Year 4

We have made extensive progress in developing optogenetic tools that can be used for stem cell biology. Optogenetics is a method for using light to control well-defined events within specified cells, even within systems as complex as intact behaving mammals. Broadly our project has included both using optogenetics to control the differentation of stem cells, and for controlling stem cells, their progeny, or surrounding cells in the living mammal to assess and guide function. Over the recent funded period we are pleased to report that we finally achieved the first multiple-color excitation (two separate channels of control) in mammalian brains, which will have far-reaching impact on the study of interactions between stem cells and their environment, as well as on technology used for maintaining, expanding, controlling, and studying these powerful biological tools.