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Accelerate Workshop for DECODE Grant Awardees

By Dr. Vania Cao
May 6th, 2015

Inscopix HQ, Palo Alto CA

As a neuroscience company deeply entrenched in the pursuit of next generation neuroscience, we launched the DECODE (Deciphering the Neural Circuit Basis of Disease) Grant Program to support the BRAIN Initiative last summer, awarding 13 principal investigators with 2 million dollars of our cutting edge neuroimaging technology (nVista), software, scientific support, and training. Research projects being undertaken through the DECODE Program focus on obtaining fundamental circuit neuroscience data in order to advance our collective understanding of diseases ranging from obesity to PTSD.

ws1.pngObtaining the proper scientific and technical knowledge to hit the ground running can be a silent but very real hurdle for the undertaking of any scientific project. Due to the trans-disciplinary nature of modern neuroscience, starting a new experiment can require a very large commitment of time and energy for the scientists at the bench. Figuring out the right reagents, protocols and tools, and acquiring specific hands-on skills to ensure good data collection, experimental progression and analysis of results can be difficult and frustrating without guidance and resources. Scientists are often left to a slow and inefficient trial and error system, or to seek help from other scientists in an attempt to reproduce or learn techniques and methods.

To address this issue, our Accelerate Workshops walk scientists through procedures, protocols and best practices for using the nVista system to collect calcium imaging data, manage their behavior paradigms and process their data. Accelerate Workshops are hosted by Inscopix team members at Inscopix HQ and Lab at the NASA Ames research campus.

ws2.pngDECODE grant winners and lab representatives attended a special DECODE Accelerate Workshop held on March 30-31st. Grad students, postdocs and PIs attended to get trained on all aspects of using the nVista system, from operating the hardware and software, to conducting surgeries, to using the data analysis software MosaicTM.

The two-day workshop featured lectures from Inscopix team members, plenty of personalized question and answer time, as well as a hands-on data analysis walkthrough. A visit to our lab space included live demonstrations of various surgical techniques and awake behaving calcium imaging, demonstrating the use of our new prism probes for multilayer imaging in the neocortex.

Accelerating the pace of scientific research for DECODE labs, as well as other members of the Inscopix community, is our way of enabling cutting edge studies and exciting data, redefining what it means to be a leader in the neurotechnology space. We will continue hosting Accelerate Workshops to help scientists succeed, and look forward to seeing what new insights the DECODE grant winners will bring to the neuroscience community as they begin their studies!

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