Karl Deisseroth : Optical Tools For Probing Intact Biological Systems Essay

Karl Deisseroth : Optical Tools For Probing Intact Biological Systems Essay

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Karl Deisseroth: Optical tools for probing intact biological systems
Dr. Deisseroth’s research focuses on the novel use of optogenetics to visualize certain circuits in the brain. His research has also led to the development of a technique whereby in “intact mammalian neural circuitry” he can either “elicit or ameliorate expression of disease symptom-related phenotypes” (Deisseroth 2012). This method allows him to essentially modulate behaviors in living animals. These findings are especially important for the field of psychiatry because Dr. Deisseroth’s techniques can be used to study the pathophysiology, the neural circuitry, and transmission patterns of neurological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and autism spectrum disorder (Deisseroth 2012).
The first paper that I read was called “Potential utility of optogenetics in the study of depression,” which was published in Biological Psychiatry in 2012. The research paper notes that prior to optogenetics the primary ways of learning and treating depression were through lesion studies and high frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS) (Lobo et al. 2012). This paper reports that through optogenetics, they discovered that a “100 Hz pulse with an inter-pulse-interval of a few seconds” in the medial PFC “induced rapid antidepressant-like responses” in their mice models (Lobo et al. 2012). This article is related to Dr. Deisseroth’s research because it shows how the techniques that he has been developing have direct, interdisciplinary applications in the field of psychiatry, allowing other researchers to further understand and find novel patterns in the circuitry of major depressive disorder.
The second paper I read was “Amygdala circuitry mediating reversible and bidirection...


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... it provides the mechanism by which tumor cells can recolonize even in areas where “complete tumor excision” has seemingly occurred (Kim et al. 2009). Dr. Graves’s research shows that radiation can increase “tumor self-seeding,” a phenomenon which this paper both defines and presents evidence of its natural occurrence in the body, even in the absence of radiotherapy as used in Dr. Graves’s studies.

References
Cristofanilli, M. et al. (2004). The New England Journal of Medicine 351, 781-91.
Deisseroth, K. (2012). Biological Psychiatry 71, 1030-32.
Kim, M. et al. (2009). Cell 139, 1315-26.
Lobo, M.K. et al. (2012). Biological Psychiatry 71, 1068-74.
Piochon, C. et al. (2014). Nature Communications 5.
Ritvo, E.R. et al. (1986). The American Journal of Psychiatry 143, 862-6.
Tye, K.M. et al. (2011). Nature 471, 358-62.
Vilalta, M. et al. (2014). Cell Reports 8, 402-9.

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