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MSc Exit Seminar for Isabelle Tate (Thiele Lab)

November 1, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Validation of a Novel Optogenetic Drug Screening Platform for the Discovery of Neuroactive Compounds


Zebrafish provide a powerful system for behavior-based drug discovery aimed at treating disorders of the nervous system. However, current approaches cannot target screening for the identification of drugs that alter specific neuronal cell-types. The incorporation of optogenetics, a technique for the modulation of neural activity using light, with drug screening has the potential to provide targeted screening. Here, we present research aimed at validating this novel screening approach using transgenic zebrafish that express the excitatory optogenetic protein channelrhodopsin-2 in glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. Using a collection of compounds with known central nervous system targets, we found that optogenetics can enable targeted screening, but in unpredicted ways. We also discovered that optogenetics can amplify the effects of drugs, providing an advantage when screening for new compounds. Our results support further investigation of this drug screening strategy using more compounds with known targets as well as transgenic lines for the optogenetic stimulation of additional cell-types.


Join Zoom Meeting

Monday, November 1st, 2021 at 1:00 pm


Meeting ID: 340 037 1469

Host: Tod Thiele (tod.thiele@utoronto.ca)


November 1, 2021
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm