Optogenetic Technologies and Applications

December 8-10, 2019
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The Optogenetic Technologies and Applications Conference will touch upon a broad range of topics including applications in neurobiology, biochemical, and biomedical research.

Abstract Deadline: November 15, 2019

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Conference Flyer

NSF’s support may be available to students/post docs who submit an abstract.Women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.



Keynote Speakers

Invited Speakers

Session Topics

  1. Advances in Optogenetic Technologies
    1. Novel Optogenetic Modalities
    2. Optogenetic Tools for Animal Cells
    3. Optogenetic Tools for Microbial and Plant Cells
    4. Materials and Devices for Optogenetic Applications
  2. Optogenetics in Biomedicine
    1. Optogenetics in Neurological Disorders
    2. Optogenetics in Cardiovascular Disorders
    3. Optogenetic Drug Delivery
    4. Optogenetics in Other Biomedical Applications
  3. Optogenetics in Biotechnology
    1. ​Optogenetics in Microbial Technologies

    2. Optogenetics in Plant Engineering

Conference Chairs: 

Organizing Committee:


Featured Speakers

Edward Boyden

Ed Boyden is Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT, associate professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT's Media Lab and McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and was recently selected to be an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2018). He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems such as the brain, and applies them systematically to reveal ground truth principles of biological function as well as to repair these systems. These technologies include expansion...Read more

Tobias Bruegmann

Prof. Tobias Bruegmann is Juniorprofessor for physiology and pathophysiology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University Medical Center Göttingen since the beginning of 2019. He graduated in medicine in Bonn (2012) and received his MD in 2013 for establishing optogenetic stimulation of the heart and the PhD in 2019. Ever since, he focused his work on applying this new method to address new questions in cardiac electrophysiology, vegetative physiology and to explore new treatment options such as optogenetic termination of cardiac arrhythmia or laryngeal pacemaking. In...Read more

Adam Cohen

Adam Cohen works at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology.  His lab develops new physical tools to study molecules and cells.  The Cohen Lab developed fluorescent voltage-indicating proteins which enable optical mapping of neural activity.  These tools have opened the door to all-optical electrophysiology and to large-scale mapping of brain activity. His lab has also studied fundamental aspects of chiral light-matter interactions, predicting theoretically and then demonstrating experimentally the existence of “superchiral” light.  Cohen holds PhD degrees from...Read more

Emilia Entcheva

Dr. Emilia Entcheva’s laboratory (the Cardiac Optogenetics & Optical Imaging Laboratory) combines biophotonics tools with human stem-cell-derived cardiomyocyte technology and gene editing approaches to aid the advancement of personalized medicine.

The lab’s work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For example, they recently received a $2 million collaborative research award from the NSF’s Emergent Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program to develop opto-epigenetic control tools for human heart cells, with MGH/Harvard,...Read more

Dr. Peter Hegemann

Peter Hegemann is a Hertie professor for neuroscience and head of Experimental Biophysics at Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin. Hegemanns research focused almost entirely on the characterization of natural sensory photoreceptors. Hegemann has characterized behavioral and photoelectric responses of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas, a work that cumulated in the claim that the photoreceptors for these responses a rhodopsins that unify the sensor and ion channel in one protein. He has finally proven this concept by identifying the light gated channel channelrhodopsin, and its functionality in...Read more

Robert W. Gereau IV

The Gereau laboratory is interested in determining the cellular, circuit and molecular changes that underlie the development of chronic pain conditions. His lab utilizes a combination of behavioral studies, electrophysiology, optogenetics, in vivo imaging, molecular and genetic approaches to understand the signaling pathways, cells and circuits involved in nervous system plasticity that underlies pain sensitization. The lab mission is to identify novel approaches to reverse this maladaptive plasticity to provide new therapeutic strategies to reduce pain and its impact on patient quality of...Read more

Anna Moroni

Anna Moroni is a professor of Plant Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Milan, Italy. She works on ion channels, a class of membrane proteins that control cell excitability and signal transduction. She engineers synthetic channels that respond to light and other stimuli by combining protein modules from viruses and plants. She is presently investigating the possibility to gate ion channels remotely.Read more

Zhuo-Hua Pan

Zhuo-Hua Pan is the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Endowed Professor of Department of Ophthalmology, Visual and Anatomical Sciences and scientific director of Ligon Research Center of Vision at Kresge Eye Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Pan’s research is focused on the development of optogenetic approaches to cure blindness caused by retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). His group contributed to the early development of optogenetics by demonstrating the ability of ectopic expression of...Read more

John Rogers

Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989.  From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and chemistry in 1992 and the Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1995.  From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows.  During this time he also served as a founder and Director of Active Impulse Systems, a company that commercialized technologies developed during his Ph.D. work.  He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed...Read more

Jeffrey Tabor

Jeff Tabor received his Ph.D with Andy Ellington at UT-Austin and went on to be an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Chris Voigt, then at UCSF. He started his own group in the Bioengineering Department at Rice University in 2010, and became an Associate Professor in 2017.Read more

Vladislav Verkhusha

I have the expertise, leadership, training and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the proposed research project. I have a broad background in physics, chemistry, molecular and cell biology. As a postdoctoral fellow and then a staff scientist in Japan (1994-2002), I expressed the first GFP and BFP variants and later DsRed in mammalian cells and transgenic Drosophila flies. As an assistant professor in Colorado (2002-2005), I developed a 3-chromophore Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in mammalian cells, engineered photoactivatable PAmRFP1, and co-developed PSCFP...Read more

Wilfried Weber

Wilfried Weber earned his Ph.D. and completed his postdoctoral training with Martin Fussenegger at ETH Zurich. He started his research group at ETH Zurich and was appointed as Full Professor of Synthetic Biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2009. His lab focuses on the development and application of optogenetic technologies to interface mammalian cell signalling with multichromatic optical stimuli. More recently, his lab combined extracellular optogenetic tools with concepts from materials sciences to develop optically responsive extracellular matrices. These matrices can...Read more

Haifeng Ye

Dr. Haifeng Ye received his Ph.D degree and completed his Postdoctoral Research from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich) in the group of Prof. Dr. Martin Fussenegger. He has been awarded the “ETH Silver Medal” at ETH Zürich in 2013. He started his own group in the School of Life Sciences at East China Normal University (ECNU) in 2014 and established the Biomedical Synthetic Biology Center in 2019 at ECNU. His research interest has been focused on synthetic biology and biomedical engineering with the goal to achieve precise diagnosis and treatment of diseases. His...Read more

Matias Zurbriggen

Prof. Dr. Matias Zurbriggen, Born in 1979, has been head of the Institute of Synthetic Biology since October 2015, a specialist in the field of molecular biology, organic chemistry, engineering, nanobiotechnology and information technology, at the HHU in Düsseldorf and is a member of the excellence cluster CEPLAS. He works with his team to develop and apply innovative synthetic biology and optogenetics techniques to understand signal processes and regulatory networks under temporal and spatial control. The research focus is on the study of light and the hormonal signaling pathways in...Read more