The Canadian Neurophotonics platform is unique in its collaborative nature.
Collaboration within Canada and between platform members
Although the fields of optogenetics and connectomics are already well established, they are far from mature. The potential for new knowledge derived from these tools is immense. However, a recurring theme within the field is the need to optimize and advance current technology and directions. To fully apply this technology requires a collaborative community such as the one brought together under this platform.
The three Core Facilities have worked closely to maximize compatibility between new light-based tools produced by this facility, viral vectors produced by the Viral Vector Facility, and optical devices produced by the Photonics Technology Development Facility. Accordingly, this platform has been uniquely positioned to simultaneously optimize hardware (i.e., devices), wetware (i.e., proteins and viral delivery methods), and software (i.e., image processing tools) for maximum performance. To the best of our knowledge, there are no other technology development platforms that offer comparable levels of synergy between hardware, wetware, and software development.
Funding under the Canadian Neurophotonics platform has further enabled development and application in this rapidly evolving field. CNP researchers have decided to pool their efforts with the goal of using the experimental and operational leverage afforded by the team. The scale of the project ranges from probe development to animal models of disease, highlighting the importance of the collaborative nature of the CNP's work.
Some examples of collaboration within platform members; Sarah Aufmkolk and Zahraa Chorghay from Ed Ruthazer’s lab at McGill (cosupervised by Paul Wiseman) have done third-harmonic generation signal imaging of myelin in Xenopus. Sarah Aufmkolk from Ed Ruthazer’s lab (together with Paul Wiseman) has also collaborated with Robert Campbell to do light sheet imaging of Nir-GECO2.
Organization of two Canadian Network of Scientific Platform meetings
The Canadian Network of Scientific Platforms - Réseau canadien des plateformes scientifiques (CNSP-RCPS cnsp-rcps.ca) is a pan-Canadian network of professional/staff working in any aspect of research scientific platforms (i.e. technology resources, core facilities) at the technical, managerial or administrative level. The aim of the network is to represent diverse technologies and institution types from regions all across the country.
As the Central Canada representative on the executive committee of the CNSP-RCPS, Marie-Ève Paquet, Coordinator of the Viral Vector production core, participated in the organisation of two Canadian Network of Scientific Platform meetings,
June 18-19, 2018, Edmonton (click for more information)
June 9 - 11, 2020 Toronto (click for more information)