Insights into Synaptic Plasticity using STED Microscopy
12:00 EST / 17:00 GMT / 18:00 CET
Joachim Fischer, Ph.D.
Product Manager, Abberior Instruments
Dion Dickman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurobiology, University of Southern California
In the first half of this webinar, Joachim Fischer, PhD, Product Manager at Abberior will introduce the theory of STED and go over its implementation in the shoebox-sized STEDYCON system. The STEDYCON is a powerful multicolor STED and confocal microscope designed for highest resolution, highly reliable operation and ease of use. It can upgrade existing widefield microscopes to STED microscopes in minutes and provides users with resolution capabilities down to 30nm. In this talk, the optical design of the STEDYCON as well as its imaging capabilities will be highlighted.
In the second half, Dion Dickman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neurobiology at USC, will present new insights into synaptic organization and plasticity using STED microscopy. Synapses have the remarkable ability to adaptively modulate synaptic strength in response to perturbations that would otherwise destabilize neurotransmission, referred to as homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Homeostatic signaling systems have emerged as robust and potent regulators of neural activity, enabling stable synaptic function while permitting the flexibility necessary for learning and memory, yet the molecules and mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Dr. Dickman will first discuss the Drosophila neuromuscular junction as a powerful model system to illuminate fundamental principles of structural and functional synaptic organization and plasticity. He will then present new findings using STED microscopy that reveal active zones, the sites of neurotransmitter secretion at presynaptic terminals, to be substrates for homeostatic modulation.