Karl Deisseroth on optogenetics, CLARITY, photonics, and psychiatry

In this interview, Karl Deisseroth credits the timely maturity of several photonics technologies, including LEDs, laser diodes, and two-photon microscopy, and their convergence with neuroscience to birth the field of optogenetics
12 November 2021

Yeka Aponte is a principal investigator at the NIH and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins Neuroscience. In this video, she interviews her mentor and colleague, Karl Deisseroth, research scientist and psychiatrist at Stanford School of Medicine, about his pioneering work in optogenetics and the development of a tissue-clearing technique called CLARITY.

Deisseroth was awarded the 2021 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, along with Peter Hegeman (Humboldt University of Berlin) and Dieter Oesterhelt (Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry) for "their discovery of light-sensitive microbial proteins that can activate or silence individual brain cells and for their use in developing optogenetics—a revolutionary technique for neuroscience."

For the full-length interview, which moves beyond neuroscience and photonics into the philosophy of fly fishing, the ongoing stigma of mental illness, the importance of science communication, and the incredible balancing act of research, medical practice, and an active family life, read the transcript or watch the video in the open-access journal Neurophotonics.

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