Principal Investigator:Vincent Pieribone, PhD, Director
Director and Fellow
The John B. Pierce Laboratory
Research Associate, The American Museum of Natural History
Scientific Board of Directors, Mystic Aquarium and Center for Exploration
The brain uses complex and highly parallel computational paradigms to process sensory information, create and retrieve memories, and execute motor actions. The unit of this computing network is the neuron and its attendant synaptic connections. The structure and physiology of the brain makes direct study of these structures in the living organisms very difficult – neurons and synapses are tiny, very delicate, and tightly packed. Our laboratory is dedicated to the study of how neuronal circuits create behavior. However, to truly understand how the brain functions it will be necessary to develop new methods that allow the study of the functioning brain in a less invasive more informative way.
My laboratory develops and uses novel imaging techniques to study neuronal electrophysiology. We are developing genetically-encoded fluorescent probes of membrane potential. These probes are introduced into neurons as DNA constructs which will make the neuron fluorescent. This fluorescence is then modulated by the electrical activity of the neuron. We can use high speed imaging to simultaneously monitor the activity of large numbers of neurons which were previously inaccesible.
Development of genetically-encoded fluorescent probes of membrane potential – this project involves the screening of DNA constructs encoding fusions of voltage sensing protein domains with fluorescent reporters. Testing of constructs is performed in cell lines and hippocampal neurons.
Development of miniature fluorescence microscope systems for imaging fluorescent probes in vivo in rodents – we are designing a complete head-mountable, fast imaging system to image voltages signals in behaving rodents.
Identification of fluorescent proteins from the marine environment – we are searching the marine environment (coral reefs) for novel fluorescent organisms as a means of finding superior fluorescent reports for use in the laboratory.
The following links are site related to the research in the laboratory:
Top 20 PLOS ONE Articles Based on Article-Level Metrics for 2014
We made #20! Check it out: Glowing gobies and friends
Research gate site for Vincent Pieribone
Our website describing the development of genetically-encoded voltage sensors
General information on our search for biofluorescent and bioluminescent animals
Tang, W., Osman, A., Kim, D., Goldstein, B., Huang, C., Martini, B., Pieribone, V.A., and Eugenio Culurciello, E., (2012) Continuous Time Level Crossing Sampling ADC for Bio-potential Recording Systems IEEE Transactions (In press).
Osman, A., Park, J. H., Dickensheets, D., Platisa, J., Culurciello, E. and Pieribone, V. A. (2012) Design Constraints for Mobile, High-Speed Fluorescence Brain Imaging in Awake Animals. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems 6:446-453.
Barnett, L.*, Platisa, J.*, Popovic, M., Pieribone, V.A., and Hughes, T. (2012) A fluorescent, optogenetic voltage sensor capable of resolving action potentials. PloS ONE 7(9):e43454. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043454. Epub 2012 *Authors contributed equally to this publication
Jin, L.*, Han, Z.*, Platisa, J., Wooltorton, J., Cohen, L., and Pieribone, V.A. (2012) Single action potentials and subthreshold electrical events visualized in neurons using a fluorescent protein voltage sensor. Neuron 75:779-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.040..*Authors contributed equally to this publication
Baker, B. J., Jin, L., Han, Z., Cohen, L.B., Popovic, M., Platisa, J., and Pieribone, V. A. (2012) Genetically encoded fluorescent voltage sensors using the voltage-sensing domain of Nematostella and Danio phosphatases exhibit fast kinetics. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 208:190-6.
Davis D.J., Sachdev R., and Pieribone V. A. (2011) Effect of high velocity, large amplitude stimuli on the spread of depolarization of S1 “barrel” cortex. Somatosensory and Motor Research 28: 73-85.
Osman, A., Park, J.H. ; Dickensheets, D., Platisa, J., Culurciello, E., and Pieribone, V.A. A head-mountable microscope for high-speed fluorescence brain imaging. Biomedical Circuits and Systems (BioCAS), 2011 IEEE, pp 114-116.
Park, J. H., Platisa, J., Verhagen, J. V., Gautam, S. H., Osman, A., Kim, D., Pieribone, V. A., Culurciello, E. (2011). Head-mountable high speed camera for optical neural recording. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 201:290-295.
Jin, L., Baker, B., Mealer, R., Cohen, L., Pieribone, V. A., Pralle, A. and Hughes, T. (2011) Random insertion of split-cans of the fluorescent protein venus into Shaker channels yields voltage sensitive probes with improved membrane localization in mammalian cells. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 199 (1)1-9.
Pieribone, V. and Gruber D. F. (2006) “Aglow in the dark: the revolutionary science of biofluorescence.” Harvard University Press/ Belknap Press, pp 270.
Associate Research Scientist
Associate Research Scientist
Research Assistant II