Imperial College London

Professor Thomas KNÖPFEL

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Chair in Optogenetics and Circuit Neurosciences



+44 (0)20 7594 6898t.knopfel Website




507Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





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.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Akemann W, Mutoh H, Perron A, et al., 2012, Imaging neural circuit dynamics with a voltage-sensitive fluorescent protein, Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol:108, ISSN:0022-3077, Pages:2323-2337

Knoepfel T, 2012, Genetically encoded optical indicators for the analysis of neuronal circuits, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol:13, ISSN:1471-003X, Pages:687-700

Akemann W, Mutoh H, Perron A, et al., 2010, Imaging brain electric signals with genetically targeted voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins, Nature Methods, Vol:7, ISSN:1548-7091, Pages:643-U64

Marcaggi P, Mutoh H, Dimitrov D, 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

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