Professor Thomas Knopfel became Chair of Optogenetics and Circuit Neurosciences at Imperial College, Division of Brain Sciences, in 2013
During the early years of his scientific career (1985-1998), he made seminal contributions in the fields of glutamate receptors and neuronal calcium signaling. In 1998, he joined the foundation of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan where he contributed to the development of RIKEN BSI to the renowned institute that it is today. He founded his lab at RIKEN with the vision of combining genetics and light-based methods for the study of neuronal circuit dynamics. His main focus over the last five years was the development and application of genetically encoded voltage indicators. This work was flanked by electrophysiological and optical imaging studies mainly aimed at understanding the neuronal dynamics in cerebral and cortical circuits.
Knoepfel T, 2012, Genetically encoded optical indicators for the analysis of neuronal circuits, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol:13, ISSN:1471-003X, Pages:687-700
et al., 2012, Imaging neural circuit dynamics with a voltage-sensitive fluorescent protein, Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol:108, ISSN:0022-3077, Pages:2323-2337
et al., 2009, Optical measurement of mGluR1 conformational changes reveals fast activation, slow deactivation, and sensitization, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:106, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:11388-11393
et al., 2010, Imaging brain electric signals with genetically targeted voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins, Nature Methods, Vol:7, ISSN:1548-7091, Pages:643-U64