Understanding how brain computations mediate behaviors requires new tools and apporaches that allow neuroscientists to seamless traverse multiple spatial and temporal scales. Our laboratory harnesses our expertise in robotics, precision engineering and in vivo neuroscience to develop scalable, multi-modal, multi-dimensional tools for cellular resolution interrogation of the intact brain. Applications of such tools will range from basic scientific studies of the simple intact cellular networks, drug discovery, as well as enabling novel studies in the clinic.
Freeman Dyson when talking about George Green’s (of the Green’s function fame) contribution to quantum electrodynamics (George Green and Physics, Physics World 1993) noted the importance of tool development for catalyzing scientific discoveries.
Research in neuroscience, is at a particularly exciting juncture right now with an explosion of tools that are enabling scientists to interface and manipulate the brain with unprecedented precision and control. Yet, far more work needs to be done on this front to obtain a ground truth understanding of how the brain works. We will strive to harness our engineering expertise to develop technologies that provide new capabilities for interfacing and understanding the living brains.
These tools will also need to be broadly disseminated for maximal impact. Along with our collaborators we will deploy these tools for novel scientific studies, freely and openly disseminate them via resources hosted on the website for the broader community, and when appropriate explore commercialization to provide turnkey solutions to a wide user (e.g., http://www.neuromaticdevices.com).
As a lab working in a fast moving field such as neuroengineering, focus areas will be dynamic. Initial directions will be on (a) Developing technologies to automate the in vivo neuroscience pipeline (b) inventing high-density, high resolution neural interfacing probes and (c) developing technologies for studying developing brains.