The Cell Press - TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series 2016

Featured Speaker: Professor Karl Deisseroth - "Illuminating the Brain"

Lecture Schedule

Date, Time, and Venue: Introduction by:
Bengaluru:January 18, 2016. 4.30 p.m.JN Tata Auditorium (IISc.) Professor P BalaramFormer Director, Indian Institute of Science
Chennai:January 20, 2016. 6.00 p.m. Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao (Lady Andal) Auditorium, Chetpet N RamChairman & Publisher, The Hindu Group of Publications
New Delhi:January 22, 2016. 4.30 p.m.Jawaharlal Auditorium, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Professor K VijayRaghavanSecretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India

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Neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth to tour India in January for Cell Press-TNQ Distinguished Lectureship Series

Stanford University neuroscientist and psychiatrist Karl Deisseroth, who developed methods that have revolutionized our ability to visualize and manipulate brain circuits, will be giving lectures in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Delhi in January 2016. He is the Featured Speaker of the Sixth Annual Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series, aimed at bringing internationally renowned scientists to the Indian scientific community. These lectures are free and open to all who are interested.

Deisseroth pioneered a groundbreaking technique known as optogenetics -- in which neurons in the brain are genetically engineered to express a light-sensitive protein that can change their electric properties. Light can then be used to switch neurons on or off in animals, allowing the mapping of neuronal networks that regulate behaviour and that are often disrupted in disorders such as autism or schizophrenia. Since its introduction to the research community in 2005, optogenetics has been used by thousands of labs around the world to understand the neural basis of behaviour.

More recently, Deisseroth developed another important tool that allows high-resolution visualization of brain circuits. Known as CLARITY (Clear Lipid-exchanged Anatomically Rigid Imaging / Immunostaining-compatible Tissue hYdrogel), the technique makes tissues transparent but leaves the cells and their connections intact. This allows an unprecedented view into the complex circuits that make up the brain.

Karl Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He graduated summa cum laude in the biochemical sciences from Harvard University and went on to complete his MD and PhD in neurosciences from Stanford University. On completion of his medical internship and psychiatry residency at Stanford Medical School, he started his career as a researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford Medical School. He is a practising physician at the Stanford Hospital and Clinics and a foreign adjunct professor at Sweden's Karolinska Medical Institute.

Deisseroth has led his laboratory at Stanford University since 2004 and has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 2014. From 2009-2014 he was an HHMI early Career Scientist.

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Awards and Honours

  • 2005NIH Director's Pioneer Award
  • 2007McKnight Scholar Award
  • 2008Lecturer, World Economic Forum
  • 2010HFSP Nakasone Award
  • 2010Member, Institute of Medicine (IOM)
  • 2011W. Alden Spencer Award, Columbia University
  • 2012Member, National Academy of Sciences (US)
  • 2013Richard Lounsbery Award from the US National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Sciences
  • 2013The Brain Prize, Lundbeck Foundation
  • 2013Dickson Prize in Science
  • 2014Keio Medical Science Prize
  • 2015Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2015Dickson Prize in Medicine
  • 2016Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

The Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series

The Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series is co-sponsored by Cell Press and TNQ. Planned as an annual event, the lectures are aimed at bringing internationally renowned scientists face to face with the Indian scientific community. They are held in Bengaluru, Chennai, and New Delhi each year.

The inaugural speaker of the lecture series was David Baltimore, currently the President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech. In 1975, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Howard Temin and Renato Dulbecco.

The second speaker was Elizabeth Blackburn, the Australia-born, American biological researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009, sharing it with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak.

The third speaker was Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese physician and celebrated adult stem cell researcher. In 2012 he and John Gurdon were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells. In 2013 he was awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work.

The fourth speaker was Huda Y. Zoghbi, the Lebanese-born physician and medical researcher. She is a professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and the Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital.

The fifth speaker was Eric S. Lander, a mathematician turned biologist turned geneticist, who is President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He serves as Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

The sixth speaker was Professor Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University neuroscientist and psychiatrist, who developed methods that have revolutionised our ability to visualise and manipulate brain circuits.

The seventh speaker was Professor Mary-Claire King, an American human geneticist and professor at the University of Washington. She is known for her accomplishments in identifying breast cancer genes, demonstrating that humans and chimpanzees are 99% genetically identical, and applying genomic sequencing to identify victims of human rights abuses.

The eighth speaker will be Dr David J. Anderson - Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Leadership Chair, and Director of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology - Caltech in Pasadena. He is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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