Chen Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, shares the $300,000 award with Peter Hegemann, PhD, professor of biophysics at Humboldt University of Berlin, and Dieter Oesterhelt, PhD, emeritus group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.Â .Â â€œKarl Deisserothâ€™s astounding imagination has traversed disparate disciplines, including genetics, optics, structural biology and virology to spark the creation of optogenetics,â€ saidÂ Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of theÂ Stanford School of Medicine.â€œIt was clear early on that optogenetics would have a transformative effect on neuroscience,â€ saidÂ Liqun Luo, PhD, a professor of biology at Stanford.Robert Malenka, MD, PhD, the Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and deputy director of theÂ Wu Tsai Neurosciences InstituteÂ at Stanford, in whose laboratory Deisseroth spent a lot of time early in his career, jokingly calls Deisseroth a â€œsurfer dude.â€Â .
His father was a physician and professor, and his mother was a high school chemistry teacher.
It wasnâ€™t until his final year as a medical student that a clinical rotation in psychiatry piqued his interest in that discipline.Â .â€œPsychiatry was full of mystery,â€ Deisseroth said.He took up a Stanford residency in psychiatry, spending long hours in the psychiatric ward â€” and acquiring experiences and insights that served as a basis forÂ Projections, his recently published book about his efforts to understand mental disorders from the perspective of the patient, doctor and scientist.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (who was then chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences), andÂ Scott Delp, PhD, the James H.
Clark Professor in the School of Engineering (who was then chair of bioengineering), helped direct to him.Â ?
In 2005, Deisseroth, now an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of bioengineering, published the first paper inÂ Nature NeuroscienceÂ describing how this initial step worked.
In December 2010, the peer-reviewed journalÂ Nature MethodsÂ named optogenetics the journalâ€™s â€œmethod of the year.â€ That same month,Â ScienceÂ magazine kicked off a roundup of 10 â€œinsights of the decadeâ€ with a nod to Deisserothâ€œThere was an adaption barrier,â€ Deisseroth said
So Deisseroth set up a free workshop two floors above his lab to teach people how to succeed with it.ÂLiving on campus with his wife, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciencesÂ Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, Deisseroth somehow finds time to raise four young kids â€” ages 13, 11, 8 and 5 â€” packing their lunches and getting them to school
He also has a 24-year-old son in medical schoolTo what does Deisseroth himself attribute his successStanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital StanfordStanford scientists, using only direct brain stimulation, reproduced both the brain dynamics and the behavioral response of mice taught to discriminate between two different imagesIn 2005, a Stanford University scientist discovered how to switch brain cells on or off with light pulses by using special proteins from microbes to pass electrical current into neuronsStanford Medicine is closely monitoring the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
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