Welcome to the Boston University Neurophotonics Center
Advances in optical methods are driving a revolution in the neurosciences. Optical methods for imaging and manipulation of brain structure and function span from visualization of intracellular organelles and protein assemblies to noninvasive macroscopic investigation of cortical activity in human subjects. The methods and applications are growing rapidly and are driving profound advances in understanding brain phenomena such as electrical excitability, neuroglial partnership, neurovascular signaling, metabolic activity, and hemodynamics. At the interface of the neurosciences and photonics, these neurophotonic advances are not only impacting our basic understanding of how the brain works in health, but will also have profound impact on our understanding of brain disease and injury and guide new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
The mission of the BU Neurophotonics Center is to build and support an interdisciplinary community that can develop and broadly deploy impactful photonics technologies in the neurosciences to advance our understanding of how the brain works in health and in disease.
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Welcome to the Boston University Neurophotonics Center. We have just completed our inaugural academic year, 2017-2018. This was an action-packed time, to say the least. While the Center started in July of 2017 as a construction site, it finished the academic year with 7 optical bays, a surgical suite, mechanical and electrical shops, and human subject testing space actively used by 34 faculty of the Neurophotonics Center and the members of their labs. The main Center laboratory space is situated in the Life Science and Engineering Building at 24 Cummington Mall with additional activities in the Cognitive Neuroimaging Center in the Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering at 610 Commonwealth Ave, amongst the neuroscience and photonics faculty of the Boston University Charles River Campus.
An overwhelming strength of the Center is the community of students, fellows, staff, and faculty who all actively contribute to realizing the Center’s mission: to build and support an interdisciplinary community that can develop and broadly deploy impactful photonics technologies in the neurosciences to advance our understanding of how the brain works in health and in disease. Fortuitously, the launch of the Neurophotonics Center coincided with a $3M Neurophotonics NSF Research Training Grant to foster growth of the community and promote graduate traineeships. In its first year, this community has identified and launched 11 projects to further the Center’s mission. The projects include investigating a novel laser for 3-photon microscopy for imaging deeper into the brain, supporting the advancement of wearable micro- and meso-scopes to image neural activity in freely moving animals, increasing the volumetric imaging rate of confocal microscopy to image voltage indicators with millisecond temporal resolution, and developing wearable functional near infrared spectroscopy for measuring brain activity in freely behaving humans. These projects— just a few of the many under way— are detailed in the 2018 Annual Report which you can view online here or download the pdf here.
It is a great pleasure working with the phenomenal group of faculty, students, fellows, and staff at Boston University. We look forward to realizing the many goals set in Year 1, and to the continued growth of Center activities in the coming years. Thank you for your interest in our activities. I invite you to read further in the 2018 Annual Report (online,??pdf) and at our website bu.edu/neurophotonics, and look forward to meeting you at one of our Center events.
Life Science and Engineering Building
24 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering
610 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
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