Academic Appointments

  • Basic Life Science Research Associate, Natural Sciences Cluster

Honors & Awards

  • PhD training fellowship (Forschungskredit), University of Zurich (Jan. 2008)
  • NCCBI - Fellowship in Imaging Technology for Biology and Medicine, ETH and EPFL (Aug. 2008)
  • Post-doctoral fellowship for perspective researchers, Swiss National Fonds (Feb. 2011)
  • Pfizer Research Award, Pfizer (Feb. 2011)

Professional Education

  • Diploma in Physics, University of Heidelberg, Biophysics/ Neuroscience (2006)
  • Intermediate Diploma in Physics, University of Kiel, Physics (2003)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Main interests: Information processing and storage in artificial and bilogical neuronal networks

My primary research focus is directed towards understanding the basis of information processing and memory formation in neuronal networks using experimental aproaches such as in vivo imaging as well as computational approaches including simulations artificial neuronal network classifiers.

Technical skills: Two-photon imaging, miniaturized fluorescence in vivo microscopy, microscopy development, electrophysiology (in vivo and in vitro), neuronal simulations, data anlysis (imaging and ephys), electrical circuit development

Non-technical skills: scientifc writing and editing, organization and management skills, IT competency

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

All Publications

  • Cellular Level Brain Imaging in Behaving Mammals: An Engineering Approach NEURON Hamel, E. J., Grewe, B. F., Parker, J. G., Schnitzer, M. J. 2015; 86 (1): 140-159


    Fluorescence imaging offers expanding capabilities for recording neural dynamics in behaving mammals, including the means to monitor hundreds of cells targeted by genetic type or connectivity, track cells over weeks, densely sample neurons within local microcircuits, study cells too inactive to isolate in extracellular electrical recordings, and visualize activity in dendrites, axons, or dendritic spines. We discuss recent progress and future directions for imaging in behaving mammals from a systems engineering perspective, which seeks holistic consideration of fluorescent indicators, optical instrumentation, and computational analyses. Today, genetically encoded indicators of neural Ca(2+) dynamics are widely used, and those of trans-membrane voltage are rapidly improving. Two complementary imaging paradigms involve conventional microscopes for studying head-restrained animals and head-mounted miniature microscopes for imaging in freely behaving animals. Overall, the field has attained sufficient sophistication that increased cooperation between those designing new indicators, light sources, microscopes, and computational analyses would greatly benefit future progress.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.03.055

    View details for Web of Science ID 000352552900018

    View details for PubMedID 25856491

  • Visualizing mammalian brain area interactions by dual-axis two-photon calcium imaging NATURE NEUROSCIENCE Lecoq, J., Savall, J., Vucinic, D., Grewe, B. F., Kim, H., Li, T. Z., Kitch, L. J., Schnitzer, M. J. 2014; 17 (12): 1825-1829

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3867

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345484000032

  • Visualizing mammalian brain area interactions by dual-axis two-photon calcium imaging. Nature neuroscience Lecoq, J., Savall, J., Vucinic, D., Grewe, B. F., Kim, H., Li, J. Z., Kitch, L. J., Schnitzer, M. J. 2014; 17 (12): 1825-1829


    Fluorescence Ca(2+) imaging enables large-scale recordings of neural activity, but collective dynamics across mammalian brain regions are generally inaccessible within single fields of view. Here we introduce a two-photon microscope possessing two articulated arms that can simultaneously image two brain areas (∼0.38 mm(2) each), either nearby or distal, using microendoscopes. Concurrent Ca(2+) imaging of ∼100-300 neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) and lateromedial (LM) visual area in behaving mice revealed that the variability in LM neurons' visual responses was strongly dependent on that in V1, suggesting that fluctuations in sensory responses propagate through extended cortical networks.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nn.3867

    View details for PubMedID 25402858

  • Two-photon optogenetic toolbox for fast inhibition, excitation and bistable modulation NATURE METHODS Prakash, R., Yizhar, O., Grewe, B., Ramakrishnan, C., Wang, N., Goshen, I., Packer, A. M., Peterka, D. S., Yuste, R., Schnitzer, M. J., Deisseroth, K. 2012; 9 (12): 1171-U132


    Optogenetics with microbial opsin genes has enabled high-speed control of genetically specified cell populations in intact tissue. However, it remains a challenge to independently control subsets of cells within the genetically targeted population. Although spatially precise excitation of target molecules can be achieved using two-photon laser-scanning microscopy (TPLSM) hardware, the integration of two-photon excitation with optogenetics has thus far required specialized equipment or scanning and has not yet been widely adopted. Here we take a complementary approach, developing opsins with custom kinetic, expression and spectral properties uniquely suited to scan times typical of the raster approach that is ubiquitous in TPLSMlaboratories. We use a range of culture, slice and mammalian in vivo preparations to demonstrate the versatility of this toolbox, and we quantitatively map parameter space for fast excitation, inhibition and bistable control. Together these advances may help enable broad adoption of integrated optogenetic and TPLSMtechnologies across experimental fields and systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/NMETH.2215

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312093500018

    View details for PubMedID 23169303