Modulation of neuron behavior with infrared light with Alex Walsh

Alex Walsh, National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow
Air Force Research Lab

Event Date
June 22, 2017 11:00am

Short pulses (micro to milli-seconds in duration) of infrared light (1400-2100 nm) have been shown to stimulate and inhibit action potentials in neurons, but the mechanism remains unknown. Direct action potential block by infrared light was observed in primary rat hippocampal neurons for several seconds using optogenetic proteins for non-contact and reliable action potential stimulation and recording. Physical and biological effects of infrared exposure were investigated with membrane fluidity dyes and calcium imaging to test hypothesized mechanisms.

Alex is a former graduate student of Morgridge Institute for Research Investigator Melissa Skala and is now a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Air Force Research Lab in Ohio.