The Canadian Neurophotonics Platform has been contributing to training the next generation of neurophotonics experts through a series of training events that have been held since its inception.
CNP Meetings and Data Blitzes
CNP members and their teams have participated in yearly data blitzes in which trainees present their research results to all members of the platform, to get valuable feedback and insight from colleagues that have complementary expertise.
Neurophotonics satellite meetings at CAN
The CNP also organizes a yearly neurophotonics workshop for the scientific community at large, to introduce the tools and technologies using light that can be used to study the brain and nervous system. These introductory workshops have been held as satellite symposia of the Canadian Neuroscience Meeting.
Frontiers in Neurophotonics Summer School
Frontiers in Neurophotonics is an opportunity to meet fellow researchers and students from around the world, discuss and discover the latest advances in live cell optical imaging techniques put in perspective by experimental challenges in the field of neuroscience.
CNP platform members are actively involved in this Summer School, which is yearly opportunity to share the CNP’s expertise with students from around the world, and to showcase the CNP to an international audience.
The UBC node team have helped expand the Summer school program by providing raspberry pi workshops, in vivo imaging demos, and Matlab/python training.
Biophotonics Graduate Program
The Biophotonics graduate program at Université Laval is unique in Canada. It has become the official graduate program of the Sentinel North program, and thereby opens up to even broader themes in biophotonics (including, notably, environmental and cardio-metabolic dimensions)
Workshops on viral vectors
The Viral Vector core facility has presented and organised workshops for researchers and trainees.
- workshop on viral vectors, Québec Pain Research Network, May 30th 2019
- workshop on viral vectors for clinical applications, Québec Network of Junior Pain Investigators, Jan 24th 2020
Tissue Clearing and Expansion Microscopy workshop
Tissue Clearing and Expansion Microscopy are emerging tissue processing techniques with the potential to revolutionize histological investigation of brain circuits. Tissue Clearing provides holostic data of entire brains with intact circuitry and Expasion Microscopy physically enlarges tissue, effectively turning every microscope into a super-resolution microscope – capable of revealing synaptic details.
The Dynamic Brain Circuits first organized a Tissue Clearing and Expansion Workshop at NeuroFutures 2017 in partnership with Leica and LifeCanvas. This took place in the NeuroIamging and NeuroComputation Centre (NINC) at the DMCBH Keorner labs. The morning session had speakers from MIT, UW and U Calgary discussing applications and protocols, home-built, DIY and commercial instruments. The afternoon session was hands-on with examples of tissue expansion, imaging of cleared and expanded tissue and open source software tools. Neurophotonics support was used to buy LifeCanvas instruments housed in the NINC so UBC labs could begin developing protocols.
More about the 2017 workshop: https://braincircuits.centreforbrainhealth.ca/news/2017/10/23/brain-clearing-workshops-july-12-2017
In 2019 the Dynamic Brain Circuits cluster partnered with the BC Regenerative Medicine Initiative to host a follow-up workshop. The morning session had speakers from UW, U Calgary and Zeiss and emphasized expansion in multiple tissues, data collection and avenues for data processing and analysis. The hands-on session emphasized data handling and demoed open source and commercial packages for processing and analysis in the NINC Data Analysis/Computation lab.
More about the 2019 workshop: https://bcregmed.ca/workshops/tissue-clearing-and-expansion/
With the initial investment from the platform, Expansion Microscopy is now in use in multiple UBC labs. It was a focus for our recent CFI IF 2020 proposal, generated a proposal for DMCBH Innovation fund Kick Start grant, and has been extended to paraffin embedded tissue to allow scientists to work closely with pathologists and surgeons in DMCBH and at VGH.
NeuroFutures 2017, 2018, 2019
NeuroFutures brings together thought leaders in neuroscience and technology with representatives from academic, industry, clinical, and government to explore new frontiers in neuroscience and neurotechnology, including their clinical and commercial application. Major themes include neural circuit structure and dynamic function, brain mapping, decision making and control systems, healthy and disease states, neurocomputation, and neurotechnology innovations.
NeuroFutures2017 University of British Columbia July 9-11th – http://www.neuroscience.ubc.ca/Neurofutures/index.html
Neurofutures 2018, Seattle – https://riveraz.wixsite.com/neurofutures
Neurofutures 2019, http://neurofutures.org/2019/
Data management, coding and open science
Tools developed by the Neurophotonics platform are used to do experiments that produce enormous amounts of data. Coding and data analysis evenings are part of the Frontiers in Neurophotonics Summer School, but CNP nodes also make this kind of training available to their groups. For example, this training is available as part of the ecosystem at UBC through the Brain Circuits Cluster and NINC. In 2020 we the UBC node will have 3 “Neurodata tutors”, which are graduate student top up awards for peer tutoring in data management, coding and open science.
Weekly Matlab training sessions, and drop-in Matlab and Python help sessions are available for neuroscience trainees at UBC, provided by CNP members Jeff LeDue and Alejo, who also provide an introduction to both Matlab and Python as part of the first year graduate introduction to neuroscience class at UBC.