Research and Innovation Scholar
Neuron Tracing in Expansion Microscopy Data
My work involves developing a pipeline for neuron tracing in Expansion Microscopy (ExM) images. ExM is a novel technique that consists of a physical expansion of brain tissue, and may enable a new multi-color optical approach to Connectomics, the science which aims at creating brain maps from nanoscale resolution images. ExM allows regular microscopes to provide such resolution, cheaper and faster than current alternatives, and potentially at a whole-brain-circuit scale. Providing early feedback on the feasibility of both manual and automated tracing will help generate information useful in debugging and improving the imaging protocol. It will also aim at generating connectivity diagrams for neural circuits on the basis of optical microscopy data, which would be an important advance.
I started this project a few months ago and I’m hoping to continue and improve my contribution this year. Although I mostly do computer science work, I have been learning a great deal about high resolution imaging and the brain. I took a few neuroscience classes in my time at MIT and I’m hoping to pursue that field further in graduate school.