Building and Mining Bran Cell Atlases and Connectomes 

Suzhou, China 
To be announced
Application Deadline: To be announced

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Organized by:

Giorgio Ascoli, George Mason University

Hui Gong, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Tianyi Mao, Vollum Institute/ Orgeon Health Science University

Z.Josh Huang, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Qingming Luo, Hainan University

Partha Mitra, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

An essential step in exploring brain function is to build a cellular resolution structural framework upon which information spanning molecules, cells, circuits and systems can be registered, integrated and mined. Challenges in mesoscale neuroanatomy and connectomics include cell labeling, sub-micron whole brain imaging, atlas registration and reconstruction, big data management and display, and computational analysis. Recent technological advances on multiple fronts are addressing these challenges.

This intensive lecture and laboratory course aims to train a new generation of scientists to be equipped with multidisciplinary knowledge and state-of-the-art tools in structural neurobiology. The primary emphasis of the course will be on cell type specific, single-cell resolution brain-wide light microscopy and associated data analysis and circuit reconstruction in vertebrates. 

Students will learn the principles and practice of:

1) genetic viral labeling of cell types and tissue clearing; 
2) high throughput, high resolution light microscopy (including serial 2-photon tomography, light sheet microscopy, fluorescence micro-sectioning tomography, laser speckle imaging, etc); 
3) image processing, atlas registration, neuron skeletonization and computational analysis using modern machine learning/AI tools 
4) data management, interactive visualization and web dissemination. 

The course will span multiple taxa including rodent, primates and zebrafish. The course will operate in the newly established Suzhou Institute of Brainsmatics and Cold Spring Harbor Asia teaching facility, located by Dushu Lake at the outskirt of the city of Suzhou, which is about one hour from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and two hours from PuDong International Airport.

Applicants should have a strong background in neuroscience or imaging/computation. In their personal statements, applicants should specify: 1) their experience with optical techniques, 2) how they will apply optical methods and mesoscale circuit anatomy in their current projects, 3) their long-term goals in learning more about brain connectomics.

Past lecturers include (Lecturer, Affiliation) :
Kwanghun Chung, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hermann Cuntz, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Hongwei Dong, University of Southern California
Michael Economo, Janelia/Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mike Hawrylycz, Allen Institute
David Kleinfeld, University of California San Diego
Michael Kunst, The Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
Yulong Li, Peking University
Minmin Luo, National Institute of Biological Science
Michael Miller, Johns Hopkins University
Pavel Osten, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Hanchuan Peng, Allen Institute
Marcello Rosa, Monash University
Xiaoqin Wang, Johns Hopkins University
Hongkui Zeng, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Haining Zhong, Vollum Institute

Please note stipends are available to offset tuition costs. No payment is due until the selection decisions are made but any applicant requiring support should request this in writing during the online application. The admissions process is need-blind, your financial situation will not be considered before admission decisions are made.