Janelia Research Campus

Janelia Research Campus Janelia is a pioneering research center where scientists from many disciplines gather to collaborate on some of science's most challenging problems.
Janelia scientists are working on discovering the basic rules and mechanisms of the brain's information-processing system and developing optical, biological, and computational technologies for creating and interpreting biological images.
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Janelia's overall objective is to pursue fundamental problems in basic biomedical research that are difficult to approach in academia and industry, because: * They require expertise from disparate areas. * They are too long-term for standard funding mechanisms. * They are outside the current priorities of other funding agencies.

Virtual reality is helping scientists study how fruit flies use visual cues to refine their sense of direction. Read mor...
11/20/2019
To Navigate, Flies Make Flexible Mental Maps of the World | Janelia Research Campus

Virtual reality is helping scientists study how fruit flies use visual cues to refine their sense of direction. Read more in two new studies published today in Nature, from labs of Janelia’s Vivek Jayaraman and HHMI Investigator Rachel Wilson.

Flies use visual cues to finesse their mental maps of the environment. Two new studies use virtual reality to show how.

Congratulations to Janelian Igor Siwanowicz, who has won second place in the 2019 Nikon Small World competition for this...
10/22/2019

Congratulations to Janelian Igor Siwanowicz, who has won second place in the 2019 Nikon Small World competition for this photograph of freshwater protozoans called stentors.

Stentors, also known as trumpet animalcules, are shape-shifters, morphing from a horn shape into the pear shape shown here when swimming freely. They’re studied for their amazing regenerative abilities. A tiny piece of this two-millimeter single-celled animal, containing just a fragment of the multi-part nucleus (the colorful globular structures), can regrow into a new animal.

Stentors are a challenge to photograph. The chemicals used to prepare samples for a shot under a microscope can cause sensitive stentors to “collapse into a ball of protoplasm,” Siwanowicz says. But buried in an old paper, he found a reference to a technique for “relaxing” the stentors with magnesium ions — like “a bath in Epsom salt.” Using that trick, he’s captured them under a fluorescent microscope.

https://www.nikonsmallworld.com/galleries/2019-photomicrography-competition/depth-color-coded-projections-of-three-stentors-single-cell-freshwater-protozoans

The MouseLight Project Team has traced more than 1,000 neurons in the mouse brain. Their paper on this milestone is publ...
09/05/2019
MouseLight Project Team Maps 1,000 Neurons (and Counting) in the Mouse Brain | Janelia Research Campus

The MouseLight Project Team has traced more than 1,000 neurons in the mouse brain. Their paper on this milestone is published today in Cell. Check out the story and video! https://www.janelia.org/news/mouselight-project-team-maps-1000-neurons-and-counting-in-the-mouse-brain

Janelia Research Campus scientists have mapped more than 1,000 neurons in the mouse brain. It’s the most extensive neural wiring diagram available, and the data are accessible online. Scientists are batting a thousand in a project to reconstruct the mouse brain’s wiring diagram.

A new two-photon microscope breaks speed limits by compressing data. It can capture neurotransmitter release at hundreds...
07/31/2019
SLAP Microscopy Smashes Speed Barriers | Janelia Research Campus

A new two-photon microscope breaks speed limits by compressing data. It can capture neurotransmitter release at hundreds of synapses simultaneously! Check out the latest work from the Podgorski Lab, published this week in Nature Methods.

A new two-photon microscope captures videos of the brain faster than ever, revealing voltage changes and neurotransmitter release.

07/04/2019
ActinMito_short_v1.mp4

Happy #FourthofJuly to everyone in the United States! John Heddleston from Janelia’s Advanced Imaging Center captured these fireworks on the lattice light sheet microscope alongside AIC visitor Andy Moore. Video: dividing cells (actin and mitochondria are stained, color map: red, white, and blue).

Glia aren’t just support cells for neurons. New research from the Ahrens Lab shows that glia can perform computations th...
06/20/2019
Frustrated Fish Give Up Thanks to Glia, Not Just Neurons | Janelia Research Campus

Glia aren’t just support cells for neurons. New research from the Ahrens Lab shows that glia can perform computations that tell frustrated fish when to give up.

Giving up when efforts are futile depends on glial cells called radial astrocytes, highlighting a novel computational role for the underappreciated brain cells. Secured in place in a virtual-reality-equipped chamber, frustrated zebrafish just didn’t want to swim anymore. They had been “swimming...

To a fruit fly, the looming shadow of a predator looks a lot like an approaching landing place—but requires a different ...
06/11/2019
Flight or Alight? New Research Untangles How Flies Determine the Appropriate Response to a Looming Stimulus | Janelia Research Campus

To a fruit fly, the looming shadow of a predator looks a lot like an approaching landing place—but requires a different response. New research from Gwyneth Card's lab published in @natureneuro shows how flies react correctly based on context cues.

Two types of neurons in the fly brain help a fly land when it detects a looming stimulus – but only if it’s already in flight.

NeuroSeq, a Janelia Project Team, analyzed RNA from more than 200 populations of neurons. A paper describing the project...
06/10/2019
NeuroSeq Project Team Creates Atlas of Mouse Neurons | Janelia Research Campus

NeuroSeq, a Janelia Project Team, analyzed RNA from more than 200 populations of neurons. A paper describing the project is out now: https://www.janelia.org/news/neuroseq-project-team-creates-atlas-of-mouse-neurons

A Janelia project to profile different populations of mouse neurons yields insights into what sets brain cells apart. Sacha Nelson wanted to understand what sets different types of neurons apart.

Learn from Janelians Kristin Branson, Srini Turaga, and Larissa Heinrichs in the Society for Neuroscience virtual confer...
06/06/2019

Learn from Janelians Kristin Branson, Srini Turaga, and Larissa Heinrichs in the Society for Neuroscience virtual conference on machine learning on June 26: bit.ly/2H8zXnh

Thanks to everyone who submitted applications to our competition to decide Janelia’s next research area. We are no longe...
06/04/2019
Dates & Process | Janelia Research Campus

Thanks to everyone who submitted applications to our competition to decide Janelia’s next research area. We are no longer accepting pre-proposals. Stay tuned for updates!

HHMI is hosting an open, international competition to decide Janelia’s next research area. We are looking for a big idea that addresses a major unsolved problem in the life sciences, and a scientist to lead it.

Congratulations to Sr. Group Leader Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz on her election to the American Academy of Arts and Sci...
04/17/2019
New 2019 Academy Members Announced

Congratulations to Sr. Group Leader Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz on her election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences!

More than 200 individuals with compelling achievements in academia, business, government, and public affairs were elected to the Academy in 2019.

Janelia enjoyed a visit from some very good dogs from @heelinghouse this week! Thanks to JARS for the inaugural “Pause t...
04/11/2019

Janelia enjoyed a visit from some very good dogs from @heelinghouse this week! Thanks to JARS for the inaugural “Pause to Pet” event.
@ Janelia Research Campus

A cloudy day on campus. Photo credit: Anna J. Chang
04/10/2019

A cloudy day on campus. Photo credit: Anna J. Chang

03/11/2019
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Janelia scientists come from diverse backgrounds—We have biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists who work together to solve biological problems. Who is eligible for the opportunity to lead a new research area at Janelia? Zari Zavala-Ruiz has the details. https://www.janelia.org/our-research/competition/opportunity

By inventing technology to peer into early vertebrate development, Philipp Keller and his team are helping to solve one ...
03/06/2019
Animal Development Comes into Focus with New Imaging Technology | Janelia Research Campus

By inventing technology to peer into early vertebrate development, Philipp Keller and his team are helping to solve one of biology’s most intriguing problems – how a single cell grows into an animal capable of complex tasks. Read more about what’s possible at Janelia.

Janelia Group Leader Philipp Keller's laboratory has a knack for finding ways to make the invisible visible. By inventing technology to peer into early vertebrate development, Keller and his team are helping to solve one of biology's most intriguing problems - how a single cell grows into an animal ...

Researchers in the Branson lab used a program called JAABA to develop an interactive, cellular-level map of which neuron...
03/01/2019
Artificial Intelligence Gives Researchers New Insights Into the Brain | Janelia Research Campus

Researchers in the Branson lab used a program called JAABA to develop an interactive, cellular-level map of which neurons in the fruit fly brain lead to certain behaviors. Over 18 months, the team studied 400,000 fruit flies performing social behaviors and movements like walking, stopping, aggressive chasing, and the courtship behavior of wing opening. It would have taken humans around 3,800 years to analyze that video data.

Research Scientist Alice Robie, a neuroscientist working in a Janelia Research Campus computer science lab, has a unique opportunity to help other biologists extract meaning from their large datasets. "Making usable tools is a much more difficult engineering problem than simply writing an algorithm,...

Janelia will welcome HHMI Investigator Ron Vale to campus as our next executive director in early 2020. https://www.jane...
02/20/2019
Ron Vale Named Next Executive Director of Janelia Research Campus and HHMI Vice President | Janelia Research Campus

Janelia will welcome HHMI Investigator Ron Vale to campus as our next executive director in early 2020. https://www.janelia.org/news/ron-vale-named-next-executive-director-of-janelia-research-campus-and-hhmi-vice-president

Vale, an HHMI investigator at the University of California, San Francisco, will serve as the second executive director of the Ashburn, Virginia-based biomedical research center.

02/14/2019
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“We've made tremendous strides in systems neuroscience, understanding the relationship between neural circuits and behavior, and we're going to keep doing that at Janelia, but we want to leverage the model that we've put in place here to make discoveries in other areas as well.” –Nelson Spruston on the Janelia new research area competition and why Janelia is an effective place to do science. https://www.janelia.org/our-research/competition/opportunity

HHMI President Erin O’Shea and Janelia Executive Director Gerry Rubin reflect on Janelia’s past and future. https://elif...
02/07/2019
Looking back and looking forward at Janelia

HHMI President Erin O’Shea and Janelia Executive Director Gerry Rubin reflect on Janelia’s past and future. https://elifesciences.org/articles/44826

Starting a new research campus is a leap of faith. Only later, in the full measure of time, is it possible to take stock of what has worked and what could have been done better or differently. The Janelia Research Campus opened its doors 12 years ago. What has it achieved? What has it taught us? And...

02/04/2019
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If the dots in the video look like they’re flowing in opposite directions, you’re experiencing the “reverse phi” illusion. In “phi” motion, bright points appear to move right as they disappear and reappear to the right of their previous position. But when the points switch from bright to dark as they shift rightward, our brains see them “moving” to the left: this is “reverse phi.” Now, Janelia scientist James Fitzgerald, Yale University’s Damon Clark, and their colleagues have uncovered how visual neurons in fruit flies process this illusion.

Two parallel pathways in the brain respond to either light or dark moving edges. The reverse-phi effect, like many real-world visual scenes, involves both light and dark stimuli. If the pathways segregate light from dark, the researchers asked, where in the flies’ visual system do these interacting signals combine to create a sense of motion?

Neurons called T4 and T5 cells react selectively to either light or dark moving edges. Scientists had thought that each of these cell types could respond only to light or dark stimuli. But the new results reveal that both cell types actually process a mix of light and dark signals, the team reported December 3, 2018, in the journal, Current Biology. By tracing the source of the motion illusion to the very earliest motion-detecting neurons in the fly’s visual system, the researchers showed that this light-dark mixing is a fundamental feature of the visual processing pathway. https://www.janelia.org/news/tracing-the-origins-of-an-optical-illusion

Eric Betzig and his Janelia colleagues teamed up with Ed Boyden’s group to image the entire fruit fly brain and sections...
01/17/2019
How to Rapidly Image Entire Brains at Nanoscale Resolution | Janelia Research Campus

Eric Betzig and his Janelia colleagues teamed up with Ed Boyden’s group to image the entire fruit fly brain and sections of mouse brain the thickness of the cortex.

A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that’s roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods.

Earth’s 4.5 billion year history is a complex tale of physical and chemical processes, as well as "frozen accidents."  I...
01/17/2019
Robert Hazen to Deliver Public Lecture at Janelia | Janelia Research Campus

Earth’s 4.5 billion year history is a complex tale of physical and chemical processes, as well as "frozen accidents." In the next lecture in our #DialoguesofDiscovery public lecture series, Robert Hazen will discuss how Earth’s changing mineralogy reflects the co-evolving geosphere and biosphere in surprising ways that touch on life's origins. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Dr. Robert M. Hazen will deliver the next Dialogues of Discovery lecture at Janelia. Hazen’s talk, “Chance, Necessity, and the Origins of Life,” is on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. All Dialogues of Discovery lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for admission. Ge...

Join an intense and exciting research environment this summer. Janelia is accepting applications for the Janelia Undergr...
12/01/2018
Undergraduate Scholars Program | Janelia Research Campus

Join an intense and exciting research environment this summer. Janelia is accepting applications for the Janelia Undergraduate Scholars Program from undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students who have not committed to a PhD program. Apply by January 8, 2019.

The Janelia Undergraduate Scholars program is a 10-week summer program aimed at well-prepared, independent, and committed students with significant research experience. We accept undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students who have not committed to a PhD program. Janelia undergraduate scholars ar...

By pulling together anatomical data from Janelia's MouseLight Project, gene expression profiles from the Allen Institute...
10/31/2018
Decoding How Brain Circuits Control Behavior | Janelia Research Campus

By pulling together anatomical data from Janelia's MouseLight Project, gene expression profiles from the Allen Institute, and functional data from the lab of Janelia Senior Group Leader Karel Svoboda, an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team of scientists brought clarity to a complex question about brain function.

Janelia and Allen Institute scientists team up, combining genetic analyses, anatomical maps, and detailed studies of neuronal activity to reveal brain cells’ roles in controlling movement.

#Neuropixels offer the most precise understanding yet of how large networks of nerve cells coordinate to give rise to be...
10/31/2018
Neuropixels Technology Ready for Release | Janelia Research Campus

#Neuropixels offer the most precise understanding yet of how large networks of nerve cells coordinate to give rise to behavior and cognition, and they’re now available for purchase.

A transformative technology for detecting and recording neural activity in the brain is now available for researchers to purchase through imec, a leading nanoelectronics research center in Belgium.

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