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Neural Calcium Imaging in Invertebrates Beyond Drosophila: A “debugging” Research Bootcamp

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Neural Calcium Imaging in Invertebrates Beyond Drosophila: A “debugging” Research Bootcamp

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August 16 - 29, 2020
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Organized by Vivek Jayaraman and Luke Lavis, this 2-week bootcamp will provide an opportunity for biologists to test and deploy cutting-edge small-molecule fluorescent probes in their invertebrate of choice.

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This is not a traditional laboratory course, but an exploratory research endeavor with the potential to push the frontier of functional imaging in the brains of invertebrates that presently lack the genetic toolkit of Drosophila melanogaster. The overall goal is to develop robust protocols for loading chemical indicators in diverse invertebrates to enable functional imaging in vivo. It will also serve as an opportunity for experimentalists from disparate backgrounds and neurobiology subfields to come together for collaboration and peer-to-peer mentoring.

We encourage applications from graduate students, postdocs, and PIs who are hands-on experimentalists working on invertebrate neuroscience, and are especially interested in those with some experience in electrophysiology and/or imaging in the brains of their proposed biological system. The agenda will include hands-on lab time with a pipeline of first-pass dyes and formulations, followed by validation imaging experiments to assess loading and calcium responses. Organisms where these initial conditions fail will undergo iterative testing to explore other conditions. Time at the bench will be interspersed with lectures on chemical probes, functional imaging, and data analysis, and plenary sessions from selected participants.

To maintain the small group atmosphere, space in the workshop is limited, and participants are expected to stay for the duration. We request that applications be limited to two members per lab. Due to U.S. and state restrictions, it is possible that we may not be able to accommodate all invertebrate organisms. We encourage applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.

Janelia will cover the cost of accommodation and meals. Travel expenses are not covered, but support is available for those in need.


Vivek JayaramanJanelia Research Campus/HHMI
Luke Lavis,  Janelia Research Campus/HHMI

Teaching Assistants

Abel Corver, Johns Hopkins University
Romain FranconvilleJanelia Research Campus/HHMI
Martina Held, University of Marburg
Matthew Isaacson, Cornell University
Igor Siwanowicz, Janelia Research Campus/HHMI

Application Instructions

To be considered, applicants must APPLY online and provide:

  1. Short Research Statement describing your biological problem along with any experimental experience relevant to imaging in your system
  2. Description of the invertebrate organism (name and origin), housing and containment details, and the name of a U.S.-based seller of the animal, if applicable
  3. Current CV

Application Deadline: March 5, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST)