2015

Taking Flight Award

Autonomous Seizure Prevention Using Bioluminescence-Driven Optogenetics (BLOG)

Omar Ahmed, PhD
Brown University
 

Seizures arise due to over-active subtypes of brain cells. Our goal is to prevent seizures by helping individual brain cells self-regulate their own activity, without the need for invasive electrodes, monitoring devices or implanted batteries. To do so, we create a modification of optogenetics, a tool that uses light to alter the activity of specific cells. By causing brain cells to emit their own light when they get over-active, we will let them control their own activity automatically, without the need for external light sources. We call this new technique bioluminescence-driven optogenetics, or BLOG. This powerful technique holds the promise to be a novel, non-invasive way to treat many different kinds of epilepsies.

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