Imaging of neuron-glial interactions
Our knowledge about the complex interplay between the various brain cel' types (neuronal and non-neuronal) is still rudimentary. These interactions are disrupted in every neurological disorder. Our laboratory is interested in elucidating these multicellular and complex interactions that occur during brain pathogenesis. Recent innovations in live imaging and optical probes are allowing sophisticated interrogation of the structural and functional cellular changes that occur in pathological processes. Our goal is to develop and implement such methodologies for advancing our understanding of the physiology of different brain cells and how they interact in their native unperturbed microenvironment and during homeostatic perturbations. Our lab uses a variety of techniques including two-photon microscopy to repeatedly image individual neurons, glial cells (microglia, astrocytes, pericytes) and blood vessels over periods of up to months. We also developed a methodology for in vivo label free microscopy of myelin to study axonal myelination. This imaging-centric approach is combined with the use of viral vectors and in utero electroporation, optical sensors of cellular physiology, optogenetics, chemogenetics and genome editing techniques. Specific disease conditions that we are interested in include: Alzheimer's, microvascular and myelin pathologies.
Jaime Grutzendler obtained his MD at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia where he was born and raised. He completed a residency in Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. There, he had the opportunity to do research with Jeff Lichtman where he learned about synapses and microscopes. He did further neuroscience training in the lab of WenBiao Gan at NYU/Skirball institute where he developed imaging methods and was involved in some of the earliest studies using chronic intravital imaging of synapses, microglia and other cell types. He has been at Yale since 2011 where he is currently Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in Neurology. His wife works in biotech and together they have three children.
Astrocytes and microglia play orchestrated roles and respect phagocytic territories during neuronal corpse removal in vivoScience (2020)