynaptic active zones, postsynaptic densities, and dendritic spines) is not feasible. We utilize super-resolution microscopy techniques in our lab to characterize these sub-cellular components with an unprecedented level of detail. 

Behavioral procedures  

Behavioral neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system guides behavior. In our lab, we use a variety of behavioral tasks and tests to determine the effect of different interventions (pharmaceutical, environmental, or optogenetic) on behavior and cognition. 

Optogenetic modulation  

 Optogenetic is a technique that uses a combination of light and genetic engineering to control the activity of a cell. In our lab, we use a variety of optogenetic experiments to investigate the precise mechanisms of undelaying behaviors. One of our main projects involves the development of an optogenetic tool to selectively stimulate plasticity in a precise brain structure and timing.